Swimmers, tired of cloudy, steamy goggles? You’re in luck! Read on for advice on preventing swim goggles from fogging up- and learn to make your own swim goggle anti-fog.
What Causes Swim Goggle Fogging?
To understand how to prevent foggy goggles, it’s important to understand the science behind the annoying goggle clouding that prevents you from making the most of your time in the pool.
What is it? Fog – Steam – Clouds?
The annoying fog that forms on your goggle lenses during your swim workout or race is actually condensation, tiny water droplets formed when water vapor changes from a gas into a liquid.
What Causes Condensation?
Condensation is a phase transition of matter that occurs when water vapor contained in hot, humid air comes in contact with a cold surface. The air temperature inside your swim goggles increases due to body heat; body temperature continues to climb due increased athletic exertion. Perspiration forms around your eyes, further raising goggle humidity. Colder water outside your swim goggles causes goggles lenses to cool. As water vapor comes in contact with your cooler swim goggle lenses, it reaches its saturation point, causing water droplets to form during a process known as deposition.
Swift Swimmer Fact: Goggle condensation forms when water vapor meets a cool surface.
How To Keep Swim Goggles From Fogging Up
Here are some essential tips for preventing foggy swim goggles.
- Buy Anti-Fog Goggles: High-quality swim goggles lenses are pre-treated with anti-fog coating. Read product descriptions to make sure!
- Don’t Touch Goggle Lenses: Your big fingers should be used to pull you through the water. Keep them away from the inside of your goggle lenses or you’ll erode and smudge the anti-fog coating, causing it to lose effectiveness prematurely.
- Use Anti-fog Spray: If your goggles are fogging, apply anti-fog spray to restore an anti-fog coating on your lenses.
- Slacker Anti-Fog:
- Spit: Don’t underestimate yourself. Spitting in your lenses, followed by a quick shake, will temporarily abate fogging. However, repeatedly stopping your swim to fill your goggles with spit gets old- and attracts odd glances.
- Sloshing: Keep a little bit of water in each lens, allowing it to slosh across your goggle lenses as you swim. This is annoying, but will suffice in a pinch.
Tip: Don’t wear your swim goggles on your forehead. Your hot forehead (yes, you’re hot) and a lack of airflow can also cause condensation before you dive in. Pro Tip: Instead, push your goggle straps into the leg of your suit, swim cap, or neck of your wetsuit.
Swim Goggle Anti-Fog
How Does Goggle Anti-Fog Work?
Swim goggle anti-fog is a surfactant that lowers water droplet surface tension, causing it to spread easily in a process known as “wetting”. Wetting prevents water from scattering into droplets. Voila- no fog.
How To Apply Goggle Anti-Fog
Don’t be a pool fool! Keeping anti-fog solution in your swim bag and taking :20 to treat your goggles is well worth your time, helping you see the clock, other swimmers, and the pool. Here are two techniques for applying anti-fog:
- Quick Start:
- Squirt or spray anti-fog, coating the entire inside lens.
- Rinse your goggles (a fast dip in the pool if you’re at swim practice) and give them a shake.
- Get on with your swim.
- Carefully squirt or spray anti-fog, coating the entire inside lens.
- Give your goggles a quick rinse.
- Position goggles with the insides of the lenses pointing upward and allow them to air dry.
- Again- keep your paws off the insides of the lens!
There are plenty of DIY (Do It Yourself) swim goggle anti-fog treatments that swimmers can brew at home. Here are two to try- at your own risk!
Baby Shampoo Anti-Fog:
The easiest DIY solution is baby shampoo. Like most shampoos, it is a surfactant and will prevent fogging. Apply baby shampoo to the inside of goggle lenses by using a cloth to wipe and spread the shampoo. However, caution must be used:
- Scratch alert! Take care when wiping baby shampoo onto goggle lenses! Lenses scratch easily; be sure to remove any dirt or debris from the lens surface prior to wiping- and use a soft, clean cloth.
- Pain Alert! Leaky goggles will cause shampooed water to enter your eyes- this hurts enough to stop your swim mid-stroke.
Stacey Kiefer’s Anti-Fog Recipe
Stacey Kiefer’s anti-fog recipe leverages the strengths of store bought and DIY anti-fog solutions by combining off-the-shelf anti-fog with dishwashing soap. Stacey maintains that this combination creates a more resilient anti-fog coating with greater longevity. Ingredients:
- Anti-fog solution
- Eco-friendly liquid dishwashing soap
- Mix Kiefer or Speedo anti-fog with liquid dishwashing soap inside a spray bottle in a 4:1 ratio.
- Spray a uniform coating of anti-fog over entire interior of both goggle lenses.
- Give your goggles a quick rinse.
- Shake remaining water from lenses.
- Pain Warning! You’re ready to swim, but make sure your goggles don’t leak- or you’ll get soapy water in your eyes!
Did that clear things up?
We’d love to hear from you. Please share your fogging prevention techniques- or greatest challenges to swimming. We’d love to help. Until then, check out our posts on swim goggle care and lap swimming etiquette. See you at the pool, Robin Spencer Kiefer