How to clean swimming goggles?

Doesn't matter if you swim every day or just every once in a while, everybody likes clean swim goggles!

Swimming Goggles is one of the most important swimmer attributes, it's like shoes for a runner or basketball for a basketball player... But unlike many other sports, swimming gear has a tendency to get dirty, despite being in water most of the time when it's being used. Looking for best tips and tricks of how to keep your swim goggles clean and what to do when they get dirty? Let's look at everything a swimmer can do to make sure their swimming goggles are as clean as possible.

How to tell if your swimming goggles are dirty?

Despite this question sounding a bit weird (goggles are either clean or dirty, right?) - there are signs that tell you that you might want to consider cleaning your swimming goggles. You should consider cleaning your swimming goggles if:

  • There is dirt on the inside glass
  • There is mold inside the goggles
  • The inside of your glass is oily or murky
  • There are scratches or anything that makes you vision underwater worse
  • The view is blurry or foggy when you use your swim goggles

How to clean your swim goggles?

The golden rule of taking good care of any swimming goggle use is...


For reals, most contemporary swimming goggles come with an anti-fog coating inside the glass itself. Touching it with fingers will make it disappear faster, furthermore if you scratch it - you will make your vision even worse.

Basic Goggle Cleaning - Rinse

Take your swim goggle and gently rinse them (both straps, lenses and eye gaskets) in fresh water. Clean water you use can be cold or room temperature. This cleaning technique is best if you want to simply remove pool chlorine after your swim practice. Basically make sure, you water rinse your swim goggle after you done using them and want to store them until next swim practice.

A simple rinsing after you left the pool and are in the showers with fresh water can save your goggles from:

  • Salts
  • Chlorine
  • Dirt
  • Other pool water residuals

Open water swimmer tip: You want to clean glasses after open water practice? Rise them EVERY TIME because open water is less sterile than pools, but also keep an eye on sand. Do not scratch lenses of your goggles because there can be sand particles inside them.

Not Suggested Goggle Cleaning - Soap

There are many advice online that suggest cleaning your swimming goggles with soap as a second solution. I say - skip that. It kind of makes sense, just because we are used that soapy water makes things clean. It's not a great idea, because soap will eliminate antifog layer and most likely will not fight back against things like mold, salts and other residue on your goggles.

You know what to do if you want to try cleaning them with soap, but my best advice is the next cleaning tip!

Old School Goggle Cleaning - Vinegar

Those who swim a lot, know what I mean when I say... Really dirty goggles. Really dirty swimming goggles will not be affected by "gently rising them" as they will have black dots of mold (we all been there!) and other types of dirt on them. Water rinse can do nothing to them, yet vinegar can help to clean your super dirty swimming goggles.

How to clean your swimming goggles with vinegar cleaning mix?

If you really need to bring your old swimming goggles back to life, this might be your first and only option. Here's how one cleans their goggles with vinegar solution.

Step 1 - Prepare your Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Take a bowl that will fit your goggles in a way that it will be easy for the goggles to sink down fully. Fill the bowl with hot water, it doesn't need to be boiled water - simple hot clean water from the tap will work fine. Add 3-6 tablespoons of simple white vinegar.

Step 2 - Soak Goggles for 2-4 hours

Put your goggles inside the vinegar solution and make sure that they sing down. If your goggles don't sink inside the bowl, find a way for the goggles stay submerged in it fully. This means that lenses and straps should stay under water and should not be floating around the bowl.

Step 3 - Wash your Goggles

After couple of hours, take your goggles out of the vinegar solution and immediately wash them off with running water. Best if you wash your goggles with cold water. Make sure you wash and rinse them from the vinegar solution as best as you can.

Step 4 - Dry your Goggles

You don't need to do anything special to dry your glasses, but make sure they dry out fully before you use them again. If your bathroom has floor heating, you throw a towel on the floor and leave your goggles on the towel to dry faster. Do not dry them off with a towel, simply let the glasses air dry naturally.

What to do if your glasses fog a lot?

Most people think it's a cleaning problem if their swimming goggles fog a lot. But actually... Foggy goggles is usually a sign of their anti-fog coating layer being wore off. Most swimming goggles lenses with a anti fog coating on the inside lens. That's why you can never touch inside of the glasses with fingers, towel or anything else.

Anti fog coating can be found on both prescription swimming goggle, swedish goggles or any type of swimming google out there.

If fogging happens a lot to your goggles, there are 3 solutions to it. The gross and cheap solution. The sustainable solution. And the consumer solution.

Spit inside the lens

Before anti fog sprays were there to help with fogging, there were a simple and organic solution... Spit, smudge and clean with water (without touching it again) is what you do if you want your goggles not to fog for like 20-30 minutes. Repeat this process when they start fogging again.

This thing works, I personally still do it and if you think about it... Divers always do it with their diving masks, this is how old and reliable this technique actually is. Once a gain... Spit inside the lens, smudge it around and rinse inside the water. Repeat that for both lenses and you are ready to go. For a while.

Anti fog spray

Because goggles come with a nice anti fogging coating from manufacturers, those same manufacturers also sell swimmers their anti fog spray solutions. These are simple spray bottles that allows you to put a new layer of coating inside the lenses, so basically it's a way to renew the anti fog coating that slowly disappears with goggle use.

Want to buy the best anti fog spray?

Buy new goggles

Depending on how much you are swimming, if your swimming goggles are very dirty or fog a lot... It might be time to consider to get new ones?

I personally feel that getting a new pair of goggles is mandatory every 3-6 months if you are swimming daily. If you are swimming couple times a week? Then your goggles can last you around 6-12 months, but maybe more like solid 6 months. If you swim just a couple of times a month, expect to buy new ones once every couple of years.

Hope this was a nice read!

Decided to buy new goggles instead of trying to clean old ones? Check out or best swimming goggles buying guide and help our swim blog by using links inside! We always try to help and give most honest swimmer advice possible, thanks!

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