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How to clean ski goggles to keep smudges from becoming scratches

Vallon Freebirds
Knowing how to clean ski goggles to make sure your field of vision isn’t clouded by grime or fingerprints, especially during stormy conditions (Image credit: Vallon)

Skiing has become so accessible that it can feel deceptively safe nowadays. But even if you're just cruising down a nice green run on a sunny day, you might be moving at 20mph and at those speeds, so you definitely want to make sure you can see where you’re going. Paying attention to what you're doing and avoiding distractions when you’re skiing is at least half the battle, but you’ll also want to know how to clean ski goggles to make sure your field of vision isn’t clouded by grime or fingerprints, especially during stormy conditions.

When you choose a new pair of ski goggles, you want a pair that will keep you safe on the hill, protecting your eyes from cold, snow and any other intruding obstacles while helping to keep your field of vision optimal. Though they are a pricey piece of kit, it’s easy to wipe them with dirty ski gloves on the chairlift, shove them in a pocket full of lint during apres ski or accidentally leave them rolling around the muddy floor of your car only to find them heavily smudged the next time you go skiing.  

The best ski goggles

You want to know how to clean ski goggles to make sure your field of vision isn’t clouded by grime or fingerprints, especially during stormy conditions (Image credit: Getty Images)

Cleaning dirt off your ski goggles prevents them from getting scratched and prolongs their lifespan, saving you money in the process. Here, we talk you through how to clean ski goggles without leaving them scratched or smeared. If your main hitch with goggles is not dirt but fogging while you’re on the hill, head over to our article on how to stop ski goggles from fogging

How to clean ski goggles 

A skier wearing goggles is smiling and snow covered on a powder day

Though they are a pricey piece of kit, it’s easy to wipe them with dirty ski gloves on the chairlift (Image credit: Cavan Images)

1. Let your ski goggles dry completely  

First, you don’t want to rub the lenses of your ski goggles when they’re wet, since snow and ice can pick up small fragments of dirt that can scratch the lenses causing irreversible damage. When you get home, set your goggles out at room temperature and let them dry before inspecting them to see if they need to be cleaned. 

If you’re inbetween runs and realize your goggles need to be cleaned for safety, you can speed this process up by using a hand dryer in the bathroom or hairdryer in your hotel room on a low heat, but reserve this for emergency situations when you are heading straight back out on the hill and keep the goggles at least a foot from the dryer to avoid damage.

2. Wipe the outside lenses  

Once your goggles are dry, gently wipe the outside lenses with the bag the goggles came in, which is usually made of a soft fabric and designed for wiping off dust and fingerprints. If you’ve lost the bag, or your goggles didn’t come with a cleaning cloth, you can use a soft, microfiber cloth like you’d use for cleaning eyeglasses or a computer screen and wipe the outer lenses using circular motions. 

The best ski goggles

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Only clean the inside lenses if necessary 

A lot of advice tells you to never wipe the inside lenses of your goggles since many, but not all, ski goggles will have an anti-fog treatment on the inner lenses and wiping it will remove this. But what do you do if that’s where the dirt is? If you have to clean them and that’s where the anti fog treatment is, you’ll just gently wipe them using the same bag or cloth as the outer lens and then retreat them using an anti-fog spray. If the anti-spray treatment on your goggles is in between the lenses, you don’t need to re-treat them. 

4. Use goggle cleaning spray for stubborn smudges 

If the above steps aren't sufficient and your goggles still have watermarks, you can use a goggle spray meant for ski goggles. Just spray it on the outer lenses per the instructions and use the goggle bag or cloth to wipe it off.  

Best ski goggles

Cleaning dirt off your ski goggles prevents them from getting scratched and prolongs their lifespan, saving you money (Image credit: Getty Images)

5. Store your goggles properly 

Let your goggles dry completely before storing them, as storing them wet will ruin the foam padding. To that end, make sure that your google bag is dry before storing your goggles back inside it, especially if you've used it in conjunction with goggle spray. If the bag is wet, you’ll just end up with watermarks on your lenses again. Once the bag is dry, store your goggles at room temperature – not in your car – and if you have a goggle case, use that for even more protection. 

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.