Best Anti Fog for Your Dive or Snorkel Mask
Any dive can be ruined when your scuba dive mask fogs up, and you don’t have a clear view underwater. Especially new masks are prone to fogging up during the first few dives. However, even an older scuba mask can and will fog up at times.
- 1 Find the best solution to keep your mask from fogging up
- 2 Why does a mask fog up?
- 3 Brand New Dive or Snorkel Mask
- 4 Used Scuba and Snorkeling Masks
- 5 What is the Best Anti Fog for your Scuba Dive or Snorkel Mask?
- 6 Pin It
Find the best solution to keep your mask from fogging up
The most common remedy for a foggy scuba mask is spit. There are also many other commercial solutions as well as home remedies available in case you don’t want to spit into your scuba mask.
Why does a mask fog up?
Let’s have a look at what happens when a dive or snorkel mask fogs up. You have condensation that occurs on the inside of your scuba diving snorkel mask. The trapped air inside the snorkeling mask is humid. When it hits the colder glass of your lens, it starts to condensate.
It’s the same effect if you drive with your air-conditioned car when it’s humid and warm outside. If you don’t blow the air onto the windshield, it fogs up.
The more humid the air that gets trapped inside the face mask, the higher the chances that you experience mask fogging. Other factors are the water temperature and certainly the cleanness of your lens.
Condensation happens on a microscopic level. It is dependent on the surface tension of the lens in addition to the two factors mentioned above. Mask defogger solutions, as well as spit, reduce that surface tension, which in turn reduces the chances of fogging in your mask.
No matter which of the solutions you use to keep your mask from fogging up, you have to make sure that the lens is clean and that your fingers are dry and clean. Dirt in the mask only helps the fogging.
Brand New Dive or Snorkel Mask
New dive and snorkel masks have a silicone coating left on the lens that needs to be removed before you use a scuba mask defogger. This coating comes from the production process.
If you don’t remove the layer entirely, it will pretty much guarantee that the mask fogs up. It won’t even matter what other anti-fog solutions you try, as long as this silicone coating is on the glass you’ll experience your mask fogging up.
For that reason, it’s essential to get rid of any trace of the silicone before diving or snorkeling to prevent a foggy mask. There are a few ways that you can use to remove the layer.
Distribute a reasonable sized amount of non-bleaching toothpaste with your finger all over the glass of your scuba mask. Leave it on overnight. Then wipe it off with a soft cloth or wash it off.
The toothpaste will remove the left-over silicone coating from the glass. You can even use toothpaste as an ongoing anti-fog solution for your mask as it works sufficiently well to reduce or remove mask fogging.
Open Flame as Anti Fog
The second way to get rid of the silicone coating in scuba masks is to burn it off. For that, you run the flame of a candle or a lighter over the lens. The heat burns the silicone off and leaves a black layer of burnt silicone.
Wipe the burnt residue off with a soft cloth. You might have to repeat this procedure a few times until there’s no black layer left after you treated the lens with the flame.
You want to be very careful when you choose to use this method. If you’re not careful, you might end up burning the silicone of the skirt, and you can end up with a ruined mask.
Also, if the lens is plastic and not tempered glass, then it will melt!
Used Scuba and Snorkeling Masks
Once you used the scuba mask for a few dives, you need to think of different solutions to keep it from fogging up.
Take a few drops of baby shampoo and rub them onto your lens. You can also mix the baby shampoo with water and have it in a small spray bottle. Rinse just before you dive, and you should not experience any fogging.
You could use regular shampoo instead. However, if during the dive, you get water into the mask and then into your eyes, then the regular shampoo might sting. Baby shampoos are formulated not to cause tears and, as such, work better to be used to prevent mask fog.
A word of caution. Do not dump the baby shampoo and water solution onto the deck after you rinse out your mask. It might make the deck slippery as the shampoo is like soap!
Spit as your Mask Defogger
The cheapest solution of all. Spit into the dry scuba mask and rub the spit all over the lens. Then briefly rinse the mask out with fresh or saltwater. Some divers don’t like this solution as it merely grosses them out to spit into the dive or snorkel mask and then move the spit around the lens.
This method works, though, and is probably the most often used way to prevent fogging. It does not make your mask smell as good as if you use baby shampoo, though…
A downside is also that the spit anti-fog doesn’t last very long. You’ll have to redo the same procedure before every dive.
One safety measure you must consider when using spit. Never spit into your dive mask and then use the rinse bucket on the dive boat! If only one of you divers is sick, the virus or bacteria will contaminate the water in the rinse bucket and expose other divers to it. Only use the rinse bucket for commercial anti-fog solutions or for whatever method the dive boat provides!
Commercial Anti-Fog Solutions
You’ll find quite a few different commercial de-foggers for scuba masks. These all work pretty well and are quite affordable. Some of them come in convenient spray bottles, which makes it easy to apply them. Others need a drop of the liquid in the mask.
Spray or drip them into the mask and rub the solution all over the lens. Make sure that you don’t have any sunscreen or lotion residue on your fingers when distributing the anti-fog on your lens! Rinse in fresh or saltwater, and you should be good to go.
Another advantage of such a scuba mask defogger product is that they usually last for more than one dive, so you don’t have to reapply them after each dive.
What is the Best Anti Fog for your Scuba Dive or Snorkel Mask?
The most common solution is the cheapest one. Use your spit. It’s a method that works well on dive and snorkel masks and in many ways can complete with the best anti-fog for snorkel mask products.
If that’s too disgusting or if you want not to have to use a method every time you dive, then switch to commercial mask de-foggers. You can find the best anti-fog for dive mask use online or in your local dive shop.
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