You’ve just bought a brand new scuba mask and you’re wondering why it keeps fogging up on you?
It seems silly, but new scuba masks are sold with a protective film on the glass which makes them fog up like crazy. Therefore, in order to enjoy your new purchase, you need to remove this film. There are a few ways to do it so check out the pros and cons of each before committing to one.
Lather up and scrub
This is the most gentle (although sometimes least effective) way of cleaning your scuba mask for the first time. You can use standard dish soap or plain white toothpaste and a toothbrush (use an electric toothbrush for some extra help!). It may be necessary to do this a couple of times to really be fog free, but removing the film in this way is super kind to the glass and anybody can do it.
To burn or not to burn your scuba mask?
You may have heard that you can burn this protective layer on your scuba mask off with just a simple lighter. It’s completely true, but make sure you understand the risks before lighting up. Although this way of removing that fog problem is very fast and effective, there is a chance of compromising the strength of the glass (IE glass shatter could be a possibility). It’s rare to have these problems after the fact, but it’s something to consider. Something else that is good to note, you will want to be careful that you don’t warp the other materials that make up your mask. Be careful where you point the flame and you will generally have no problems!
You’ve already cleaned your scuba mask for the first time and still occasionally get fog?
Fog happens. It could come from not cleaning your mask immediately before the dive or a myriad of other reasons:
- The water is cool and your face is warm from surface temperature or from exerting energy during the dive. This temperature difference will cause fog.
- You put on sunscreen right before the dive. Not only will this fog up your mask, but it’s also hurting the ocean. When you put sunscreen on your skin right before jumping in the water, your skin doesn’t have the opportunity to absorb the lotion. Therefore the sunscreen just gets rinsed off into the water which then harms the corals and animals that you love so much.
- You exhale through your nose often throughout the dive. Your goal with scuba diving is to embrace the creepy mouth breather within. If you exhale through your nose all the time, that warm breath will fog up your mask no matter what kind of treatment you do to your new scuba mask.
The easiest way to avoid fogging is to spit in your mask (and then rinse it) before going down for the dive. Some people will use baby shampoo or other ‘anti-fog’ pre-made products, but spit is a great, natural, plastic-free solution.
After doing this, you may still get fog during the dive. This is where your Open Water skills come into play. Try a simple partial flood mask to clear away the scuba mask fog. If this doesn’t work, there is a more complex skill that could help you which is unofficially known as the mask lick. You can see what that’s all about on YouTube here.
Diving is a special and memorable activity and having a de-fogged scuba mask is the key to enjoying it. Did you do something different when you were cleaning your scuba mask for the first time? Tell us about it in the comments below and let us know when you plan to come dive in the Komodo National Park in the future!
PADI IDC Staff Instructor #320212
We are a PADI dive center in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia offering daily dive trips to the Komodo National Park. The PADI courses available include Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, EFR, Divemaster and Sidemount. Join us for an unforgettable experience diving in one of the top dive destinations in the world!