One of the most annoying things when scuba diving or snorkeling is when your mask is too foggy to see through! So what was supposed to be a relaxing activity, soon becomes a frustrating and annoying experience. As an instructor, I have seen many students come in with a new scuba mask fogging up. These are the tips I give them to ensure they can see and enjoy all of the cool things underwater!
How to Fix a New Scuba Mask Fogging
Brand new masks have a silicone layer on the glass of the mask. When heat touches the glass, this will turn into little droplets of water that will fog up the mask. The heat vapor will come from your nose and face, while the glass will be cooler from the water surrounding the mask. The hot and the cold will cause condensation on the glass which creates the fog!
When a mask fogs up, this will cloud your vision and you won’t be able to see through it. It can totally ruin your diving trip!
This is why you will need to properly clean a new scuba mask to stop it from fogging. It is such an annoying issue that even PADI has written about it.
Check out some of our favorite methods below and our best ways fix a new scuba mask from fogging!
How to Defog a Mask
This is the easiest and safest way to clean a new scuba mask. To use toothpaste to defog your mask grab some white, non-abrasive, non-gel, toothpaste. Smear it on the inside of the mask, covering every part of the glass. Leave it for at least an hour, or overnight, then rinse it off with clean fresh water. The toothpaste will rub away at the silicone layer, and you’ll also have a minty fresh smell when you go for a dive!
Burning Silicone Layer
For this method, you will need to make sure you have a tempered glass mask, not plastic. You will usually only have to do this once when you have just bought your new scuba mask.
You can grab a lighter, test to see the strength of the fire, then put that fire under the inside of the glass of the mask. It will create a black film on the glass. Move the fire around so that it ‘burns’ most of the glass. Just let the fire lick the glass and move it around, don’t concentrate it for too long in a certain spot. After the whole inside of the glass is black, let it cool before rinsing off the black film with clean, fresh, water.
Make sure the fire doesn’t touch the skirt of the mask otherwise this will melt!
Baby shampoo is a great mask defogger. Before every dive, just add a dab of baby shampoo or dish-washing liquid to the inside of the glass of the mask. This creates a thin layer of film that will stop the water droplets from collecting and creating a fog. Be careful not to use too much shampoo otherwise it can sting your eyes (which is also why we recommend baby shampoo)! But also don’t rinse too much of the shampoo out of the mask, otherwise, it will defeat the purpose and just fog up again!
Ah, the oldest, grossest, and most efficient way to clean a scuba mask is to use your spit or saliva!
Hock up some saliva, spit into the mask, then smear it around the glass. Dip it quickly into the water then put the mask on and you should have a fog-free mask! This works by leaving a thin layer of saliva on the glass, so it is best done just before you put your face into the water. Gross, but effective. Especially gross when renting or sharing a mask with someone else!
Dive Mask Anti Fog Solution
These little handy bottles of anti-fog have a magical solution that leaves a smidge of film on your mask. This is enough to stop those pesky water droplets from sticking onto the mask and fogging it.
What Types of Scuba Masks are there?
A good scuba diving mask will be made out of tempered glass. This is made to withstand pressure from the water while underwater.
Plastic masks are very cheap and you will find them hanging in every cheap tourist store. However, these masks will scratch easily which will severely impact your view – almost worse than the fog!
Cheap masks will also have very hard, rubber skirts. The skirt is what sticks to your face and when it is hard and rigid, it will not mold to your face well which means it won’t fit properly. When a mask does not fit properly, it means water will keep leaking in; even when the mask is on tight. A leaking mask is also a very annoying problem when snorkeling or scuba diving!
How to Clean a Dive Mask
After each salty dive, it is a good idea to clean a dive mask. This stops salt from building up, and to ensure mold doesn’t grow on the silicone skirt of the mask.
To clean a dive mask, use warm soapy water. Submerge the mask in the water and use your fingers to wipe any sunscreen residue, sand, or grime off the mask. Be sure to pay attention to the silicone skirt, and wash the inside of the nose piece. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the mask (not the glass) if you notice some mold.
When finished with cleaning the mask, use a towel to dry and leave it in the shade for the inside to dry out too. Algae and mold can sometimes grow inside a mask if it hasn’t dried out properly, or is left in a moist environment.
Defogging a Mask
Owning your own scuba mask is a small investment that will pay off for future trips. With a few small preparations before your scuba diving trip, you can avoid a fogging or dirty mask. Toothpaste, burning the glass, spit and anti-fog solutions are some great methods. By following our best ways on how to defog a mask, you will be sure to stop your new scuba mask from fogging on your next dive!