Your mask is one of the most important pieces of snorkel gear. It allows you to peek into the underwater world you would otherwise not be able to see. Ensuring that you are caring and maintaining your mask properly is essential for a good time in the water. Knowing that your mask is ready to jump in the water will instill confidence in your abilities. Being able to count on your mask performing the way you expect it will make your time much more enjoyable, even if you can’t spend all day at the beach.
Straight Out Of The Box
You may be surprised that there are things you need to do before jumping into the water even though it is brand new. We suggest looking over the mask to ensure there is no rubber silicone on the glass. Most of the time manufacturers are good about sending clean masks but sometimes they leave a little residue on the lens. If there is simply remove it, just be careful around the edge of the glass.
Next, you should treat your lens. This can be done with dish soap or toothpaste. All you have to do is simply put the soap or toothpaste on the lens and rub it around with your finger. Make sure you cover the entire lens of the mask, any area you miss can fog. When you are done both sides you can rinse off the excess with fresh water. Ensure that all of the soap or toothpaste is completely off as it can irritate your eyes. Be sure to always check the size of your mask. Weight loss or gain and added facial hair can make it so that your mask no longer fits properly.
Transporting Your Gear
Whether you are bringing your mask to the beach down the road or on a lengthy flight, it is important to take extra precaution. Snorkel masks are often made of glass and can easily shatter if dropped. Your mask is the key part of snorkeling and your only ability to see below the water’s surface.
If you have a protective box, storing your mask in this is incredibly useful. If you do not have a box, rolling your mask in your clothing works perfectly well too. If you are traveling on a plane, it may be worth putting your mask in your carry on or plan for it to be in the middle of your suitcase with layers of clothing around it. This will make sure that no harm comes to it while in transit.
In Between Use Care
One of the biggest care rules of snorkel or scuba gear is to ensure that you clean it after every use. Rinsing your mask with fresh water after use is incredibly important. After it is cleaned, allow your mask to air dry in the shade. Whenever possible, ensure that your mask is not kept in direct sunlight. Over time this will warp the skirt of your mask and threaten it’s integrity.
After every use, while cleaning your mask make sure to inspect the integrity of your mask. Inspect the strap of your mask as well as the seals to ensure that there are no problems. Be sure to clear away any sand or salt build up on your mask.
Storing Your Mask
When you are done for the day you will want to clean your mask. Don’t just throw it into the carry bag and call it a day. Run it under fresh water making sure you get all of the salt water and debris off. You also don’t want to store your mask when it’s wet. This can cause mold or mildew to form, or cause your mask to degrade.
When you go to place it in the carry bag make sure there is no sand or anything else in it. This can cause your lens to scratch or your skirt to be damaged. Both of these things can seriously affect your time under the water.
Caring for your mask doesn’t have to take a long time or involve a lot of effort. But you will notice the difference in the quality of your dive. Having gear that is in perfect working order will make being in the water much more enjoyable. This will also ensure your gear lasts for years to come. It is crucial for every level of snorkeler to know how to properly maintain their mask.
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Did this guide help you know how to better care for your mask? Let us know in the comment section below.