Swim Goggle Care

Home / Gear Advice, Swim Goggles / Swim Goggle Care

Swim Goggle Care

Swim Goggle Care

How to Choose The Right Swim GogglesSwim 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!

About Kiefer Swim Products

Performance Gear For Swimmers. Today Kiefer is a multifaceted company but still purely focused on serving the aquatic industry. We have expertise in engineering world class products like our custom starting blocks and racing lanes for all levels of aquatic facilities. We serve the lifeguard and aquatic safety and rescue industry with a full line of products that absolutely perform when you most need them to, and we serve the competitive swim business with the products needed to swim at the highest level.

  • mary says:

    hi can i use protein powder to clean my goggles?

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hi Mary! I had to google to make sure I wasn’t missing some new life hack thing, can’t say I’ve ever heard of anyone cleaning with protein powder. I’d not recommend this, wouldn’t want the residue to get into your eyes, that could be an infection waiting to happen.

  • After only a couple of swims my new Kiefer optical goggles have a slimy film inside the lenses. This happens with every new pair. Why is that? I don’t want to touch or wipe it for fear of scratching, but it is bothersome.

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hello Kitti! That film is the anti fog coating, just rinse and leave it be. I’ve quite the habit of wiping with my fingers, so it is usually gone after the first time I swim. This is pretty typical with most brands/goggles.

  • Kristi says:

    Can swimming goggles that are scratched damage your eyesight when used ?

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hi Kristi! I can’t give you an official answer as I am not an optometrist. Personally I’ve never had an old pair of goggles mess with my eyes. Some of my goggles are scratched, some are relentlessly foggy and others are smeared with mascara I’ve forgotten to take off. If you are concerned, you can always snag a new pair.

  • Thomas J Simmons says:

    I clean my goggles every time I swim. I use my swim cap and put soap on it and rub my goggles. I rinse and let dry. I have completely clean goggles without fogging and they have been that way for several years.

  • Dai says:

    I have Fast Skin 3 Elite googles and the inside lens of the goggles seem to be scuffed and slightly cracked making hard to see. Is there anyway i can fix this ?

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hi Dai, unfortunately once goggles are scuffed/cracked there isn’t much you can do to ‘buff’ out imperfections. You could try using an anti-fog product to fill in the imperfections but it would only be a temporary fix.

  • Jenny says:

    Hi there!
    I found this really useful, but want to know should you rinse new goggles slightly or not at all with cold water after training?

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hi Jenny, personally I don’t worry about it. Once I’m done swimming I rinse them in the pool water and toss them in my bag. I have no evidence or proof that doing so with tap water makes any difference at all. Though I imagine it wouldn’t hurt.

  • Alanma says:

    Is there a solution to get rid or minimize the scratches on my goggles

    • Emily Milak says:

      Alanma, not that I am aware of. If you find they are getting scratched, perhaps put them inside another smaller bag so they aren’t bouncing around with the rest of your equipment.

  • stephen chu says:

    do not use the hot water vinegar solution – I tried it and my prescription goggles are now un-useable it became almost completely fogged like grey film came over the inside of lenses after trying that, fortunately I had a new spare prescription ready in the event this one year old one was beyond saving

    • Emily Milak says:

      I haven’t heard of using hot water with vinegar before, but I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you! I generally stick to rinsing in tap water, or being a bum and just tossing them back in my gear bag.

  • hi there- i lost my goggles and was given another used pair of unknown origin. is there any way to disinfect/sterilize them?

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hello! Personally I’m comfortable with a good shake in the chlorinated water, but vinegar is another good option. Just know that any kind of cleaner will definitely reduce the life of the anti fog coating on the inside lens.

  • John Bergey Hesston Ks. says:

    I dip mine in the near by hot tub, very quick, dry them carefully with my hand towel and put them on and after swimming I rinse them in cold water from the facuet , dry carefully and keep them in a vinal container. I have had them for at least over 500 hours of swimming and they are still going “strong”. I have been swimming since 1930 and “seriously” since age 50, averaging almost 300 miles a year. I am now 91. I was a Life guard for some years. John Bergey

  • Foxie Proctor says:

    I’ve never really been instructed on how to ‘put on’ swim goggles…ie., do you just put them on & get in the water (mine fog up if I do that) or do you rinse them in the pool, then put them on (mine fog less that way, but sometimes still fog up), but still don’t know. I usually end up getting in pool, then rinsing goggles and then put them on. What’s right?

  • Earl Godleske says:

    HI. What I do, after letting them dry, I store them in my swimming cap. This seems to protect them and they are right there to use.

  • mrbluebass says:

    For goggles whose anti-fog is no longer working, I put a drop of baby shampoo in each lens and then wipe the lens. If baby shampoo gets in my eyes, it isn’t going to hurt. The bottle of baby shampoo will probably last me many years.

  • Greg Bumb says:

    I use baby shampoo before workout and dry with a towel after then hang on my car mirror. Sunlight does shorten the life of the rubber but it keeps away eye lid fungus.

    • Emily Milak says:

      Eeek! Greg I highly recommend not leaving your goggles in direct sunlight. Are your socket gaskets foam? Most these days are silicone and those are as anti fungal as they get. The sun is going to really chip away at how long those goggles will last you.

  • Emily Milak says:

    Lorraine please get in contact with out customer service department so they can better assist you 800-323-4071.

  • Lorraine says:

    bought Kiefer Precision Optical Goggle Lens online but they came with no back straps or connection strap (between lens) on nose where can I get them.

  • Emily Milak says:

    Eudes I can’t say I’ve ever heard of that suggestion before. Curiosity might get the better of me.

  • eudes navarro says:

    Someone told me to store gogles in a refregirator after washing wih fresh water, is this advisable? Thanks…. Eudes Navarro fr philipines

  • Jilly says:

    I scratched my brand new goggles today (speedo) by (reflex) drying it like how I clean my eye glasses with a cloth. Now, there is a scratch and smudge cloud in it. How can I take that off?

    • Robin Kiefer says:

      Sounds like you smudged the anti-fog coating.
      The good news: if you carefully rub the inside of the lenses with a soft/wet cloth, you can remove the coating and restore clarity to your lenses.
      Bad news: the anti-fog coating is gone, so you’ll have to use spit or anti-fog solution to prevent fogging.
      Check out our Goggle Anti-Fog

  • Bale says:

    Is it safe to soak goggles together with flippers after swimming?

    • Robin Kiefer says:

      Yes, it’s safe. I don’t necessarily recommend soaking new goggles for very long- i like a quick rinse; a long soak will shorten the life of any remaining anti-fog coating. But if you’re trying to revive an old pair of goggles that you can’t bare to part with, soak away.

  • Ralph says:

    My open water swim coach recommended using Baby Shampoo in water to clean the inside of my goggles. They were getting pretty grimy at the time. I used a cotton ball to ‘scrub’ the lens. It cleaned them well and still have good visibility.

    • Robin Kiefer says:

      Thanks for the suggestion – we’ve heard from a lot of swimmers about DIY anti-fog and I’ve got a home brew anti-fog recipe that I’ve used in a pinch with great success. Once the factory anti-fog coating is gone, solutions like these work very well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *