How to defog swim goggles your guide to a clearer swim.

Welcome, swimmers! There’s nothing more annoying than diving into the pool and realizing you’ve got foggy swim goggles. It’s like driving in a rainstorm without windshield wipers—disorienting and potentially dangerous. This article serves as your comprehensive guide for how to defog swim goggles and keep them crystal clear for a more enjoyable and safer swim session.

Why Do Swim Goggles Fog Up?

The Science Behind Goggle Fogging

Let’s get to the root of the problem. Why do swim goggles fog up in the first place? It’s all about condensation. When you’re in the water, your body temperature is higher than the water temperature. This temperature difference causes the moisture in the air to condense on the cooler surface of your goggle lenses, creating that annoying fog.

Body TemperatureHigher than water temperature, causing condensation
Water TemperatureCooler than body temperature
Air MoistureHumidity in the air can add to the condensation
Factors Leading to Goggle Fogging

The Importance of Understanding the Cause

Knowing why your goggles fog up is crucial for two reasons:

  1. Targeted Solutions: Understanding the cause helps you choose the most effective defogging method.
  2. Prevention: It allows you to take proactive steps to minimize fogging in the first place.

By grasping the science behind goggle fogging, you’re already halfway to solving the problem. The next sections will dive into short-term and long-term solutions to keep your swim goggles from fogging.

Real-World Testing: Anti-Fog Goggles in Action

A swimmer is swimming in a pool.

So, we’ve talked about the science, but what about the real-world effectiveness of anti-fog goggles? In the swimming world, many swimmers swear by anti-fog goggles for both competitive and recreational swimming. Whether you’re doing laps in the pool or taking on the open sea, a quality pair of anti-fog goggles can make all the difference.

Competitive Swimming

For those who swim competitively, foggy goggles can be a real hindrance. Imagine you’re in the middle of a race, and your vision gets clouded. Not ideal, right? That’s why many top swimmers opt for high-quality anti-fog goggles. If you’re a competitive swimmer, choosing the right goggles is crucial. Check out our guide on the best swim goggles for competition to make sure you’re race-ready.

Recreational Swimming

Even if you’re just swimming for fun or fitness, foggy goggles can still ruin your experience. Anti-fog goggles are not just for the pros; they’re for anyone who wants a clear, uninterrupted view underwater.

Open-Water Swimming

In open-water scenarios, where temperature variations can be extreme, anti-fog goggles are especially useful. They help maintain clear vision, allowing you to navigate more easily and enjoy the natural surroundings.

How to defog swim goggles: Short-Term Solutions

1. Using Saliva

How It Works: Believe it or not, your own saliva can act as a quick anti-fog solution. Saliva contains surfactants that break the surface tension, preventing fog molecules from sticking together on your goggle lenses.

How to Apply It:

  1. Spit on the inside of your goggle lenses.
  2. Rub it around to coat the entire lens.
  3. Rinse briefly in pool water.

2. Baby Shampoo

Why It’s Effective: Baby shampoo acts similarly to saliva but tends to last a bit longer. It’s also a surfactant, which means it breaks down the surface tension that allows fog to form.

How to Use It:

  1. Apply a small drop of baby shampoo to the inside of the lenses.
  2. Spread it around to form a thin layer.
  3. Rinse off excess shampoo before swimming.

How to defog swim goggles: Long-Term Solutions

3. Anti-Fog Spray

How it Works: Anti-fog sprays contain special surfactants that create a thin film of protection on the inside of your goggle lenses. This film acts as a barrier, disrupting the surface tension of water molecules, preventing them from clustering together and forming fog. It’s like having an extra layer of anti-fog coating that you can reapply as needed.

Top Pick

Jaw’s Quick Spit

This is my favorite anti-fog spray for keeping swim goggles, glasses, or even scuba masks fog-free. The Jaws Quick Spit Anti-Fog Spray does the job. It’s affordable at $8.95, offers over 200 pumps per bottle, and works on both glass and plastic surfaces.

A Couple Other Options:

Application Method:

  1. Spray a small amount on the inside of the lenses.
  2. Rub it in gently.
  3. Rinse off any excess spray.

4. Toothpaste

How It Works: Toothpaste can create a thin film on the lens, acting as a barrier to condensation. It’s a trick often used by scuba divers!

How to Apply It:

  1. Dab a small amount of non-abrasive toothpaste on the inside of the lens.
  2. Rub it around gently.
  3. Rinse thoroughly.
SalivaCost-free, QuickShort-term, Frequent application needed
Baby ShampooLonger-lasting, Easily availableMay irritate eyes, Costs a bit
Anti-Fog SprayVery effective, Long-lastingCosts more, May require reapplication
ToothpasteEffective, CheapMay scratch lenses, Requires thorough rinsing
Pros and Cons of Different Defogging Methods

What Not to Do

Common Mistakes that Exacerbate Goggle Fogging

  1. Touching the Inside of the Lenses: The oils from your fingers can remove the anti-fog coating.
  2. Using Abrasive Materials for Cleaning: This can scratch and remove the anti-fog layer.
  3. Storing Goggles Wet: Moisture can degrade the anti-fog coating over time.

Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Anti-Fog Swim Goggles

The Lifespan of Anti-Fog Coatings

While effective, the anti-fog coating isn’t eternal. Even if you’ve purchased anti-fog goggles, over time, exposure to chlorine, saltwater, and even UV rays can degrade the coating. Proper care is essential to prolong the anti-fog feature.

Proper goggle care can extend the life of your anti-fog coating. Learn all the dos and don’ts in our comprehensive guide on goggle care.

Proper Storage and Cleaning to Prolong the Anti-Fog Coating

  1. Rinse with Cold Water: After swimming, rinse your goggles with cold water and let them air dry.
  2. Use a Goggle Case: Store your goggles in a protective case to prevent scratches.
  3. Avoid Direct Sunlight: UV rays can degrade the anti fog coating.
Do ThisWhy It’s Good
Rinse with cold waterPreserves anti-fog coating
Use a goggle casePrevents scratches
Store in shadeProtects anti-fog coating
Maintenance Tips

Wearing your goggles correctly is half the battle in preventing fog. Discover the right way to wear your swim goggles.


From understanding the science behind foggy goggles to exploring both short-term and long-term solutions, we’ve covered it all. Whether you opt for the simplicity of saliva or invest in specialized anti-fog sprays, the key is to find what works best for you. Swimming is an exhilarating experience, and nothing should cloud that—literally. So, take these tips to heart, and may your next swim session be as clear as the water you’re diving into.

Dive in, swim hard, and keep that vision crystal clear. 🏊‍♀️👓

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