Hopefully, you put some thought into choosing the right pair of swim goggles, and you have a comfortable pair that stays put, keeps the water out, and doesn’t obstruct your peripheral view. And it probably came with a silicone anti-fog coating applied by the manufacturer, as most pairs do these days.
Ant-fog coatings work pretty well, but not for long, unfortunately. The coating wears off relatively quickly; exactly how long that takes depends on the thickness of the application, the frequency of use, and how you handle the goggles. In many cases, you start noticing decreased efficacy within a few weeks of use.
From there, unless you want to buy a new pair on a monthly basis, it’s up to you to prevent your goggles from fogging up on you while you’re in the pool or open water.
Why Do Swim Goggles Fog Up?
It’s definitely inconvenient when you suddenly lose visibility during a swim—maybe even a race—because your goggle lenses get foggy. After all, it’s nice to see where you’re going.
Goggles steam up due to locked-in vapor created by evaporating moisture on your skin and eyes, including water and sweat. Also, condensation can result from the temperature difference between your warm skin inside the lenses and cooler water outside. This can be exacerbated as you swim longer and swim harder, raising your body temperature and perspiration rate.
Tips to Prevent Your Goggles from Fogging Up
Taking good care of your swim goggles helps maximize the life of the anti-fog coating that’s on the lenses at the time of purchase. In particular, avoid rubbing the lenses with your fingers or a towel; only clean them gently when necessary with a microfiber cloth or one made for cleaning camera lenses. Give them a quick rinse with cold water after each use. And rather than leaving them laying around exposed or tossing them in your swim bag, store them in a protective case whenever they’re not in use.
To help prevent the lenses from steaming up when you don the goggles, make sure they’re dry when you put them on. Also, rub some water on your face to reduce the temperature difference between the surface of your skin and the water, thereby reducing condensation that fogs the lenses.
But the best thing to do to prevent your goggles from fogging up is to buy one of the anti-fog sprays available from goggle manufacturers. Just spray the produce onto the inside of the lenses, following all the package directions. Generally, you rinse the goggles before use. There are also some anti-fog wipes available in addition to sprays.
If the manufacturer’s anti-fog coating is worn away, and you don’t have an anti-fog application, and you’re about to hit the water, there are a few home remedy-type things you can try to prevent your goggles from fogging up.
Believe it or not, spreading a little saliva or a tiny bit of non-abrasive toothpaste on the inside of the lenses can help keep them from getting steamed up. Spread them gently with a cotton-tipped swab. Or, right before you’re going swimming, coat the inside of the lenses with a thin layer of baby shampoo, let it air dry for about 15 minutes, then rinse away the residue before putting on the goggles.