Foolproof Fixes for Foggy Swim Goggles
We’ve all been there before – barely half way through our laps and already our swim goggles are too foggy to see the black line right in front of us. Below is a list of six tips for keeping those goggle lenses clear. Before we dive into ways to avoid foggy goggles, it helps to understand why goggles fog up.
What Causes Foggy Goggles?
Foggy goggles are a product of heat mixing with cold. During your workout, your body heat increases but the water temperature stays cool. This temperature change causes condensation to form on the inside of your goggles. Unfortunately, that means as the swim session gets tougher, the potential for foggy goggles increases. Keep reading to learn how to avoid foggy swim goggles.
Six Simple Solutions for Foggy Goggles
1. The tried-and-true spit on the go
Do you need a quick fix mid-set? A little spit or pool water in the goggle sockets works wonders within seconds. Because of the science mentioned above, the warmer the water, the more effective it will be. Body-temperature spit is an accessible solution. If you are open-water swimming in the ocean, we don’t recommend using salt water for this method; salt is abrasive and can damage the lenses.
2. Cool yourself down
By lowering your body temperature slightly, the condensation and fog will dissipate. Splash some cold water from the pool or a water bottle on your face. Not only is it helpful, it also feels great!
Anti-fog spray is the perfect size to stash in your swim bag, quick and easy, and proven effective. Simply spray the inside of your lenses and rinse. Do NOT wipe clean with a towel, as towels can be abrasive (see #6 for why abrasive fabrics are unhelpful).
4. DIY defoggers
Liquid soap, shampoo, toothpaste, or shaving cream can all help keep condensation from forming. Lightly rub a drop onto the inside lenses and then rinse. You want a very thin layer of the DIY material to stay on the goggles, but not enough to potentially hurt your eyes. Scent-free soaps and creams are best in this situation.
5. Invest in a good pair of goggles
Most competition goggles these days have an anti-fog protection layer, but double-check before you buy! As goggles age, they will lose that layer over time, so sometimes it’s best to buy a new pair if they suddenly start to fog up.
6. Long-term care
Just like any other swim gear, goggles need to be properly cared for in between swim sessions. Keeping the anti-fog protection layer intact is key. Rinse them after use and let them air dry completely to avoid mildew or mold before storing them somewhere scratch-proof. An old glasses case would do the trick. Some goggles come equipped with the necessary tools for long-term care, such as a cleaning cloth and protective case.
Frequently asked questions
Depending on how frequently you wear your goggles and how well you take care of them, the anti-fog protection layer on a quality pair of goggles generally lasts between three months and one year.
As stated above, shampoo is a DIY defogger and can work to keep goggles from fogging up. Baby shampoo in particular is a great choice for a DIY defogger because it tends to be unscented or minimally scented and tear-free.
Some of the above tips aren’t practical while snorkeling or scuba diving. To read more about defogging scuba masks, read this article.