Picture this: you just rolled up to your favorite diving spot, raring to go snorkeling. You strap on your brand spanking new snorkeling gear and jump into the inviting waters. The day couldn’t be more perfect for snorkeling‒the sun is blazing overhead, the fish are out in full force, and the corals are absolutely blinding in a dazzling array of color.

You casually swim over to get a closer look at a particularly interesting formation and then it happens. The thing that all snorkelers hate most of all: that dreaded Foggy Mask Syndrome.

SNORKEL MASK FOG IS MORE THAN JUST ANNOYING

You’ve probably experienced it before, so you know just how annoying a foggy mask can be. They prevent you from seeing the sights, and detract considerably from your enjoyment of snorkeling. Low snorkeling visibility can really put a damper on your snorkeling experience.

Worse still, foggy masks may actually pose a safety hazard. They prevent you from communicating effectively with other snorkelers, and even cause you to lose track of your surroundings. And when they impair your ability to gauge your buoyancy, your safety could be at risk. Learning how to prevent snorkel mask fog is a key step in becoming a better snorkeler.

WHY SNORKEL MASKS FOG

Why do diving masks even fog up? This phenomenon typically occurs when the temperature inside the mask is lower than the air’s dew point. Because of the lower temperature, the water in the air condenses and forms moisture droplets. It is these droplets that cause masks to fog up.

SOLUTIONS FOR DEALING WITH FOGGY SNORKEL MASKS

Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with a foggy mask. There are ways to prevent condensation from forming on the inside of your mask, so you could have an unimpeded view of your surroundings. 

One thing you have to keep in mind though is that there are different ways to defog a mask depending on whether it is new or used. Here we provide solutions for dealing with both types:

WAYS TO PREVENTING OR FIX NEW SNORKEL MASK FOGGING

The reason why new masks fog up is the residual coating on the lens left behind by the manufacturing process. You will have to remove this coating to prevent fogging issues completely. There are two effective methods for doing so:

Applying Toothpaste

Toothpaste is a widely used defogging agent by many divers. All you have to do is squirt a little bit on the inside lens and rub it in. It would be best to use toothpaste without abrasive particles. You should also leave the toothpaste on overnight for best results and apply it a few times if necessary.

Heating Up The Lens

Another traditional defogging method involves heating the inside lens with a lighter or a candle. This will cause the material to blacken, which is totally normal. Allow the surface to cool for a few minutes, and then wipe off the blackened residue. You should probably apply the heat treatment a couple of times until the lens barely blackens.

WAYS TO PREVENT OR FIX USED SNORKEL MASK FOGGING

With used masks, the residual coating would have likely worn off. But they can still fog up due to condensation. Here are some solutions you can try to prevent used masks from fogging up:

Spit and Shine

For a quick and dirty solution, you can rub some saliva (your own!) on the inside lens. Rinse it off with some water, but make sure to leave a thin layer of spit. This method works best when applied just before you enter the water.

Applying Commercial Defogging Agents

For particularly stubborn cases, you might have better luck with a commercial defogging agent. As with most solutions, you apply a few drops to your mask’s inside lens and rub it in. Rinse most of the solution off while leaving a thin layer on the material, and you should be good to go.

Applying Baby Shampoo

Baby shampoo is often just as effective as many commercial defogging solutions. It would be best to use baby shampoo rather than regular shampoo because it is less likely to irritate your skin and eyes.

Applying Glycerin or Dishwashing Soap

Glycerin and dishwashing soaps provide pretty much the same effect as baby shampoo. Be careful, though, as these can irritate your eyes. If it becomes a problem, it might be best to use other solutions.

Rubbing Potato Juice

Finally, try rubbing a bit of potato juice to the inside lens of your mask. Simply slice a chip off a regular potato and rub the exposed part to the lens. 

Of course, the chances of having a raw potato with you on a snorkeling trip are pretty slim! But if you do happen to have one, it might be worth a try! 

As you can see, defogging masks is pretty simple and requires only a few commonly available solutions. Follow the tips outlined above, and you won’t have to put up with foggy masks ever again! Happy snorkeling!

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