How To Defog Your Scuba Mask + Tips For preventing Mask Fog

As a snorkeler or scuba diver, you probably know how irritating it can be when your snorkel or scuba mask fogs up!

When this happens, you will not be able to see in front of you, exposing you to potential danger. You will also be unable to enjoy the fantastic underwater view. 

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to stop mask fogging & in this article, we will cover a few ways to prevent new and used masks from fogging over.

What Causes Your Snorkel/Dive Mask To Fog

scuba mask fogging

A snorkel or dive mask fogs up when there is a difference in temperature between the lens and the mask.

Specifically, the lens is colder than the mask, leading water to condense on the interior of the lens.

Warmer air has more water vapor than colder air, so when the two come into contact with one another, part of the warmer air becomes cooler and condenses into fog.

Although your mask looks watertight, the surface of the glass has many small holes that attract moisture.

This is similar to what happens when our windows or car windshields fog up on a cold morning.

Accordingly, your mask can fog up quickly when there is that temperature difference!

Problems With New Masks Fogging

New masks often fog up very quickly, unlike old masks.

As such, you need to treat new masks differently from old masks if you want to prevent constant fogging. 

Why Does This Happen?

New masks still have some silicon residue on the lens, which are byproducts of the manufacturing process.

This means they will fog up much faster and more frequently than used masks.

Unless you destroy this layer on your mask, it will keep on fogging up no matter how much spit or defogging agent you use.

This means you need to remove the residue. You can do so by pre-treating a mask, which you can learn more about below..

How To Pre-Treat a New Mask

You can remove the residue by pre-treating a new mask.

There are two ways to pre-treat and defog a snorkel mask.

Toothpaste

This is the simplest cheapest method, but it is still highly effective.

Use high abrasion toothpaste since it can burn off more of the silicon residue.

  • Squeeze toothpaste into the inside of the lens. 
  • Using your finger, massage the toothpaste into every nook and cranny of the lens. Leave the lens on a flat surface overnight. 
  • After a day has passed, go back to check on the lens. By now, the residue is gone, and your mask should be good to go.

Some more stubborn masks can require more than one round of this, so do not be deterred if not all of the film comes off the first time.

Using Flame

This is another really popular method, but you must be very careful not to damage the silicone skirt of your mask!

Your local dive shop will do this for you if you’re not comfortable with doing this method yourself.

If you do choose this method, be very careful about not applying heat to one area for too long. You should move quickly and make sure every area gets an equal amount of heat:

  • Get out a lighter and run the flame on the inside surface of the lens. 
  • Do this until the lens turns black. 
  • When this happens, you will know that the residue is gone.
  • After the mask cools, wipe away the soot with a paper towel. 
  • To make sure all the residue is gone, repeat the process until the glass no longer goes black.

How To Treat Used Scuba Diving Masks

You can use defogging agents on used scuba diving masks. These are specifically designed to defog snorkel masks and are usually more effective than other methods such as using saliva or baby shampoo.

Defogging agents will prevent your mask from fogging. If defogging agents don’t work, you can use the methods for pre-treating new masks above.

It is possible that some residue from the manufacturing process still remains on the lens, causing the used scuba diving mask to fog over.

General Tips To Prevent Your Mask From Fogging

What if your mask still fogs after all of the treatments listed above?

Perhaps you have been taking care of your mask the wrong way.

Here are some general tips about how to avoid mask fogging. If you do the following, your mask will be less likely to fog.

Take the following into consideration whenever you handle your mask:

  • When using your mask, don’t breathe out of your nose. You should breathe out of your mouth. Breathing out of your nose will cause the mask to fog.
  • Ask yourself if your mask fits you correctly. If your mask is constantly flooding, you will have to start breathing out of your nose, which will fog things up. You should consider getting a mask that fits more tightly, so less moisture gets inside. That way, you’ll be able to breathe through your mouth easier, and the chances of fogging up will be lower.

Mask Cleaners and Defoggers

Many defoggers are also mask cleaners. Let’s talk about what kind of cleaners and defoggers you can use to wipe the lens of your mask, so it won’t fog up as easily.

Free Options

You don’t always have to get fogging agents to clean and defog your masks.

Free options include:

  • Saliva
  • Baby shampoo
  • Potatoes

Saliva is a readily available solution to fogging!

Spit directly into the inside of the mask and use your finger to make sure it gets on the whole lens.

Afterward, throw your mask into freshwater to make sure the saliva is equally distributed across the surface of the lens.

A few drops of baby shampoo can also do the trick!

You can use a bit of baby shampoo to rinse out your mask as you do with saliva.

Put some drops of baby shampoo into a spray bottle and there you have your very own cheap, mask anti fog spray!

Although mild shampoo could also do the trick, you should avoid using regular shampoo and stick to baby shampoo because baby shampoo is less irritating to your eyes. (It is also less likely to cause allergic reactions).

Potatoes are another option. Chop up a potato and rub the exposed inside of the potato against the lens of your mask.

Then, rinse with fresh water and put it on your face. You can now dive. This method may not be as effective as the others on our list, but it’s worth a try. 

You can also try combining these methods if one doesn’t do the trick.

Paid Options

These include:

  • Sea Gold Anti-Fog Gel: As one of the best anti-fogs for snorkel masks, this is a highly concentrated cleaner that can give you fogless vision. It works wonderfully if you’re doing cold dives and also is an excellent fit for those who dive multiple times a day.
  • Anti-Fog Spray: You can get instant clarity with this spray. Not only can you use it for your snorkel and scuba masks, but you can also use it on glasses, mirrors, and more. We recommend this if you don’t often dive and want to get a scuba anti-fog that you can use in other situations.
  • Happy Snorkel Mask Anti Fog: Specifically made for snorkel and scuba masks, this stops your mask from fogging. It is tested in Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef and lasts around 50 snorkels. It is non-abrasive, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally using too much of it as you do with toothpaste and flame.

Take the following into consideration when using these paid anti fogs and sprays:

  • You don’t have to use that much. Manufacturers made these sprays and anti-fogs with the intention of stopping fog, so you only need one spray or drop.
  • If you use too many drops, you might actually hurt your eyes. Like shampoo, these sprays can emit fumes that make your eyes uncomfortable. 
  • Read the instructions on the products to minimize complications.
  • Make sure to spray evenly across your lens, so you coat the entire lens.
  • Don’t touch your lens after you’ve sprayed it with the anti-fog! The layer exists to protect the lens and prevent it from fogging. Touching it will remove the layer and make your lens susceptible to fogging again.

To find the best-paid anti-fog for your mask, you should read all the reviews of the product. What are people saying about it? Are there any stand-out features?

You should also pay attention to the consistency of the anti-fog.

This is how well it sticks to the lens. The more consistent the anti-fog is, the more effective it will be. The more gel-like the consistency of the anti-fog, the more it will cling to the lens.

Finally, ask yourself what your budget is. How much are you willing to spend on this anti-fog? Have you tried the free mask cleaners yet?

It might be a good idea to try the free options first. If you’re not getting the results you want, then you could try looking at paid options.

To Wrap It Up

All in all, there are many ways to stop your snorkel or scuba mask from fogging up.

You can use a flame, toothpaste, and more to burn off the residue that is responsible for fogging in new masks, and you can use mask cleaners and anti foggers to treat used masks.

We hope our tips for preventing mask fog have helped and that you can now enjoy many fog free adventures going forward!

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