How to Clean a Snorkel Mask

How to Clean a Snorkel Mask

If you’ve recently purchased a brand-new snorkel mask and you’re hoping to get several years’ worth of snorkeling excursions out of it, it’s obviously going to be imperative that you keep it properly cleaned. Every snorkel mask is going to require the same amount of upkeep as any scuba diving mask would.

The good news is that it’s actually quite easy to maintain your mask. We recommend that you initially clean your snorkel mask immediately after purchasing it, before you use it for the very first time. After that, it’s recommended that you thoroughly clean it after each and every trip you take into the water.

We’ve put this brief guide together to show you the proper way to clean your snorkel mask – both for the first time and then after each subsequent use. As an added bonus, we’ve even thrown in a few tips to show you how to clean it before each of your excursions that will help to prevent your mask from fogging up.

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Cleaning Your Snorkel Mask After Purchase

The very first time you clean your snorkel mask should be right after taking it home. You’re going to need a few common household items in order to do so – a non-abrasive toothpaste, a soft wash cloth, and (optionally) a toothbrush. Some people like to use their fingertips for cleaning the interior of their mask, but we would strongly recommend that you use a toothbrush instead. It will help to minimize the risk of damage to the mask lens, which is the same reason why you should be using a non-abrasive toothpaste as well.

The reason that we recommend cleaning your mask before using it for the first time is that most snorkel masks have a thin oily film on the lens. Mask makers use this to help protect the masks during shipping.

You’re going to want to add several small drops of the toothpaste to both the inside and the outside of your mask. Using the toothbrush, gently brush the mask lens until you can scrub off that oily film. Next, be sure to give the mask a thorough rinse in order to remove any leftover toothpaste. And finally, use the soft wash cloth to completely dry the mask – this will help to prevent any bacteria from developing.

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Prevent Mask Fog Before It Occurs

We’ve covered ways to prevent your mask from getting fogged up in more detail elsewhere on the site, but to briefly summarize, you can again use a non-abrasive toothpaste to coat the inside of your mask and then leave it to sit overnight. Give it a thorough rinse in the morning and you should be good to go. Alternatively, you can also buy an actual mask defogging solution to use in much the same way, although most people will probably find it more economical to simply use toothpaste.

Cleaning Your Snorkel Mask After Use

You’re going to want to clean your snorkel mask every time that you use it. There’s not too many people out there who can go on a snorkeling excursion and walk away without having saltwater, sand, and other types of debris stuck inside of their mask.

When you get home, you should immediately wash your mask in a sink full of warm, soapy water. You’ll need to use a mix of soap and water in order to help clear away any tiny specks of debris that might be hiding on your mask lens.

Afterwards, you can rinse the mask off with clean water to remove any soapy residue before once again using a small wash cloth to thoroughly dry the mask. A damp mask can be a prime breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s essential to make sure you properly dry your mask every time that you clean it.

For the snorkel tube itself, we recommend simply soaking it in a mix of warm water and dish detergent. This helps to make sure that any bacteria or debris that may be located inside of the tube can be dislodged.


Proper maintenance and cleaning of your snorkel mask is absolutely essential if you want it to last for a long time. A buildup of debris can end up causing microscopic scratches and damage to the inside of your mask lens. This ends up not only reducing your visibility when out in the water, but these small dents and scratches are yet another prime breeding ground for bacteria.

By taking the proper care of your snorkel gear, you’ll be able to ensure that your mask and snorkel will always be good to go whenever you’re ready to head off for your next snorkeling adventure.

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