Beginner scuba divers often struggle with their snorkel mask fogging up. While this may be frustrating, there are lots of different things you can do to help clear your mask and keep it clean. Even the best snorkel masks can fog up. The truth is, most of the time your mask is foggy is due to your mask being dirty. Oils from your fingers can wreak havoc on your mask.
Getting the most out of your mask is easy. Remembering these simple steps can make your snorkeling experience much more enjoyable.
1. Clean Your Mask
Sounds too simple but more often than not, cleaning your mask will do the trick to keep it from fogging up. At home, you can do a thorough clean with some toothpaste. Put some toothpaste on a toothbrush and rub it into the mask. Wherever possible do not use your finger. Rinse the mask with hot water. Be sure to not touch the lens of your mask anymore. Regularly cleaning your mask should be enough to do the trick here.
If your lens is not made of glass try replacing the toothpaste with dish soap. You can choose to use a very soft brush or even a washcloth. This will ensure that you do not scratch the plastic.
2. Use An Anti-Fog Spray
If the at-home cleanings aren’t working, try using an anti-fog spray. You can buy an anti-fog product from the store, or you can make one your own. Simply grab a 2-ounce bottle and fill it with 10-12 drops of mild baby shampoo. Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
Regardless of whether you make it or buy it, how you apply it should be the same. Spray the solution in your mask and move it around so that it completely coats your mask. Again, be sure to not touch the mask with your fingers. Rinse your mask quickly with water (salt or freshwater) and then apply your mask to your face.
3. Keep The Mask On
After you have cleaned your mask with either toothpaste or an anti-fog spray apply the mask to your face. Shake your mask so that all the water drops empty. The mask seals best if your face is relatively dry. Enter the water with a dry face and a dry mask. After you get wet do not remove your snorkel until you’re done with your trip.
Ensure the mask is properly sealed to your face and keep it there. Do not put the mask on your forehead or neck, instead keep it in place over your eyes. This will help ensure that moisture does not enter your mask. The idea is to keep the moisture down. Avoid clearing the mask with your breath.
4. Try Some Spit
If you are in the water and find that your mask is still fogging up despite cleaning it, you will need to clean it on the spot. You will need to remove the mask and spit in it. Again, resist the urge to rub your spit in with your fingers. Instead, shake the mask until the spit has completely coated the mask. Dump it out and reapply the mask. Replace the mask to see if the problem is solved. If not, add a small amount of water (saltwater is fine) to coat your mask and see if this works better.
5. Have Your Mask Burned
If nothing else works and your mask is still getting fogged up drastic measures may have to be taken. Head to a dive shop and ask them to burn your bask. Sometimes new masks have a coating on them that causes them to fog. Simply burning off the outer layer should do the trick of giving you a fresh start. After that, the traditional cleaning techniques should be enough.
Thinking About Temperatures
Just as the glass in your car gets fogged up from condensation, your mask does the same. This condensation occurs when the temperature of the glass is lower than the air inside your mask. This is incredibly common when snorkeling. Simply put, the cool water regulates the temperature to create an ideal environment. When you pop your head up from the water the hot sun will warm the air in your scuba mask quickly. Then when you put your head below the water the cool temperatures will quickly cool your mask and condensation will form. Luckily, there are things you can do. Try keeping your back to the sun. This will slow down how quickly your mask heats up.
Globo Surf Overview
It can be incredibly frustrating to be underwater swimming past a coral reef only to have your mask fogged up. Being able to see underwater is crucial to snorkeling. You may want to consider trying a full face mask if you continue to have issues with your mask fogging up.
With the tips and tricks mentioned above, you should now be equipped to clear your mask. If you follow our steps and be sure to clean your mask every single time, then you should no longer have the issue of your mask fogging up. Now, all that is left to do is to pack your bags and book your next dream snorkel trip.
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- Condensation, National Geographic