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How To Fix a VR Headset That Keeps Fogging Up

Many people play video games with VR headsets nowadays, and it’s considered the ultimate way to play. Playing in VR is interacting directly with the game; gamers have dreamt of this for decades. But what should you do if your VR headset fogs up when you try to play?

Here are a handful of ways you can fix a VR headset that keeps fogging up:

  1. Loosen the straps on your VR headset.
  2. Wear a beanie while using your VR headset.
  3. Run fans nearby while using your VR headset.
  4. Tape your nose while using your VR headset.
  5. Store your VR headset in a warmer location.
  6. Warm your VR headset up before you use it.
  7. Use anti-fog treatments on your VR headset.
  8. Install extra fans into your VR headset.

In addition to these tips, I’ll explain why your VR headset fogs up and list several brands of anti-fog treatments used by real gamers on their own headsets. 

Why Does Your VR Headset Fog Up?

Few people consider how well ventilated their headset of choice is before buying a VR gaming system. After all, surely its manufacturers would have foreseen this issue, and installed fans to prevent it from happening? You’d be surprised how often this is an issue.

Your VR headset fogs up due to poor airflow. When you expel moisture by breathing, it collects inside your poorly ventilated headset, and builds until it forms into water droplets. These water droplets condense onto your lenses and fog them up. 

In addition, how much you sweat during a gaming session contributes to the moisture in the air through evaporation. If the air is also warm, condensation happens even quicker. It’s the same reason ‌tropical climates are often uncomfortably humid.

You now know why your VR headset fogs up, so let’s continue on with how you can fix it. Most of the fixes are relatively simple, so it shouldn’t take too much time to stop your headset from fogging up.

1. Loosen the Straps on Your VR Headset

Your VR headset fogs up because of excess moisture in the air, as you now know. So, what is the easiest, least invasive way to increase your headset’s airflow and get rid of it?

The easiest, least invasive way to keep your VR headset from fogging up would be to loosen its straps. Loosening its fit will create space for air flow to whisk away any extra moisture. However, you shouldn’t loosen them too much, or it might fall to the floor. 

Gaming systems are expensive, and the last thing you want to happen while playing is your headset to fall to the floor and break. Before you begin your gaming session, I suggest you shake your head gently to test whether it fits snugly enough to stay on.

2. Wear a Beanie While Using Your VR Headset

As I explained earlier in this article, your sweat evaporates. When added to the moisture in your breath, this can cause your VR headset to fog up quicker.

Therefore, I recommend wearing a tight-fitting, thin beanie beneath your VR headset to help absorb your sweat during your gaming session. Sweat absorbed by a beanie isn’t floating about in the air, and so it’s less likely to collect on your VR headset’s lenses.

You can also purchase similar items made specifically for VR players, like this X-Super Home Breathable Eye Mask Cover on Amazon.com. It’s made of absorbent elastic fabric, and fits most people.

3. Run Fans Nearby While Using Your VR Headset

Besides the above points, running a fan nearby while playing is also a great idea for keeping your VR headset from fogging up.

Not only will the breeze whisk away extra moisture, but it’ll help keep you cool. Gaming systems produce heat, which doesn’t help when you’re trying to stop your headset from fogging up.

Set up a fan on the corner or edge of your room, pointing directly at you. Make sure it’s far enough away that you won’t knock it over while playing. 

If you get cold during your gaming session, you might not need the fan. In that case, I recommend you wear a sweatshirt. If that’s not possible, another option may be more effective.

4. Tape Your Nose While Using Your VR Headset

Sometimes, an option may be crude and uncomfortable, but effective. Taping the bridge of your nose with masking tape to keep moisture out of your headset is one of these options.

For this method, you can use any kind of tape, but try not to tape your nose too tightly or removing it will become painful. 

Taping your nose and then placing your headset over the top helps it hold its seal, preventing moisture from getting inside it in the first place. Creating a loop to deflect your breath does, too. This may be enough to keep your VR headset from fogging up.

Before applying the tape, wash your face to make sure your skin is clean. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to protect your skin beforehand. This should prevent it from damaging the upper layers of your skin or causing acne breakouts.

However, if your skin breaks out or peels, I suggest you stop using tape and try another option.

5. Store Your VR Headset in a Warmer Location

While moving your VR headset to another location after each session isn’t ideal, it can help keep it from fogging up.

This is because cold also affects how quickly moisture condenses in the air. If your headset is cold or even cool when you put it on, they’re more likely to fog and will do so more quickly.

If you use your furnace often, you can put your VR headset next to a heat vent. However, do not put it on top of the vent, since you don’t want to damage your headset. You can also put it beneath a lamp, or anything else that radiates a small amount of heat.

If it’s warm outside, you can store your headset near a window, so long as it’s not in direct sunlight. Again, you don’t want to melt the plastic or wiring. Remember that dark colors—such as those of VR headsets—attract heat from the sun’s rays and will cause it to get hotter, quicker.

6. Warm Your VR Headset Up Before You Use It

If moving your VR headset to a different location after each session is too much work, you can also warm it before you play.

One common way of doing this is with a hairdryer. However, you’ll need to be careful. Not only can the air they blow be hot enough to melt or break your headset’s plastic, but they create static electricity that can damage its electronic parts and wiring, too.

If you decide to use a hairdryer to warm your VR headset, only use its low and warm settings. Additionally, keep the end of your hairdryer at least a foot away from your headset at all times. Try to be patient with the process, but never linger in one spot for long.

Another option for warming your VR headset is to warm a dry, damp towel in the dryer for a minute or two and then wrap your headset in it. But, like with the hairdryer, you’ll need to be careful of static electricity.

Use an anti-static dryer sheet, or an aluminum dryer ball, and rub the towel on your clothes to get rid of any static electricity before you use it. If your hair stands up when you put the towel near it, don’t use it on your headset!

7. Use Anti-Fog Treatments on Your VR Headset

Anti-fog treatments are chemical coatings used by glasses owners, scuba divers, and skiers to prevent their breath from obscuring their vision. They work on VR headsets, too, and are useful if other options don’t work and your VR headset keeps fogging up.

These treatments work by getting between the water molecules to prevent them from beading. As a result, your VR headset’s lenses will form a clear layer of moisture instead of fogging. You should still be able to see through this layer, and if it drips, you can wipe it off as usual.

Anti-Fog Treatments Recommended by Real Gamers

Soap and Water

You can find soap and water just about anywhere. It’s used most often by those who wear glasses. Since you’re using it on your VR headset instead, you need to be extra careful to use only a little water and not wet any electronic parts.

Dampen—don’t soak!—a cloth in distilled (or boiled) water and wring it until it’s only slightly damp. Add a drop of soap no bigger than half a pea and work it into the cloth. Then, wipe your VR headset’s lenses. Finally, wipe them with a clean, dry cloth until no residue remains.

Anti-Fog Wipes

These Alibeiss Anti-Fog Wipes from Amazon.com are for glasses, but you can also use them on your VR headset, too. They’re soft and non-abrasive, so they won’t scratch its lenses, and come wrapped individually so they won’t dry out. In addition, they come in packs of 30, 60, 100 and 200 wipes.

To use, simply wipe your VR headset’s lenses with them, as you would with glasses. Then, let them air dry for a moment before putting your headset on.

Anti-Fog Gels

Scuba divers use gels like this Gear Aid Sea Gold Anti-Fog Gel Coating on Amazon.com on their masks. Thus, they’re more heavy-duty than a simple glasses wipe. They’re safe to use on both glass and plastic, however, and last for hours at a time, making them an attractive option.

To use anti-fog gels, add a drop or two of distilled water to the gel. Then, apply the mixture to your VR headset’s lenses and rub it into the material until it becomes clear enough to see through. Wipe any excess off with a clean, dry cloth.

8. Install Extra Fans Into Your VR Headset

If you’ve tried everything and your VR headset continues to keep fogging up, your final, most invasive option is to install extra fans into your VR headset.

I say invasive because it involves changing your headset, but fortunately, it’s only so compared to the other options on this list. Don’t worry, you won’t have to take your VR headset apart!

VR radiator accessories like this KIWI USB Radiator Fan Accessory  on Amazon.com for the Valve Index make adding an extra fan to your headset a breeze. It doesn’t require charging, and is extremely easy to install. It’s also made of durable materials that match those of the Valve Index.

If you’re using other VR systems, there’s likely fan accessories made specially for your system.

The method for installing a VR radiator fan may vary based on which brand you buy. With the KIWI USB fan accessory linked above, however, it’s simple. Just plug the cord into your headset’s USB port and snap the fan box into its place on the front of your headset.

Installing a radiator fan may cause your eyes to become dry. If you experience this, I suggest you either use eye drops, or purchase a neck fan instead. Having something around your neck may be uncomfortable, but it’ll draw moisture away from below, saving your eyes.

This DGLK Portable Neck Fan on Amazon.com has a quiet, “leafless” fan design, and the side that touches your skin is safe food-grade silicone. It is relatively inexpensive, so it’s an affordable option if you have dry eyes.

Conclusion

VR systems are an avid gamer’s dream, but unfortunately, it’s quite common for their headsets to fog up.

This happens because your VR headset is a perfect environment for trapping moisture from your breath and sweat, which then condenses, fogging up on its lenses and impeding your vision. There are many things you can do to prevent this from happening, so try all the steps above for a simple fix.

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