You purchased your new mask, spent all the time getting through your scuba diving certification, arrived at your scuba destination, and are finally ready to see what it was all for.You jump in the water and begin your decent. The reefs are beautiful and the water is clear. Then all of a sudden things begin to cloud over. You choose the perfect mask, one that doesn’t leak, and now you are actually letting water in to wash your mask. Luckily, there are a few simple steps that you can take to solve this problem.
There are basically two steps to stop your scuba mask from ruining your dive by fogging up. The first is a good (and often) cleaning. The second is to find a good defogging agent.
Cleaning your mask is important for both new and old masks alike. New masks have protective coatings and other oil like chemicals on them from manufacturing. Old masks may have salt crystals, or dirty water spots that allow moisture to stick.
Cleaning Your Mask
There are a number of cleaning agents on the market now, but I actually still prefer to use a good cheap toothpaste. Cheap toothpastes are generally more gritty than the expensive brands that tend to use gels and they also do not include any additional chemicals (such as whitening agents) that might possible damage the silicone in your mask.
To clean your mask, simply apply a general amount of tooth paste and firmly rub in on the lens with your finger. (Be sure your hands are clean. You don’t want to add any more oil to the lens). The more you rub, the smoother you should feel it become. After cleaning, be sure to rinse of all toothpaste of the mask. If your mask fogs very easily, do this process 3-4 times. Now give it the “breath test”. This will help you find areas that may still be dirty as they will fog up first.
There are a number of good defogging agents on the market, and actually most of them do work to some degree. I personally prefer to use sea drops for cold water (as it’s easier to apply) and sea gold for warm water (it’s stronger). it should go for about $4-$5 a bottle and will keep your mask fog free for a couple of dives.
Application is very similar to cleaning. Apply a drop (in the case of sea gold) on the inside of each lens and rub thoroughly into the entire lens. Dip your mask in the water once to rinse any excess.
- If your mask is still fogging after applying these steps, clean your mask again (or several more times) to make sure there are no residue chemicals. This is especially important for new masks.
- Try to stop breathing through your nose. If your mask constantly has hot steam pushed in it will fog up much quicker
- Put your face in the water before putting on your mask. Cooling down your head a little can help your mask stay fog free a little longer