A dive mask is an essential accessory for a diver. If you have ever experienced scuba diving, you might be aware of how vital a dive mask is.
The dive mask is a window to the majestic underwater world. To see through the mysterious sea and observe its magnificent life, you ought to regularly take care of your scuba mask from the moment you purchase a new one.
But why does a new mask require cleaning? To explain it in simpler words, while manufacturing diving masks, a thin layer of silicone sits on the mask lens. This layer usually is resistant to defogging practices. To ensure that the fog does not accumulate on the lens, you need to pre-clean it.
Besides cleaning your new masks, in general, you should take care of them. Compared to other scuba equipment, you can use the diving mask for a long time before replacing it, if reasonable maintained.
How To Clean Scuba Mask with Toothpaste
You can use this practice for new as well as old masks.
Most masks are delivered with a ‘film’ of sealant or protective coating on their lens. This film encourages water droplets to settle via the condensation process – thus it causes fogging.
For glass lenses, using abrasive agents like toothpaste can effectively remove the film and therefore discourage fogging.
Note that you should use regular white toothpaste and not gel ones.
Take a blob of toothpaste and rub it over the lens in a circular motion over and over again. Take small breaks in between and start again. Do it around 5-7 times.
Once you are done, rinse it under water properly so that accumulated toothpaste on the edges gets washed away. You can use a clean wet cloth to take care of the edges.
This process might take a lot of rinsing and rubbing. You can also use a cloth piece or toothbrush to clean.
You should, however, not use this technique on plastic lenses as there may be a chance of ruining them. Some of the masks which have plastic lenses come with anti-fog agents already applied.
This process can also remove the yellowing of the silicone masks.
DIY Homemade Scuba Mask Defogger
Why do you need a homemade defogger when there are better commercial alternatives available?
The reason is that you can make homemade defoggers in bulk. Commercial ones often get used up quickly and are not economical. After all, if you can make one at home, why spend money on expensive alternatives.
You will need an applicator/spray bottle, baby shampoo, and dish detergent to make one.
In the spray bottle, add 50% dish detergent and 40% baby shampoo. Fill it up with hot water and give it a little shake. The anti-fog solution is ready.
To use it, spray onto the mask, scrub the lens a little, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and rinse it underwater. Make sure you wash away all shampoo to avoid irritation to the eyes.
Baby shampoos are excellent defoggers; they are hypo-allergenic, biodegradable, and less irritating for your eyes. And certainly more hygienic than spitting in your mask, as you may have seen some divers do to defog their mask.
The Flame Trick For New Scuba Masks
The flame trick is one of the best ways to remove the film on new masks that causes fogging.
Inside the lens, run the tip of a flame until it becomes black. The fire consumes the fog building residue. You can use a lighter or a candlestick to carry this out.
When the inside of the lens becomes black, allow it to cool off and wipe away the black soot with a piece of cloth. Repeat it until the glass lens stops turning black.
Please do not use this technique on plastic lenses as they will straight melt away.
Also, do not permit the glass lenses to become extremely warm. Moreover, take care of the silicone edges since they too can melt from the heat.
How To Disinfect Scuba Mask
Remember that you have to essentially pre-clean new dive masks before use.
Some other methods of cleaning are:
- Using commercial defogging cleaners
- Rubbing raw potato on the inside of the lens
- Rubbing it with a paste of salt and water until salt dissolves
- Rubbing it with honey
How To Clean and Store a Scuba Mask After a Dive
After coming back from a dive, it is essential to clean your scuba mask. Do not discard it immediately after diving.
Cleaning Masks After Dive
Follow these steps to clean your mask after a dive:
- Rinse it thoroughly with fresh water
- Rinse with warm water with a temperature less than 120°F to dissolve salt crystals clinging onto the mask
- Dry it with a clean cloth or towel
Now that you have cleaned them properly, you can store them in a secure space like anti-fog solutions.
It would be best if you stored them safely to increase their usability. If you can maintain them properly, they can last longer.
Store them in a dry and cool place, never under direct sunlight. The plastic part of the dive mask becomes fragile and brittle when placed in direct contact with the sunlight.
It’s ideal to keep it in an air-tight bag or container that allows little air to flow in and out. Though you might feel that small amounts of water can cause no damage to them, it can cause mold to develop.
Ensuring they get proper ventilation to them in the bag can make it live longer.
When you clean it after dive, do not store until it fully dries. Make sure you remove all the dirt and residue; otherwise, it may attract bugs. Insects can chew away from your mask and, therefore, clean them well.
Another point to note is that do not keep the lens facing downwards. It may develop scratches.
Store transparent skirted masks in a different bag and away from your other diving equipment. Keeping it near other diving gears that are colored can stain the skirted mask.
Likewise, make sure to eliminate neoprene ties from the masks, as keeping them away in storage for prolonged period can cause decay and yellowing of dive masks.
You can deep clean your mask from time to time to ensure they are appropriately cleaned post-diving.
Follow these steps:
- Rub dish soap all over the mask, from all edges to the nose. Apply on the skirts and the lens
- Rinse with warm water
- Rinse thrice to ensure that you removed all soap
- Allow it to dry
- Store it properly as instructed in the previous section
What Should You Not Do?
You should keep in mind certain things that you should not use to clean your dive masks.
Keep your mask away from oil, vaporizers, chemical solutions, alcohol, and gas. It would be best if you never use them to clean or defog your mask.
Also, try not to open any part to aerosol sprays to ensure that the plastic or rubber parts remain safe from degradation.
You should also not use any petrol-based substances or alcohol to grease any part of your mask. Additionally, never store them near any chemical solvents, aerosol sprays, or fuels.
Your dive mask is the essential equipment of your scuba kit. Underwater, your naked eye cannot see surroundings and other things clearly. The diving mask acts as a tool to see through water by filling the air between your eyes and water.
However, if your mask is dirty or foggy, it will impact clear visibility. Allow yourself to experience the beauty of underwater life, clean them regularly and give them good maintenance.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.