“Arrrgh, this dive sucked. I couldn’t see anything, because my mask was fogging up all the time.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this phrase, I’d retire on a deserted island somewhere in the middle of an undiscovered healthy coral reef and live there happily ever after.
Foggy mask is probably the most common problem for divers, but also for even more plentiful snorkelers. If you are diving with a foggy mask, I have good news as there is hope to see clearly all the beautiful wonders of the underwater world. Here are a few tips on how to get rid off fog in your scuba or snorkel mask.
1) The best way to get rid off the fog in your new mask is to burn the glass with a lighter. Now you are thinking, “you must be crazy”. Well, I might be, but this one is true. Before I explain it, note that this works only on a mask which is from a tempered glass. If your scuba mask is not that lucky, you’d probably render it quite unusable. Usually, you will see a letter “T” somewhere on the glass for your to know if it is made out of tempered glass. So, if you do have a tempered glass scuba/snorkelling mask, you can light the lighter and slowly burn the inside of the mask’s glass surface to get rid off a protective silicone film which is there from the factory. After you burn off the excess film cover, wipe off the blackened glass. Repeat the process until the glass does not turn brown.
2) Use toothpaste on your snorkelling or scuba mask. Rub a toothpaste on the inner glass of the mask and let it sit overnight, so your next day’s dive is as clear as the winter sky. All you need to do is pick a flavor of your toothpaste that you like as your mask will smell like it afterwards. So minty fresh is probably good and just to be sure, stay away from bleaching toothpastes
3) Rub baby shampoo onto the inner mask glass before your dive. I’d suggest rubbing it in and then leaving the baby shampoo in the mask right to the time you enter the water, so the glass does not have a chance to get all dirty/oily again. Baby shampoo is used because it is gentle on the eyes, so they will not start watering when you put your snorkeling or scuba mask on. There are also many other proprietary anti-fogging solutions in the scuba stores, but I’d definitely not recommend spending money on these as the results could vary and they are expensive as opposed to the choices presented here.
4) Some people swear by using glycerin soaps or other solutions which are used in the same way as the baby shampoo. However, I’d recommend against using glycerin as it is not the most pleasant substance to get into your eyes. If do opt in for, putting glycerin in your mask, make sure not to get any water into your mask while diving as that could be painful.
5) Good ol’ spit in the mask will also do the trick. Many people think that spitting in the mask is disgusting and they are appalled at the idea of sloshing spit close to your eyes. I suggest you get over your luxurious self and explore this choice. Your spit has natural substances that will help your mask from fogging and it works in the similar manner as baby shampoo. Professional swimmers have been licking the insides of their swim goggles for many years now. It is actually a small ritual for many just before competitions. No body has yet to die from a spit :).
6) If you are into a natural, eco friendly type of life, you might want to give a try to papaya leaves. Some islanders in Asia swear by using papaya leaves to keep their masks fog free. From what I have heard, it works wonders, so perhaps a natural anti-fogging agent could be the best.
7) Do not use sun tan lotion before you go diving. It is quite possible that your mask is fogging up because your face is full of lotion and your face is sweating, thus making your mask quite foggy as a result. So, please stay away from the lotions before diving.
8) Finally, slosh water inside your mask while diving. If during your snorkel or dive you do happen to get some fog in your mask, even though you did all the things described above, there is still hope. Look to the bottom, lift up the lower part of the mask and let some water in. Then slosh it around the mask to get rid off the fog and then lift your head back, lift up the bottom of the mask again and blow through your nose to clear the excess water out.
I wish you happy fog-free diving or snorkeling experience.