How to Keep Your Snorkel Mask From Fogging Up
Imagine for a second that you’re floating in warm, crystal-clear blue water somewhere in the tropics. You can see a school of brilliantly colored fish swimming nearby underneath the water’s surface. You slip your snorkel mask over your head, put your face into the water, and less than two minutes later, your mask is completely fogged up.
Quite a way to put a damper on an otherwise incredible experience, right?
That’s where we come in. Since we know how frustrating it can be to have your time spent snorkeling ruined by getting your mask all fogged up and having to constantly clean it, we’re going to give you some of our top tips for how to keep your snorkel mask from fogging up.
Choose Your Mask Carefully
The first tip that we can give you is to make sure that you choose your snorkel mask carefully. This tip mainly applies if you’re going to be investing in your own mask (and really, if you enjoy the hobby as much as we do, then you definitely should). If you’re using freebie or rental equipment offered by a tour operator, this isn’t always going to be possible.
Many snorkel masks these days have built in anti-fog technology. While that sounds great in theory, the truth is that some of these designs work great, and others leave a lot to be desired.
If you’re going to be picking up your own mask, it’s definitely worth it to take the time to read through some of our snorkel mask reviews to find one that will suit you with anti-fogging technology that actually works.
Aside from making sure that you’re using a mask with an anti-fog design, the best thing you can do to prevent fogging is to take a few preventive measures. One of the main reasons that fogging occurs in the first place is because the mask itself is dirty. When moisture and condensation build up inside of the mask, they need to attach to something, and that something is dirt and debris on the interior of the mask.
So with that in mind, in order to help prevent fogging, you’re going to want to make sure your mask is clean, and one of the best ways to clean a snorkel mask that also happens to work wonders for preventing fog is to use toothpaste.
You’re going to want to use toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean your mask. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush and rub it around the inside of the mask for a few minutes. Some people then like to leave the mask to sit overnight with the toothpaste still in it, and you can if you wish, but it’s not necessary. You can simply give it a quick rinse with hot water afterwards.
If you’re going to use the toothpaste method, it’s important to make sure you don’t use an overly abrasive toothpaste as well, as it can damage the mask lens, especially if it’s made out of glass.
Along these same lines, some snorkeling enthusiasts swear by baby shampoo instead of toothpaste. In fact, many divers always carry a small bottle of baby shampoo with their gear to help prevent fogging in a pinch.
Another extremely popular way to prevent mask fogging is known as flaming. Simply use the tip of a flame and run it along the lens until it turns black to burn off all the residue and debris that will cause fogging. When finished, let the mask cool off completely before wiping away the residue with a small cloth. If needed, you can repeat this method two or three time.
One important note in regards to the flame method – it should only be used on masks with a glass lens. A plastic lens will melt in the heat, and be sure to take extra care not to hold the flame near the silicone skirt, which can also melt.
The three methods discussed above have all been thoroughly tested by us and proven to be effective at preventing snorkel masks from fogging up. If you’re already out in the water, you could theoretically use spit (saliva) in a pinch if you had to. In general though, you’re going to be better off taking the proper measures to help prevent fogging in the first place.
Keep these tips in mind for the next time you’re planning on heading off for a snorkeling expedition to make sure that you’ll be able to fully enjoy the experience. We know how much it can suck to have to spend the majority of your time in the water wiping fog off of your mask. Thankfully, by using the tips above, you’ll spend less time worrying about fog and more time taking in the spectacular sights waiting for you.