Prevent Snorkel Mask Fogging
You can prevent snorkel mask fogging; it is not difficult to stop, and it is important for enjoyment. Because how many times have you found yourself snorkeling along and realized you were cranking your head to the side to try and see out of the one spot on your snorkel mask that wasn't foggy? What a pain.
Well, it does not have to be that way. If you do things right you should rarely have any fogging in your mask, just crystal clear vision.
You may be surprised to learn that the number one reason for a foggy mask is a dirty mask. The moisture forming inside your mask has to attach to something. That something is dirt specks and oils. Moisture cannot easily attach on a very clean mask. With a clean mask the moisture sheets down and collects at the bottom instead of fogging.
Moisture also can attach to the microscopic imperfections in the glass. That is why anti-fog, baby shampoo or spit works. They act as surfactants that reduce the surface tension of the condensing water, making it less likely to cling to the glass.
Prevent Snorkel Mask Fogging In Four Steps
- Clean your mask often, and then don’t touch it inside. Clean it with toothpaste, and a toothbrush, not your finger. Apply a small amount of toothpaste, and scrub it in hot water. Rinse it completely in hot water. Do this often. (If your lens is not glass, use dish soap and a very soft brush or wash cloth so you don't scratch the plastic.)
- Use anti-fog every time you snorkel. The cheapest and easiest is a very mild solution of baby shampoo and water, or you can buy an anti-fog product. Spray it in your mask and swish it around thoroughly so it touches every surface of the glass. DO NOT RUB IT AROUND WITH YOUR FINGERS! Your fingers are oily and dirty. Then rinse your mask ONCE quickly with either fresh or salt water. (We use 10-12 drops of baby shampoo mixed with water in a 2 ounce spray bottle.)
- Then, put it on your face quickly. Shake out any water drops before putting it on. Try to have a relatively dry face. Once the mask is on with a good seal, try to keep from removing it and allowing moisture to enter. Try not to clear the mask by breathing inside of it unless you must (that adds moisture). We enter the water with a dry mask, over a dry face, and do not take that mask off at all during the snorkel, if possible. And it works.
- If all else fails and you are out on the water with a foggy mask, remove it, spit in it, shake the mask around to coat the glass (don’t rub it with your fingers), dump it out, and put it back on, this will generally fix the problem. If you don't have a lot of spit, dilute it with a small amount of salt water to coat the glass.
- If this process does not work for you, then you may need to have your mask burned at a dive shop. Sometimes new masks come with a coating on the glass that must be removed with fire. After that, this process should work great for you.
Why & When Does Condensation Form?
Learn To Avoid Temperature Changes
One final important tip to prevent snorkel mask fogging. Condensation happens when the temperature of the glass is lower than the air inside the mask. Basically that happens when you go from a hot environment to a cold environment. So when you have had your face in the water, and then come up and face the sun, the hothouse effect warms the air inside, and then when you plunge it back into the colder water the glass will quickly cool, and condensation will form. So when you are sitting up in the water to talk with your partner, or when you first put your mask on, make a habit of turning your back to the sun.
We have shared how to prevent snorkel mask fogging for years in our eBook snorkeling guides. And many people have told us that by following these steps they have noticed a big improvement in stopping foggy snorkel mask problems.
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