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A welding helmet is a part of your defensive arsenal whenever you walk into a fabrication shop. It’s impossible to start welding without anything covering your face and shielding you from harmful radiation as well as sparks. However, wearing a helmet can be cumbersome for a number of reasons. One drawback of a helmet is its susceptibility to condensation. It’s hard enough to see your workpiece when you’re seeing through a dark lens. It gets worse when your lens gets fogged up.
Is a fogged up helmet hazardous?
Many welders don’t think fogged up helmets are not an issue, so they go on working and practically ignoring the dangers. Mist on your welding lens impairs vision, and your vision is the most important thing when you’re striking an arc and laying your weld pool along the joint. When you can’t see your workpiece clearly, there’s a good chance you’re jeopardizing your weld. More seriously, when you can’t see what you’re doing clearly, you’re prone to making mistakes or making accidents. So you’re not only risking the quality of your work. You’re also risking your safety.
What causes condensation on your welding helmet?
Condensation happens when warm moist air cools and forms tiny water droplets. If you leave a glass of ice cold water on the table on a warm summer day, you’ll notice drops of water on the exterior surface of the glass. That’s because some of the water vapor in the air comes in contact with the cold surface. The same thing happens on your foggy welding lens. Certain conditions result in a foggy helmet.
People who wear eyeglasses know the struggle of keeping their spectacles on icy winter days. The cold eyeglasses catch the moisture from your breath and become foggy. The same thing happens to your welding helmet when you’re working in a cold environment or in cold weather. Even rainy weather can cause your helmet to go foggy.
On a summer day, you may find your helmet getting foggy, and that’s most likely because of breathing too much from your mouth. You probably don’t know how much moisture your breath contains. The moisture content in your breath is enough to make your helmet cloudy. You can reduce this effect by controlling your breath or breathing through your nose. On the other hand, breathing through the mouth is a sign that you’re having difficulty breathing with your helmet on. In this case, it’s wise to use a respirator.
Some of the things that cause your welding helmet to get misty are beyond your control. Sometimes you just have no choice but to weld in cold and damp environments. There are things you can do to minimize fogging.
Introduce heat or warm air
If it’s a sunny winter day, you can face the sun so that at least it can heat up your helmet and reduce the fogginess. Another way to warm up your helmet is blow hot air to the lens. Since you can’t aim a blower or a hair dryer on your helmet while you’re working, someone else may have to do that for you.
Adjust your helmet
Moisture from your sweat and breath fog up your welding lens if it’s too close to your skin. So one thing you can do is adjust your helmet to create more space between it and your face. This allows more air to circulate and reduce the humidity underneath your helmet.
Control your breathing
Breathing slower can reduce the misting on your welding lens. Moreover, breathing through the nose, not through the mouth, can also reduce the amount of moisture in your breath.
Use a mask
A cheap way to control the amount of moisture under your welding helmet is to wear a mask. You don’t have to go overboard and buy expensive masks. You can use those cheap and disposable medical masks you can buy at a local pharmacy.
Use anti-fog substances
Some substances can be used on your lens to keep condensation at bay. These can be inexpensive household items like shampoos or even shaving creams. You can use them when cleaning your lens. You can also use commercial anti-fog solutions on the market (1).
Invest in anti-fog welding helmets
Yes, these types of helmets exist. They come with anti-fog films that prevent condensation from forming. Make sure you buy from reputable stores and read reviews to know whether the anti-fog film lasts for a long time. We have done the research for and found the Best Welding Helmets Under $100.
Wear a respirator, maybe?
If all else fails and the fogginess is becoming a serious detriment to your ability to weld efficiently, then consider wearing a welding respirator to allow you to breathe underneath your helmet without fogging up your field of view.
Condensation on the welding helmet is not an uncommon concern among welders. It’s mostly expected on cold days. Luckily, there are simple solutions to this problem, so there’s no need to worry too much. From using a can of warm air or using a blower to applying shampoo or shaving creams, solutions don’t necessarily have to break the bank. Then again, investing in anti-fog solutions or anti-fog welding helmets is not a bad decision either.