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Are your swimming goggles feeling a bit dirty? Maybe you’re struggling to see through those mucky lenses while swimming? Or do you feel like your goggles might fall apart any second because you haven’t been taking care of them as you should? Whatever the reason is- don’t worry, because in today’s article we’ll be taking an in-depth look at how to clean swimming goggles as well as some useful tips for keeping them in good shape in the future.
A famous quote by Hellen Keller states that the most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision. And although this is meant to have a much deeper meaning, we can literally apply to this to our little dirty goggle situation we’ve got going on here.
You see, what’s the point of swimming goggles when you only have a blurry vision in the pool? Isn’t the idea of swimming goggles to provide you with clear vision so that you can see what’s going on and become a master of your swimming?
If you don’t have a good vision because of dirty swimming goggles, then there’s not much of a use of wearing them at all.
So with that said, let’s take a look at how we can fix this and make sure that you have clean swimming goggles that will provide you with crystal clear vision in the pool.
- How to clean swimming goggles and receive eye-opening vision in the water.
- Step 3- cleaning the goggle lenses and any excess dirt.
- Goggle care and maintenance: The golden rules to follow for long-lasting swimming goggles-
How to clean swimming goggles and receive eye-opening vision in the water.
How to clean swimming goggles quick overview:
- Firstly rinse your swimming goggles in cold or lukewarm.
- Secondly, wash your swimming goggle straps with soap.
- After that, use 5 tablespoons of vinegar and water to create a mix that you can soak your goggle lenses in.
- Lastly, rinse everything with cold water and allow it to air dry.
Step 1- Basic cleaning and preparation.
Before we can whip out the chemicals (aka soap) we need to first do some basic cleaning and preparations to make sure that your goggles are ready for a thorough cleanse and that they won’t receive any damage when getting a nice new shine.
So what we’re going to want to do is to first make sure that we have everything ready before we start cleaning. This is going to make life easier and will speed up the process. So here is a list of things that you’ll need, most people already have these lying around, you just need to get them together in one area where you want to do your cleaning.
What you need:
- A small bucket or bowl
- A tap to draw water from (preferably both cold and warm water)
- Any mild soap you’ve got lying around
- 1 small old or new sponge
- A Towel
- 1 tablespoon
Okay, so once you’ve got everything together and ready, we can start cleaning your swimming goggles and get them looking all bright and shiny again. There’s just one golden rule that you have to abide by when cleaning your goggles: Don’t touch your goggle lenses with anything- especially on the inside, doing so degrades swimming goggle visibility.
So with that said, you can start out by thoroughly rinsing out your swimming goggles in cool or lukewarm tap water.
Personally, I prefer using lukewarm water since I feel it just picks up little molecules like dust a bit better.
When rinsing your goggles make sure to rinse off any dust, sand, or dirt that may be stuck on your swimming goggles and generally just give them a nice soak to make sure that any pool chemicals like chlorine gets washed off, these generally cause the goggle material to age faster.
Once you’ve done this we’re ready to move on to step 2-
Step 2- cleaning the straps.
1. Wash your swimming goggle straps with soap.
The key when cleaning your goggle straps is going to be to make sure that no soap comes near the goggle lenses and gaskets. Luckily for you, most goggles actually allow you to disconnect the strap from the lenses and gaskets so that you can clean them without having to worry about the lenses and gaskets.
If it’s your first time removing the straps from your goggles I recommend maybe just taking a photo or two and making some mental notes to make sure that you can reconnect them properly so that your goggles can go back to their regular fit.
Once the lenses and gaskets are disconnected, you can fill your bucket or bowl with some cold or lukewarm water and add some soap.
After that, you can soak the straps in the soapy water for a couple of seconds and then give them a massage to remove all the dirt. If you wish you can also use the little sponge to wipe them off. I recommend washing them for at least 2-3 minutes to make sure that they are fully cleansed.
2. Rinse off the swimming goggle straps with cold water.
Once you’re done washing the straps you can take them out of your bucket of soapy water and rinse them off with cold water. Make sure to remove all of the soap.
If you weren’t able to remove the goggle lenses and gaskets before starting you should rinse away from them to make sure that none of the soapy solution gets on those parts of your goggles.
3. Air dry your swimming goggle straps.
After you’ve rinsed off the soap from your goggle straps, lay them down on your towel and allow them to air dry, just don’t rub them or manually dry them, this can cause them to stretch or even possibly snap which would be no good at all.
Once you’ve got all that done, you’re now ready to move onto the third and final step- cleaning the goggle lenses.
Step 3- cleaning the goggle lenses and any excess dirt.
Please note: if you still feel like your goggle straps are a bit dirty after giving them a wash with soap, then you can also clean them using this step along with your goggle lenses.
1. Soak your swimming goggle lenses in this special vinegar cleaning mix.
Before we can make our little vinegar cleaning mix, you first need to clean out the bucket or bowl you used to wash the straps. Just get rid of the soapy water and give it a thorough rinse and you should be good to go.
Once you’ve done that we can make our cleaning mix- it’s honestly super-basic but also really effective.
Start by filling the bowl or bucket with hot tap water. Once it’s full add 5 tablespoons of vinegar and give it a few stirs to make sure it’s nicely mixed in.
After the mix is prepared, you can add your swimming goggles and possibly also your goggle straps to the mix- make sure that everything is fully submerged and then allow it to sit for 2 hours.
2. Rinse your swimming goggles out with cold water.
Once your swimming goggles have been in the cleaning mix for 2 hours you can take them out. It’s important to immediately rinse them off with cold freshwater to achieve maximum cleaning results.
3. Shake and air dry your swimming goggle lenses.
After your goggles have been rinsed off you can shake off any excess water and place them on your towel, allowing them to completely air dry before putting them back together and readjusting them for a good and secure fit.
And that’s it– you cleaned your swimming goggles- voilà, you’re all done and ready to go. I, have, however, also put together a little piece of information below on goggle care and maintenance so that you can maximize the lifespan of your swimming goggles and keep them in good care all year round.
Goggle care and maintenance: The golden rules to follow for long-lasting swimming goggles-
1. Never touch or wipe your swimming goggle lenses.
This is the number one rule when it comes to long-lasting and durable swimming goggles. There are a couple of reasons for this-
Dirt: when you touch your swimming goggle lenses it can pick up dirt and oil from your fingers which will reduce vision and clarity while swimming.
Scratches: when touching your goggle lenses with your fingers, fingernails, rough cloths or towels you can scratch the lenses. Not only will this make your goggles look ugly and old, but it’ll also make it hard for you to see and may even distract you when training or racing.
Anti-fog coating damage: many swimming goggles come with an anti-fog coating on the inside. When you rub the insides of your lenses you also rub off this coating and thus your goggles can fog up and reduce your vision. (Consider checking out my article on the 8 best anti-fog swimming goggles though!)
2. Keep the anti-fog coating on your swimming goggles fresh.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time the anti-fog coating on your swimming goggles will wear off with time- regardless of whether you touch it or not. Luckily, there is an easy solution to this- you can pick up an anti-fog spray that will recreate this coating, it won’t last as long, but it’ll get you through practice which is more than enough.
Personally, I like the Jaws Quick Spit Anti-Fog Spray, it’s cheap and works really well, you can check it out on SwimOutlet by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can consider making your own little DIY anti-fog spray, I’ll tell you exactly how to do so in my article on how to stop swimming goggles from fogging up, which you can check out if you want to.
3. Store your swimming goggles in a protective case.
Another simple and easy way to keep your swimming goggles in good condition is by storing them in a protective case. Sometimes your goggles will come with a basic plastic one, but if you’d like something a bit more high-quality that also guarantees better results, then I recommend checking out the Arena Goggle Case on SwimOutlet by clicking here. It’s not expensive at all and provides some nice quality.
Personally, I use this goggle case for all of my more expensive goggles and you can easily fit 2 pairs in there at once, and an additional third pair if you push your limits.
4. Don’t expose your swimming goggles to extreme heat or sunlight.
This is one of the worst things you can do for your swimming goggles’ health.
If your swimming goggles get exposed to sunlight it can cause little degradations in the silicone which will age your goggles and cause it to fall apart much sooner.
And if your goggles get exposed to extreme heat the gaskets have a high possibility of melting and making your goggles completely useless. An example includes leaving your goggles in the cab of your car on a hot day.
Fun story: Once I was on my way to a swimming meet in Italy and one of my buddies decided to put his goggles in his travel case which goes under in the plane where temperatures aren’t regulated. When we unpacked at the hotel later that day we were greeted by a smudgy bowl of melted goggle gaskets in his bag which was kind of funny (well for me anyway).
5. Don’t store wet swimming goggles.
This isn’t such a detrimental mistake to make, but nevertheless, I recommend allowing your goggles to air-dry before packing them away. If you put them in your goggle case while they are still wet they might have a slightly higher likelihood of degrading faster or even possibly growing something like mold.
Swimming goggles are one of the most essential pieces of equipment swimmers use in the modern world and keeping them in good condition should be high up on your swim priority list. If you fail to keep your swimming goggles clean, your vision will suffer in the water and this can then result in a bad swimming workout or worst case- a bad race.
With that said, I hope this article helped you to clean your swimming goggles and that you’re now all set and ready for your next workout or swim meet. If you’re interested in some more swimming articles I recommend checking out my blog.