In some biker magazines you’ll see some cheap journalists write that the “dish washing soap anti-fog is an urban myth”, and that it will “blur your vision”, some may even say it’s downright dangerous. This blogpost is to show that if done right, dish washing soap is actually the absolute best anti-fog treatment money can buy. If you’ve tried this and still don’t like it, there are some easier alternatives at the bottom for your convenience.
Why this post
The Netherlands. A damp and cold country where even the most high-tech coated visors fog up at the most inconvenient moments. Particulary at the start of this season it was terrible. Because of the longer and colder than normal winter, I was very eager to get on the bike early. As soon as the snow was gone, I was riding. Because I forgot to take care of the visor, it fogged up. Badly.
I went out to find ways of preventing the fogging up of the visor. A friend told me that pinlock works, but when the airtight seal is gone, you’re in deep trouble. It also adds extra layers of Lexan, meaning more glare. Then, @CityJohn pointed me to FogTech wipes. I ordered a few at Visorvision, and got them very promptly (customer service is A-ok at Visorvision, thanks again Paul!). The wipes work as advertised and add almost unvisible glare to the visor. Good value for money, but the wipes themselves dry out quickly. To keep the effect you have to re-apply the coat, but you will rarely find yourself using the same wipe twice. Not that the price is a problem, but it may become a burden on roadtrips.
To my surprise, I found a longer lasting solution on my kitchen sink. I heard of the dish washing soap tip before but never actively tried it. To my surprise, with a little care, you can coat the inside of your helmet with this stuff, it will be invisible, and will stay on for at least a week. Even better: your visor will actually become clearer when you breathe against it.
Before you do anything: Check if your visor has a special coating. If this is the case, you are probably better off just cleaning it according to the owners manual. If you’re not sure, try this stuff on a small unused part of the visor.
Step 1: Clean your visor
Before applying any product to your visor, you need to carefully clean it. Taking the visor off and washing it with a soft detergent is probably best. On the road this can be a bit more problematic, so you might want to consider taking a damp sponge with you in a watertight bag, and some dry wipes.
You can test if your visor is clean by breathing on it. If it fogs up nice and evenly, it’s clean enough for the next step.
Step 2: Apply (very little!) dishwashing soap
Take a soft rag (cotton t-shirt or such) and put a small drop of washing up liquid on it. The less you apply, the easier the final step will be.
Step 3: Buffing
Take a new, clean, soft rag and gently rub the inside of your visor. You’ll see the detergent disappear, and the visor will become clear. As soon as the visor is clear, stop. You don’t want to remove all the detergent.
Now try it. Put your helmet on, close the visor and breathe on it like your neighbors dog after a run in the park. It will not fog up. Nice huh? Imagine how many coats you can do with one bottle of dish washing soap? And you don’t even have to take it on the road trip, because every household, hotel or grocery store will have this!
- After a while, very small dirt particles from your breath will attach to the detergent. This can be seen as a light mist, like you also see on the inside of the windshield of your car. You can re-buff the inside of the visor at least once before re-applying the soap, but it has to be absolutely dry before buffing.
- When you are riding, you might notice you didn’t buff the inside quite enough. If it bothers you too much, breathe against your visor to clear it up. Yes, with soap on the visor it will actually become clearer when breathing against it.
- If you don’t have the time to do all this, and are going for quick-and-easy, I’d recommend the FogTech wipes, as mentioned earlier.