Prevent Snorkel Mask Fogging

Author: Jodi Pierce

Let’s get into your head for a bit.

Picture this: You are in a large body of water enjoying the coolness and serenity being in the water offers, viewing all aqua bodies beneath you playing around. You know, you are at peace. Then all of a sudden, your sixth sense picks up that something is wrong. Suddenly, you can’t view what’s going on around you. You discover that water has seeped into your snorkel mask – that explains why your mask is fogged and you can’t see past it. You get scared. Adrenaline kicks in. You start breathing faster than normal. You lose balance. You found yourself getting plunged into the water and in a flash, you hit your head on a rock and you pass out.

Now, Stop imagining. Breathe. You are not stuck in water with your mask all fogged up and your vision hazy. You are reading this article that is sort of raising awareness on the worst possible scenario in the case of mask fogging. The worst possible scenario you could prevent from happening if you have taken all the right safety measures to prevent your mask from getting fogged in the course of snorkelling.

So, how do you prevent all that from happening? What safety tips do you employ to make sure your snorkel mask wouldn’t spring up surprise while snorkelling?

If those are the questions running through your mind right now, don’t worry we’ve got you.

Check if the Mask is New

If the mask you are about to use for that snorkelling exercise is new, the chances of the mask getting fogged up is high, because for new snorkel masks, there maybe residue patched on the lens after the manufacturing process, hence making it highly susceptible to get fogged.

There are two preventive measures you could apply to take out the manufacturing residue off the snorkel mask:

  • Clean with toothpaste: This trick is as old as it is effective. All you need to do in this case is to squeeze out some paste on the lens and spread it out to make sure it covers the entire area. Allow it to stay overnight so as to let the chemicals from the toothpaste react with the chemicals from the manufacturing residue. Then wash and scrub off with a clean wash cloth.
  • Burn the mask: This method is practically trying to flame the mask. Light up a candle or spark a lighter. Run the tip of the flame through the inside of the lens to burn the residue causing the fogging. As a result the whole of the mask will turn black. Clean off the black soot and repeat the process. Once it gets to the point where the mask doesn’t blacken up anymore then you know you have successfully burnt off the residue. Warning - If your mask is made of plastic then don’t apply this method because you will end up burning it. This method is more effective to take out the residue than the toothpaste method.

Avoid Running Bare Fingers Through The Lens While Cleaning

Running your fingers through the lens is one act that could make your lens more opaque and less lucid. So whether you are using the toothpaste or whatever cleaning agent to clean your snorkel mask prior to your immersion in the water, always make sure you do not use your fingers on the lens, more preferably if need be to wipe off the lens clean, shake out the water in it instead.

Use Antifogging Agents

While cleaning your snorkel mask goes a long way in making sure you don’t get bothered with your mask fogging up while snorkelling, it is always safer to double-check by applying an anti fogging agent on the lens. These anti fogging agents act as inhibitors to prevent the reaction that causes fogging from occurring. It is like greasing your motor engines to avoid friction from happening.

Applying the anti fogging agent is no uphill task. Simply just spray it on the lens, swerve the lens from left to right to ensure the anti fogging agents spreads evenly to all parts inside the lens. Rinse out with water, but don’t scrub off so that some remnant of the agent stays in the lens to prevent fogging from happening.

You can buy these antifogging products anywhere. You can also improvise by using a solution of baby shampoo mixed with water, glycerin agents or even saliva. Some pro snorkelers have also recommended the smearing of potato on the lens and rinsing, as a very effective anti fogging method.

Checks for Leaks

To prevent fogging from happening while snorkelling, you have to rule out all possibilities of fogging while prepping before diving into the water. So, in the course of cleaning your mask, also have in mind that there might be a leak somewhere and this could allow water in your lens and eventually cause fogging. To avoid that, pour very little amount of water on the lens, swerve it to the left and right and check if any droplet of water is draining out. If there is no droplet leaking out then you can proceed to the next step below.

Ensure your mask is tightly fitted to your face

If your mask is not appropriately fitted to your face, you create a room for water and air seeping into your mask and causing fogging. So you want to make sure it is appropriately fitted to your face before diving in. Also make sure that you don’t remove the mask while snorkelling as that also could make your mask susceptible to fogging. Lastly, before you dive in make sure your face and mask is dry enough.

Try to stay away from the sun while snorkelling

Change in temperature is something that could easily cause fogging as a result of condensation. It is a common practice for snorkelers to pull their heads out of the water to receive sunlight, in that moment the sun heats up the mask to an extent and when you plunge yourself into the depth of water, the mask cools off and condensation happens. And condensation could make your mask foggy. So to be safe, while snorkelling stay away from sunlight.

In essence before you start that snorkelling trip, take all the preventive measures discussed above so as to prevent fogging from occurring.