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How To Prevent Lenses and Goggles From Fogging


There’s nothing worse than getting in the water, adjusting your mask, and it immediately starts fogging. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep fog and condensation to a minimum. Getting rid of fog can be a real pain when you’re treading water, and obviously harder when you’re 20 feet below the surface!

First, understand where condensation comes from. Without getting too scientific, condensation that causes fogging goggles or masks comes from the humid air collecting on the cooler surface that is the lens or lenses of your diving mask or goggles.

Dirty or scratched lenses fog easier than clean lenses!

Steps for keeping your mask or goggles from fogging:

  1. Gently clean your mask and quickly put them on
  2. Make sure your mask or goggles are dry (if not, we will cover what to do below)
  3. Make sure your mask or goggles are on securely

Before you get in the water, give your gear a thorough cleaning. Dust, oils, hair, sand and whatever else that can get in there should be gently removed. These particles increase the surface area of your lens essentially giving more opportunity for water droplets to collect. When cleaning out your diving mask or goggles, be careful not to scratch your lens whether it is tempered glass or polycarbonate.Scratches increase the surface area as well and can make it much easier for condensation to form.

In some cases, fogging is just inevitable and could have a number of causes…

  • Dirty lenses
  • Leaking seals
  • Cold water temperatures
  • Improper breathing technique

There are a few time-tested ways to keep condensation at bay. Here are a few methods you can do to prevent it from happening next time.

Baby Shampoo

The old fashioned kind. Really, most clear shampoos will work for this. Apply a liberal amount of shampoo and swish it around to coat the inside of your lens or use a clean dry cloth to wipe it around. Do not rub it in with your fingers as the oils on your hand can slightly counteract the effectiveness. This method is best when done ahead of time to allow a coating of the shampoo to dry, or “bake” on. Then remove with a clean cloth such as a microfiber towel or T-shirt material. Shaving cream also works, but baby shampoo can last longer in our experience.

Anti-Fog Sprays

Quick Spit Antifog Spray is one of the more popular products out there. It works very well. Usually for sale for under $10. Popular with divers, motorcyclists, divers and more. We find that 1-3 applications is usually a good expectation with most of these products. A bit better performing than baby shampoo.

The Toothpaste “Trick”

This is almost as popular as the shampoo method, and it does help. The big drawback, and it’s a huge drawback, is that toothpaste is abrasive. It will scratch your lenses. Just a little bit of toothpaste goes a long ways. Best done with enough time for the toothpaste to cure before wiping with a clean cloth.

Anti-Fog Wipes

These can be found at most dive shops, sports shops, and big-box stores. The disposable one time use, prepackaged kind. They work very well, but tend to need reapplying more often than the baby shampoo method.

Spit Shine

You’ve probably done this if you have ever used goggles, gone snorkeling or diving. Simply spit into your goggles and swish around or use a clean cloth to rub it in. Again, using your finger to rub it in can be a little counterproductive. This method will need the most applications, so using your finger to rub it in might not make a huge difference. 

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