How to De-Fog Your Swimming Goggles

A few simple tricks can have you swimming fog-free

Young swimmer getting in the pool
Fran Polito / Getty Images

Swimming goggles protect your eyes from damage and help you see where you are going. But what if your swimming goggles fog up? You could buy antifog swimming goggles that have a coating or are treated with antifog chemicals, but those can be expensive, and the antifog treatment might not last as long as the goggles. A few simple tips and tricks can make your goggles clear and antifog. Some of these ideas will set you back a few dollars, while others cost little or nothing.

Why Goggles Fog Up

Before making your goggles antifog, it's helpful to know what causes them to fog up in the first place. "Swimming goggles fog up because of condensation forming on the inside of the lenses," says Prescription Swimming Goggles. "This is either perspiration or water vapor from your skin. Therefore, it is likely to be worse if you are exerting yourself."

However, even antifog goggles can still fog up because:

  • The antifog treatments become less effective over time.
  • The antifog treatment has come off.
  • A lot of moisture is being produced -- too much for the antifog coating to handle.

So, the more you swim, the more your goggles will fog up, regardless of whether they have an antifog coating.

Commercial Products

There are many commercial antifog sprays, liquids and towelettes available to keep your goggles clear. If you go this route, read the fine print; avoid using antifog treatments that are not made specifically for swimming goggles. Some antifog chemicals, such as those made for clearing up a SCUBA mask, may not work properly. Sure, your goggles won't get foggy, but the chemicals may damage your eyes. This is because antifog products made for clearing SCUBA masks are designed specifically for use with such masks -- not for goggles that you're likely to wear in a swimming pool.

Don't take the risk. If you buy a commercial antifog product, ensure that it is designed for clearing up swimming goggles specifically. Alternatively, it's much better to use simpler methods that minimize the use of chemicals.

DIY Goggle Defogging

Try some of these ideas to make your swimming goggles antifog, all using "natural" moisture or simple products you probably have at home:

  • Saliva - Lick or spit in your goggles, rub it around and rinse.
  • Baby shampoo - Put just a drop of baby shampoo on your goggles, wipe it around and rinse or buff the goggles with a towel.
  • Shaving cream - Use a drop of shaving cream, wipe it around and rinse or buff with a towel.
  • Toothpaste - Use a tiny dab of nonabrasive toothpaste, wipe it around and buff with a towel.

Note that for any of these methods, a little goes a long way. Use only a drop or a dab -- that's all you need. If you apply too much, you'll end up with a greasy mess that will make your goggles less clear.