If you love to swim, then you will agree that one of the most important pieces of gear to have with you is your swimming goggles. Perhaps you’ll need good swimming gloves and maybe some swim paddles but that’s for another time. The goggles are essential and will help your eyes focus better by keeping them out of contact with the water.
We are after all not designed to be marine mammals. One of the worst things that can happen with your goggles is fogging. While some special brands come treated with anti-fog materials and chemicals, these can be quite expensive.
After you understand when is the best time to go swimming, the swimming goggles anti-fog tips below will ensure that your goggles remain clear for the duration of time that you will be swimming. And the great thing is that it will cost you just a few hundred dollars to nothing.
Why do goggles fog up?
It’s important to first understand the problem before you can treat the problem. Swimming goggles fog up because of water vapor or condensation from your skin. This also means that the more you exert yourself or the more you spend time swimming the more the goggles will fog up.
The same is true when swimming in warm temperatures. Even while you may have anti-fog goggles, the material and chemicals may lose their strength eventually.
Now, let’s find out how to keep goggles from fogging up, shall we?
Defogging using commercial products
On our list of swimming goggles, anti-fog tips are using liquids, chemicals, and sprays which you can buy to clean the goggles. It’s important, however, to ensure that you read the fine print so you buy products that are specifically designed for swimming goggles.
There are many commercial anti-fog products available. Some companies even claim to provide all-rounded anti-fog sprays for swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers, and snowboarders. Most will require you to apply them on the swimming goggles and let the product stay for a few minutes before wiping it and rinsing the goggles.
These commercial sprays can irritate the eyes and they need to be completely wiped off the interior surface of the goggles.
Certain chemicals will not be effective at cleaning swimming googles such as those that are designed for cleaning snorkeling masks or scuba masks and even if they were, they might have a negative reaction to your eyes.
Never take the risk as the eyes are a very sensitive part of your body. Always make sure that you buy products that are designed to specifically clean swimming goggles. The alternative options that are also the safest are those that require you to clean the goggles yourself.
Defogging using DIY methods
You can clean your swimming goggles with natural methods. These won’t even cost you a dime yet they are highly effective.
Saliva is a great cleaning agent. While it may not be the coolest way on how to keep goggles from fogging up, it is very effective. Simply spit on your goggles, wipe it off with a cloth and rinse. This method is also highly effective when cleaning snorkeling masks.
Your spit provides an excellent short-term solution by creating another layer of water on top of the lens. This layer prevents condensation leaving your goggles clear for longer when swimming.
Toothpaste is a great cleaner as well. Simply apply a tiny bit of toothpaste on the insides of the swimming goggles and then use a swim towel to buff it. Not only will the goggles become spotless but will remain fogless for a long time.
Many scuba divers love to use toothpaste to prevent fogging. This is among the most effective swimming goggles anti-fog tips there is and considering that they dive deeper where the water temperature drops even further is a testament of how effective the method is. Swimmers can certainly borrow the idea from them.
3. Baby shampoo
Baby shampoo can also be relied on to prevent goggles from fogging up and should be part of what to pack for an open water swim. Just put a drop of it on the surface and then rub it off with a clean dry towel.
Like the anti-fog spray, it’s important to let the baby shampoo lie on the surface of the goggles for a while. This allows a thin transparent film to form. Then wipe it off and rinse. This film prevents condensation from taking place leaving the goggles clear for you to swim. Swimmers shampoo could also work.
Always ensure that when cleaning the swimming goggles, use a small bit of paste or saliva. This will prevent you from making a greasy mess that will impair your visibility.
4. Naked Flame
This is among the less popular methods but still offers a great way to defog your swimming masks. It is also a trick used by scuba divers. Before we get into the process of using a flame to defog your swimming goggles, note that it is a risky method and the chance of burning your $30 triathlon goggles for swimming is all too real.
However, it works when done correctly. Take a cigarette lighter and hold it a distance away from the goggles. Then you move the flame in a circular motion until the leans become clear.
The idea behind using a flame is that swimming masks and scuba diving masks feature a thin layer on the interior part of the lens that comes as part of the manufacturing process. This thin transparent layer is more susceptible to fogging than the glass itself so the trick is to burn it off.
5. Using a potato
This is yet another DIY method that is not a very popular way on how to keep goggles from fogging up. It is borrowed from the scuba diving arsenal of tricks. Take a potato and cut it in half then rub the juices on the interior of the swimming goggles.
The juices are known to dispense water molecules so instead of the droplets causing fog, they will flow and trickle down your goggles. However, it’s important to note that this method is highly effective on glass and may not have the same level of effectiveness on plastic goggles.
That said, it is worth the try.
6. Water splashing
This is perhaps the simplest method to slowing down the rate of fogging. Fogging occurs due to the warm temperatures inside your face and the cold-water temperatures when you are swimming. It would help to have a good pair of earplugs for swimming.
By splashing water on your face and then wearing the swimming goggles, You will bring down the temperature which means it will take longer for the goggles to fog up.
Note that this method will not eliminate the occurrence of fog. For the best results, it is good to combine it with other methods such as using toothpaste.
7. Don’t touch
When swimming goggles come out of the factory, they are usually coated with an anti-fog film. The rule of thumb is to keep your fingers away from the screen. The oils will cause the anti-fog film to deteriorate exposing the bare lens.
However, it’s going to be hard to do and while you can try and avoid touching the lenses as much as possible, eventually you will have to use any of the methods above. If you are planning on going swimming with kids then make sure to read the kids swimming pool safety guide.
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There are plenty of methods that have been developed by swimmers and scuba divers to keep the goggles dry. The one you choose will depend on its effectiveness as well as your personal preference.