As a diver, my mask is super important to me. Being a dumb ass I lost my scubapro one while on a trip last year and had to buy another one. Oh the horror. Thankfully hubby is a pro at stripping the gunk out of a new mask and I was functioning pretty much straight away.
It is amazing to me that all these masks and snorkels get sold to vacationers and many of them get angry when it fogs up, never knowing why. Surely it would be easy to have a little notice on the label, stating that you need to get manufacturer residue off.
Anyway, I asked Rich to do this little writeup for me.
So here is another tech tip from Rich.
Mask defogger or spit does not work if you have not properly prepared your new mask. That is a fact and you will repeatedly have issues unless you prepare your dive mask.
My mask is the only piece of dive equipment that is worth more to me once it has been used a while and is is properly broken in. The problem that you have with a new dive mask is that it has a silicone coating on the surface from the over spray during manufacturing. We have to get rid of that contaminant before our first dive or you may have issues with fogging.
There are a few methods you can use to get that mask perfect for diving or snorkeling. You can use the toothpaste method or the burn method. Here’s how you prep your mask so it does not fog up (I said Fog) your dive.
1. Toothpaste – Do not use gel! Toothpaste has enough abrasiveness that you will remove most of the residue from the mask. Put the toothpaste inside of the mask and spread it liberally on the inside mask surface. Let it dry for an hour so it is a bit harder, now use an old toothbrush ans scrub away. This may take a while.
Rinse your mask out with warm water and test it out. Put your mask on and breath through your nose. If it fogs up, it is not ready yet. Repeat the process again, spread, wait and hour, scrub, rinse. Keep repeating until you can’t fog the mask. Once you have it finished, clean the mask thoroughly with a mild baby shampoo. (no tears)
2. Burn method – This is the first thing I personally do on a new mask. It is a bit scary and I MUST add this disclaimer, I am not telling you to do this. I am not recommending this, I do not advise this, BLAH BLAH BLAH. So please if you are an idiot and mess your $150 mask up, it is not my fault. I am merely informing you that it is a method a lot of divers, myself included do. But as your mother told you, “Just because little Johnny jumps off the bridge, does not mean you have to.”
Use a butane lighter. Put flame about an inch away from the inside of the lens and keep it moving and away from the rubber edge of the mask. Do not go near the silicone. The mask lens will go completely black very quickly. It will take about 10 seconds. Now rinse the mask clean with your favorite baby shampoo. The edges will still have the manufacturer residue on it so use the above toothpaste method for the edges close to the silicone. Try it out. Once it does not fog, when you put it on and breath through your nose, you are done.
This works every time for us on a new dive mask. We apply fog once a dive at beginning. Never have any issues.