vista-blueWell, the Readers Digest condensed version is warm moist air meeting with cool air creates fog. Ok, that’s nice but how does that help me when I am swimming?

Most of us take our goggles off and on when we are swimming. It’s just natural. We stop, lift them up and look around. Now you have foggy goggles.

Here are a few tips to help you in the proper care and feeding of your goggles:

– Did you know there are goggles with anti-fog lenses? Who knew? The anti-fog coating is on the ‘inside’ of the goggle lens. If you buy a pair of anti-fog goggles be careful when you clean your goggles! Do not use a towel. This could damage or even rub off the anti-fog coating. (I will talk about anti-fog cleaners in just a bit).

-Make sure your goggles fit properly to prevent air and water from getting in. Both of which can “contribute” to foggy goggles.

-How do I know if I have a good fitting pair of goggles? How much time do you have? You may have to kiss a lot of frogs. It is trial and error. One size does n-o-t fit all. If you are really, really nice to the sales person they will let you open the hermetically sealed package and try them on. Sometimes if you are really, really kind to the sales person they will open the package for you. And you have to pray a lot.

-The ‘seal’ on your goggles should sit comfortably on the bridge of your nose and around your eyes. (There can be no kinks in the seal. How do I know if I have a kink? The rubber on your goggles will have a little wave in it. This is a kink). Firmly press your goggles to your face to prevent gaps. The strap around your head must be secure and stay in place.

-If the seal is broken this is a little clue you need a new pair. Your goggles are kaput. Stop trying to wear them. Your swim experience will be miserable.

-When you find a pair of goggles that work for you, buy an extra pair or two if you can afford it. One never knows when the seal or eye piece will wear out.

-After swimming make sure to rinse your goggles in cool fresh water. (Never hot water, this warps them and ruins the shape, remember the kinks). Rinsing off the pool chemicals will prolong the life of your goggles. Air dry your goggles before storing them away. Leftover water residue in your goggles might cause bacteria or mold to grow. Imagine the horror.

-Keep your goggles out of the sun. This warps the rubber. Store your goggles in a protective case to prevent scratches and exposure to the elements. You can buy oversized eye glass cases at Wal-Mart. Goggles are expensive….treat them with respect and they will last a long time.

-Maybe you do not want to buy a pair of anti-fog goggles. There are many anti-fog products on the market. Buy one of them and keep it in your swim bag. Simply spray one or two squirts of the anti-fog cleaner on the entire inside of your lenses, rinse and swim. (It doesn’t hurt to read the directions on the little bottle.) If you do not have any anti-fog products in your swim bag here is a trick I learned from my scuba diving teacher. You spit (yes, saliva) on the “inside” of your goggles, gently rub your spit around and wash it off. It may sound gross but what are you going to do? There is no driving to the sporting goods store to buy anti-fog cleaner or clicking around on the internet when you are at the pool, lake or ocean. You will be good to go. We did it all the time in the ocean and it works. You do not want to make a habit of spitting too much at the pool- you will start to get funny looks from the other swimmers.

My favorite go-to place to buy swim products is Swim Outlet.com. They have all your swim needs covered. Great shipping as well.

FYI: “Most” children do not like goggles. I bribe them with cookies and candy if they leave their goggles on for their 30 minute lesson. I know, I am shameless.  Good habits begin early in life. I also ask the parents to ‘help’ me. How? I ask the parents to have their children wear their goggles in the car on the way to swim lessons. Or even when watching a TV show or two. And always in the shower (note, I did not say bathtub. I want water on the children’s faces!) This experience prepares them to get the ‘feel’ of the goggles on their face. Once there in the water with me goggles are not so foreign to them. It also saves a lot of valuable swim lesson time as well.

When you are really good and leave your goggles on for an entire lesson or workout don’t forget to stop at Dunkin Donuts for a reward on the way home. You deserve it.