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by Linda Foley

December 12, 2019

Goggle fog can be a problem, but there are a few options to get rid of it

There’s nothing quite like getting into a pool or the open water with new goggles. A fresh pair of goggles gives you an instantaneous, crystal-clear view. For better or worse, clean goggles allow you to experience swimming with your eyes wide open.

Most manufacturers coat their goggles with a silicone film that prevents steaming or fogging while swimming. But the coating eventually wears off.

“The life of the anti-fog really depends on the amount of use and type of care you give to your goggles,” says Jared Berger, director of marketing for TYR. “To prolong life, rinse the goggles in cold water after each use. Avoid wiping or touching the inside of the lens to protect from damaging the anti-fog coating.”

Some manufacturers also recommend storing goggles in their cases, not your swim bag.

But no matter how carefully you rinse and store them, after a few weeks or so, the coating will wear off, and your goggles will begin to fog. Steamy goggles result from the perspiration and water vapor off your skin and eyes, which collect inside the lenses, and condensation caused by temperature differences between your relatively warm face and the cooler water. What’s more, fogging will get worse when you exert yourself, such as in a race.

You can reduce fogging before you get to the starting block by making sure your goggles are dry when you put them on. Splash a little pool water on your face to cut down on temperature-related condensation. Even so, chances are you’re going to get fogged up before your race is over.

The most effective to keep your goggles relatively fog-free is to invest in some anti-fog spray, available from many goggle manufacturers. Spray the anti-fog product on the inside of your goggles and rinse them before each meet or workout. The spray will temporarily restore the silicone coating and keep fogging at bay.

TRISWIM’s FOGGIES, which are fog-preventing wipes, provide a similar function. Rub the inside of your lenses with the wipe and let dry (do not rinse). FOGGIES wipes are reusable if they’re stored in airtight packs.

There are some less-effective, stop-gap measures that also can help keep your goggles from fogging up:

  • Spit—Spit a little saliva inside the lenses, carefully spread it with your finger, and rinse in the pool or at the tap. (Note: The more you touch the inside of your lenses, the more you’ll wipe away whatever’s left of your anti-fog coating.)
  • Toothpaste—Use a small dab of nonabrasive toothpaste, spread it around the lens with a cotton swab, and buff with a soft cloth to remove excess. Do not rinse.
  • Baby shampoo—Put a small amount inside your lenses, let dry for 10 to 15 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse.

Be careful when rubbing the inside of your goggles. Any anti-fog silicone applied by the manufacturer can be rubbed off pretty easily. Never use micro-fiber or other abrasive cloths to clean your goggles. A lens-cleaning cloth for camera or optical devices is a better alternative.


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