How goggle anti-fog works, and is it worth it?

Whether you're swimming for competition or fun, foggy goggles can be a headache in the water. One of the questions we're asked most is how to keep goggles from fogging, and why new goggles start fogging over time.

Factory Antifog

Ever notice new goggles fog less? Most swim goggles you buy will come with an antifog layer applied from the factory. This is a thin film on the back of the goggle designed to prevent condensation from forming.

Rubbing and scratching this layer will cause this layer to become damaged, but even with perfect care it will deteriorate with time. Repeated exposure to water will break down the layer, especially in highly chlorinated pools where factory antifog can last as little as a couple weeks of high frequency use.

And, if we're being honest, often the factory antifog layer isn't that great to start - you'll often hear about divers removing the factory antifog layer from their goggles before their first dive so they can use better performing antifog drops. I wouldn't quite go that far, but we would recommend stripping off the factory antifog layer as well once you notice it starting to break down or not perform. Just rub the inside of the lenses gently with your fingers with soap and water until the goggles make a squeaking sound, and you'll have a clean surface for using antifog drops.

Antifog Drops

Antifog drops (or sprays) work similar to the factory antifog layer by creating a thin layer on the surface of the goggles that prevents water droplets from sticking to the lenses. This temporary layer helps to prevent fogging, ensuring that you can see clearly during your swim for several hours

The consistent performance of antifog drops is their main benefit, but it helps that they are easy to use and affordable. Antifog drops can be used with different types of goggles, including prescription goggles and snorkeling masks. 

To use antifog drops, simply apply a small amount to the inside of your goggles and rub it around with your finger. Then rinse your goggles with water and shake off the excess. You should do this before each swim to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Antifog Alternatives

If you don't have antifog drops on hand, there are several free alternatives that you can try. One of the most common is to spit into your goggles (yes, gross to some) and rub the saliva around the inside of the lenses. The enzymes in saliva create a film that prevents condensation from forming, keeping the goggles clear. It isn't quite as effective as antifog drops, but it works surprisingly well. Another alternative is to rinse the goggles with water and shake off the excess before putting them on. This creates a layer of moisture on the lenses, which acts as a (very) short term barrier against fogging.

Whether you choose antifog drops or a DIY alternative, the important thing is to find a solution that works for you and allows you to enjoy your time in the water without the frustration of foggy goggles, especially if you're competing or diving. Have any questions about the antifog products we sell? Shoot us an email and we're happy to help.