Why Do Swimmers Spit in Their Goggles?

You’ve probably noticed that some swimmers have an unusual habit of spitting in their goggles before diving into the pool. Why do they do this and is there any practical reason behind it?

Should You Wet Your Goggles Before Swimming

Swimmers spit in their goggles because it is effective at preventing the goggles from fogging up. Foggy swim goggles occur because of the temperature difference between the goggle lens and the water, leading to condensation inside from the sweat and water vapor. Spitting on the lens of their goggles creates a thin film that prevents fog from forming on it. 

In this article, we will discuss how this simple but effective method can help you maintain clear vision underwater and improve your overall swimming experience. We’ll also discuss some alternate anti-fogging solutions if you’d prefer not to spit in your goggles.

Why Swimmers Spit in Their Goggles

Fogging and Visibility Issues

When you swim, your goggles tend to fog up, making it difficult to see underwater. This fogging occurs due to temperature differences between the inside and outside of your goggles, which lead to condensation forming on the lenses.

Poor visibility can be frustrating and even hazardous, especially for competitive swimmers who rely on clear vision to maintain their speed and technique.

Saliva as a Natural Anti-Fog Agent

To combat fogging, many swimmers choose to spit in their goggles. Saliva acts as a natural anti-fog agent because it contains surfactants, substances that reduce surface tension.

When you spit on the lenses of your swimming goggles and swish it around evenly (don’t use your fingers because the oils on it can transfer to the lens), a thin layer of saliva coats the surface, reducing the surface tension and preventing fog from forming. This helps to maintain your visibility underwater, ensuring a safe and more enjoyable swimming experience.

Although there are commercial anti-fog products available, using your spit is a free and readily available solution for fogging issues. So next time you encounter fogging issues with your swim goggles, don’t hesitate to use your saliva as an effective and natural way to maintain clear vision while swimming.

Alternative Methods to Prevent Fogging

Toothpaste Solution

Toothpaste can be an effective solution to help prevent fogging in your swim goggles. Simply apply a small amount of toothpaste on the inside of the lenses and gently scrub it in with a soft-bristle toothbrush.

Be sure to rinse the goggles thoroughly underwater until no residue remains. This method works by forming a barrier on the lenses, so when you’re underwater, it will help reduce fogging. However, be cautious when using toothpaste on goggles with an existing anti-fog coating, as it might damage the coating.

Shampoo or Conditioner Technique

You can also try using everyday hair care products like shampoo and conditioner to prevent fogging in your goggles. Apply a small amount of shampoo or conditioner on the inside of the lenses and rub it in, creating a thin film. Rinse the goggles with cold water before you swim. These products act as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension and making it difficult for fog to form on the lenses.

Anti-Fog Spray and Film

You can purchase anti-fog sprays and films specifically designed for swim goggles. These products work similarly to other homemade solutions, creating a barrier between the goggles and moisture. Apply the anti-fog spray or film according to the manufacturer’s instructions before your swimming session to maintain clear visibility underwater.

Shaving Cream and Shower Gel

Shaving cream and shower gel can also be used as a DIY solution to prevent foggy goggles. Apply a small amount of either product on the inside of the lenses and rub it in to create a thin film. Rinse the goggles with cold water before swimming. Like other methods, these products create a barrier that helps reduce fogging, improving your swimming performance as you maintain better visibility.

Baby Shampoo and Other Gentle Formulas

If you have sensitive eyes, using baby shampoo or other gentle formulas can help prevent fogging without causing irritation. Apply a tiny amount of baby shampoo on the inside of the lenses, rub it in, and let it dry before entering the pool. These tear-free formulations are less likely to sting your eyes compared to other solutions.

Remember to exercise proper care for your swim goggles to keep them in optimal condition. Store them in a protective case when not in use and allow air drying to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Happy swimming!

Proper Goggle Maintenance and Care

Rinsing and Air Drying

After a swim, always remember to rinse your goggles in cold, fresh water. This helps remove chlorine and other pool chemicals that can shorten the lifespan of your goggles. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or hot water, as this can cause the rubber to melt or the lenses to crack.

Instead, lay your goggles out flat to dry in a cool, shaded place. Allowing the goggles to air dry is essential, as it prevents the growth of mold and mildew.

Storing Goggles in a Protective Case

To keep your goggles in tip-top condition, invest in a protective case. Storing your goggles in a case not only protects them from scratches and potential damage but also prevents any dust or debris from settling on the lenses. Maintaining crystal-clear vision underwater is essential for both your safety and enjoyment, so prioritize the protection of your goggles.

Avoiding Goggle Damage

Following instructions for proper care and maintenance can greatly extend the life of your goggles, ensuring long-lasting performance. Some quick tips to prevent goggle damage include:

  • Never touch or wipe the inside of the lenses, as this could remove the anti-fog coating and reduce underwater visibility.
  • If your goggles start to fog up, consider using an antifog spray or wipes specifically designed for swim goggles.
  • Replace worn or damaged straps, as they can be a cost-effective way to maintain the fit and comfort of your goggles.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to enjoying clear underwater vision and an overall better swimming experience.