Marketers will always write anti-fog on a box of goggles. But let me tell you from experience, no matter the cost or the ‘technology’ behind it, once they’ve been exposed to several chlorinated swims, they’ll fog. Your vision will suddenly be restricted to 30cm in front of your nose – and staying inside your swim lane (and knowing where the wall is) becomes a risky guessing game. But we are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way…
Why Do My Goggles Fog Up?
Put simply, your rising body heat against the cool plastic and lens of the goggles causes condensation to occur. Therefore they may seem fine after one or two lengths – but as your core temperature goes up, the fog will rise. The air temperature on the inside of the goggle lens is quite different to the temperature on the outside. You often see a similar effect happening on car headlights if they experience water ingress – it’s the same principle. So that’s the science behind it – but how can we prevent it from happening?
How To Stop Your Goggles From Fogging Up
First on this list is anti-fog spray. Remember at the top we talked about ‘anti-fog technology’ being marketing jibber-jabber? Well, that’s not entirely true. You see, anti-fog treatment does work – but it doesn’t last long. So your brand new goggles will seem fog-resistant for maybe a few weeks (if you are lucky), but the treatment soon wears off.
The answer? You can buy anti-fog spray to replenish this feature, therefore regenerating the effectiveness of it. It is well worth having a bottle of this handy whenever you go to the pool and giving each lens a squirt. You likely won’t need to do it for every swim, I tend to go for every fifth swim, and the bottle lasts much longer that way too.
Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Toothpaste or even Spit (yes spit)
If you ever watch the Olympic swimmers, you will have noticed that they often spit into their lenses before a race. A bizarre, even grim, habit with very good reasoning. You see, your saliva coats the lens with a thin layer of moisture. This deters condensation and guarantees nothing will cause eye sensitivity in the process. It’s an easy and effective short-term fix you can use frequently.
However, if you don’t like the notion of spitting into your goggles, especially in a public pool with disgusted glances likely, you can use other substances.
Shampoo, shaving cream and toothpaste are all very effective at preventing fog. Just be sure to apply evenly and rinse thoroughly afterwards – as you don’t want to get excess in your eyes! Two other tips for this method are to use baby shampoo to mitigate the chance of eye irritation (much gentler formulas), and avoid using abrasive toothpastes as, well, you don’t want to scuff up your goggles permanently!
When you have finished a swim, chances are you just throw your goggles into your bag, maybe all wrapped up within your towel or swimwear. The phrase ‘goggle care’ certainly doesn’t fill you with excitement or urgent, desire does it? But taking an extra 30 seconds after every swim to look after your goggles will pay off long-term – especially if they are pretty expensive ones.
Here are the steps you should take in order to preserve and maintain your goggles, thus ensuring the anti-fog feature lasts as long as possible:
• Never wipe the lens with your fingers
• Rinse them off with cool non-pool water
• Make sure they are completely dry before storing them
• Keep them inside a protective case
We hope you’ve picked up some tips here and the next time you go swimming you can see for many meters. Remember: life is already too challenging to be swimming through fog!