Swim goggles that are scratched, foggy, and broken are useless to swimmers. Keep your goggles happy and you’ll be a better, happier swimmer. Read on and learn how to extend the life of your goggles and keep them working properly.
The Golden Rule Of Swim Goggle Care
Don’t Touch Your Goggle Lenses With Anything
Don’t touch goggle lenses, especially on the inside. Doing so degrades goggle visibility:
- Dirt: Dirt and oil from fingers reduces vision clarity.
- Scratches: Contact from fingers, fingernails, rough cloths, or (gasp) tools damages lenses, causing swimmer eyes to refocus on scratches instead of the lap lane or competition.
- Anti-Fog Abuse: Wiping the inside of a lens with anything can damage the anti-fog coating and scratch the lens, resulting in a blurry, foggy view. (If foggy goggles are a consistent problem, check out this anti-fog goggle spray.)
Remember, poor visibility causes eyestrain, irritation, and fatigue. Don’t touch!
How To Store Swim Goggles
- Gently rinse with fresh cold, fresh water before storing.
- Store your goggles in the original case or a sunglasses pouch to protect goggle lenses from scratches.
- When you return from the pool, allow goggles to completely air dry.
- Don’t expose your goggles to extreme heat- extreme heat can melt or warp goggle gaskets.
- Don’t expose swim goggles to direct sunlight- doing so can age rubber straps and cause them to snap prematurely.
- Don’t store wet goggles. Instead, allow goggles to air dry prior to storage.
- Extra Bonus Tip: Open water swimmers – no matter how careful you are, sand find its way into swim bags. Even after carefully rinsing sand away from your goggles, never toss loose goggles into your swim bag. Loose goggles will invariably find the sand in your gear bag and scratch your lenses. How do you avoid this? Take the time after your training to put your swim goggles back in their protecting case or bag.
How to Clean Swim Goggles
The less you handle your swimming goggles, the better. However, lenses, gaskets, and straps should be kept clean. Follow these steps to safely clean your swim goggles.
- Rinse: Gently rinse goggle straps, lenses, and eye gaskets in cold, fresh water. This eliminates pool chemicals (like chlorine) that will age goggle gaskets and straps. Give ’em a shake to remove excess water.
- Bonus Tip: Rinsing also prevents dirt and deposits (pool water residuals, dirt, salt) from crusting up on your goggles.
- Extra Bonus Tip: Triathletes and swimmers training in open water should take special care to keep swim goggles away from sand. Rinse away sand – do not try to remove it with your fingers (otherwise you’ll scratch the lenses – see the Golden Rule above).
- Strap Cleaning:
- Dip your fingers into soapy water and massage straps.
- Take special care to keep the soapy rinse water away from swim goggle lenses and goggle gaskets.
- Bonus Tip: If goggle design allows, disconnect the goggle strap for cleaning.
- Rinse Again: Rinse away the soapy water solution, taking special care to keep the rinse away from swim goggle lenses and gaskets.
- Air Dry: Allow goggles to air dry completely, away from direct sunlight.
Removing Dirt, Scale, and Other Deposits with Vinegar
If you’re goggles are really dirty and nearly beyond hope of benefiting from basic rinsing, consider this immersion cleaning technique.
- Find a small bowl that is large enough to contain and submerge your swim goggles.
- Fill the bowl with hop tap water and stir in 5 tablespoons of white vinegar.
- Add your swim goggles or swim mask to the bowl, making sure lenses and seals are completely submerged.
- Soak goggles for 2 hours, remove from your vinegar solution, and immediately rinse in cold, fresh water.
- Gently shake excess water from goggles and allow them to air dry completely before storing.
What To Do When Anti-Fog Coating Wears Off
- Anti-fog spray: Applying anti-fog goggle spray will review fog resistant properties of your swim goggles.
- Sloshing technique: Some swimmers will keep a few drops of water in their goggles, allow prevent fog from forming with a thin layer of water, that constantly sloshes around your goggles lenses as you swim. Although this technique is convenient, the distraction can take away from your workout.
Did you get all that?
If you’re careful with your goggles, you may never use many of these recommendations. Remember, minimal handling, rinsing, and proper storage practices will easily double the life of your swim goggles.
I’d love to hear what other swimmers are doing to extend or restore the life of their goggles – please let us know.
See you in the lap lanes!