Most people prefer your showers steaming hot, not freezing cold. The hot water might feel great on your skin, but the moisture filling the air can be harsh on your bathroom’s finishes. In the long term, excessive moisture in bathrooms can lead to peeling paint, rotting wood, mold, and rusted hardware. In the short term, it can cause foggy shower glass and foggy mirrors. This annoying fog can lead to a lack of visibility while getting ready for the day.
Many people choose glass shower doors specifically because they make the bathroom feel larger and more open. If your shower door fogs every time you take a shower, it negates some of the benefits of having a glass shower at all. So, the question becomes, how do you stop your shower glass from fogging?
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In order to prevent fog from forming on your shower door, it’s best to understand what causes a shower door to fog. When someone says that their shower glass or bathroom mirror is “foggy” after a shower, what they actually mean is that there is condensation, or tiny droplets of water, on the glass. This condensation causes the glass to appear “foggy.”
Condensation occurs when warm air collides with a cool surface. The cool surface causes the moisture in the air to move from gas form to liquid form, forming water droplets. Condensation can also occur when humidity levels are high. Together, these explain why hot showers cause condensation on glass. Hot showers raise the humidity level and also the air temperature; when it collides with the cooler surface of the glass, fog forms.
There are a few ways to go stopping shower glass fog. Some options are quite simple and don’t require any supplies at all. Others require items you probably already have at home. For the best performance, there are store-bought products that can be applied to the glass to help prevent fogging. We’ll go through each of these solutions, beginning with the easiest.
Okay, okay—we know you don’t want to hear it…but your hot showers are what’s causing the fog. If you stop taking hot showers, the fog won’t be an issue! This option is probably totally off the table for most people. You don’t need to take an ice-cold shower to see the difference, though. Even cooling your shower down by just a couple of degrees will make a difference in condensation build-up. Cooler showers are even better for your skin too.
After turning down the degrees, increasing ventilation is the next best step in alleviating fog. The idea is to get let the warm, moist air out of the bathroom and replace it with cooler, dryer air. To do this, simply crack a window. The wider you open it, the better the effect.
Perhaps your bathroom doesn’t have a window, or maybe it’s raining or frigidly cold outside. In these cases, simply turn on the ventilation fan in the bathroom. Ventilation fans are standard in most bathrooms. If your bathroom isn’t equipped with one currently, it might be wise to speak with a contractor about having one installed.
These fans are called exhaust fans because instead of pushing air into the bathroom, it exhausts (or pulls) air out of the bathroom. They are typically mounted in the ceiling where warm air naturally rises to. This allows the fan to pull the warm, humid air out of the bathroom. The fan should have a vent that exits through the roof of the house to effectively displace the air.
If you combine turning on a bathroom ventilation fan with opening a window, you’ll have the best results. While the vent fan removes the warm, moist air, it will simultaneously create a slight vacuum effect to pull fresh air in from the outside.
This tip doesn’t actually stop fog from happening, but it can alleviate it quickly. If your glass fogs after a shower, put your hair dryer on the “high” setting and move in back and forth quickly over the glass. The heat will help to evaporate and dry the condensation on the surface of the glass. Keep in mind that you don’t actually want to heat the glass, just remove the water. This would be a great tip if your mirror fogged while you were showering, and you’re in a rush to get ready. Instead of struggling to style your hair in a foggy mirror, spend a minute to clear the fog from the mirror and get a crystal clear view of yourself to style your hair perfectly.
It’s already in your bathroom, so go ahead and give it a try. Just be sure there aren’t any abrasive properties to the toothpaste as you don’t want to risk scratching the glass. Put a dab on a microfiber cloth and spread it into the glass. Then, turn the towel and buff the glass to a shine. We don’t recommend this because it would take a lot of time (and elbow grease) to coat an entire shower. However, it could work great in a pinch if you’re traveling. Keep this trick in mind the next time you take a diving trip to Jamaica and need to de-fog your scuba diving mask.
Shaving cream is another at-home solution that you already have waiting in your medicine cabinet. It should be applied the same as toothpaste, but use it sparingly. Remember, you only want to create a coating on the surface of the glass.
This is the best option—and for obvious reasons. Anti-fog coatings are specifically formulated to serve the purpose of reducing fog. A trip to the hardware store or a quick search online should reveal several options. The product is typically a liquid that will either be sprayed on the glass or applied with a cloth. After the product is applied, you’ll probably need to buff it out to remove any excess and restore a crystal-clear shine. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and recommendations for application and safety.
The coating might not be 100% effective, but it should significantly cut down on the amount of fog that builds up on your shower or mirror. If you notice a drop in performance after a few weeks, you’ll need to apply a new application of the product to restore its protection.
There are a few home-spun remedies that we’ve seen tested that definitely don’t work or have minimal effect.
If you’ve tried any of the above solutions, let us know if they were effective. Do you have a solution for reducing the amount of condensation that we haven’t listed? Let us know in the comments below.
For more tips on keeping your glass in top shape, check out more blogs on Glass.com.
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