If you are a diver, then there is nothing worse than fogging up your scuba mask. It can be really dangerous because if you have trouble seeing, it’s hard to swim! But don’t worry – we’ve got the perfect tips for stopping this from happening to you. Read on and find out how to stop your scuba mask from fogging.
What is fogging?
Fogging is when the inside surface of your scuba mask becomes cloudy and you can’t see clearly through it anymore. Your mask fogs up because water vapour has condensed on the inside surface, so instead of seeing straight ahead into clear blue waters, all you can see is a blurry haze – and that’s if it doesn’t completely fog over!
What causes scuba mask fogging?
There are a few reasons why your scuba mask fogs up. The first is that you have warm, moist breath which comes into contact with the cold inside surface of your faceplate – and it’s this temperature difference that leads to condensation forming on the glass itself. If you see your breath coming out in front of you when you breathe, this is another surefire sign that the inside surface of your scuba mask has started to fog up.
The second reason why it might happen is that there’s not enough water vapour being exhaled by the diver for condensation to occur – and if a dry suit or wetsuit is being worn, it’s likely that there won’t be enough moisture in the air. Finally, if you’re caught up in bad weather conditions which are causing your scuba mask to fog up then you might want to consider re-fogging your faceplate by exhaling through it for a minute or so before continuing with your dive.
Why should you care about fogging?
Fogging is dangerous because it affects the buoyancy of your scuba mask. When you can’t see through it properly, then there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to position yourself correctly for surfacing – which means you could get caught up in strong currents or end up running out of air by accident! By keeping your mask clear and free from areas of condensation, you’ll be able to perform at 100% every time.
Why does my mask fog up in the water?
This is mostly the result of condensation which forms on the inside surface of your mask. After you’ve been in the water, your face gets cold and this leads to warm moisture forming on the glass – and it’s this temperature difference that causes fogging! So be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight while rinsing or drying your scuba mask.
Don’t hold the glass up against your face when you’re breathing – it’s best to keep it about 10cm away because this means that there won’t be a strong temperature difference between the inside of the glass and the surrounding air which could lead to condensation forming. You can also try holding your breath for 30 seconds or so before you start diving, which might help with keeping fogging down (because any warm moisture on the inside of your faceplate will have time to cool down)
Fogging is dangerous because it makes it harder for you to see what you’re doing underwater. If you find yourself with no clear view, then don’t panic – hold onto one of your buddy’s arms and surface slowly (if you can) and then get your scuba mask replaced.
How to prevent scuba masks from fogging up
There are a few things that you can do to prevent your scuba mask from fogging up. Below are 4 of the most effective ways.
The Toothpaste Trick
The toothpaste trick involves applying a tiny amount of toothpaste to the inside surface of your faceplate. Then just rinse it off in clean water when you’re done! This works well because toothpaste contains kaolin powder, which is an amazing non-abrasive material that stops fogging by creating microscopic air pockets.
Use Vaseline or dishwashing liquid
Another effective way to prevent scuba masks from fogging up is to apply vaseline (petroleum jelly) or dishwashing liquid to the insides of your mask – and then gently remove any excess with a towel before going diving. These products both work really well at stopping condensation from forming on the inside surface of your scuba mask.
The Flame Trick
Scuba masks are made out of tempered glass – which means that it’s incredibly difficult to actually “burn” your scuba mask by holding a lighter up to the inside surface. Don’t worry, you won’t have to do this because if you flick your lighter away from your faceplate you’ll just be able to hear the flame being extinguished after it has been lit.
And if your scuba mask doesn’t fog up while you’re doing this, then you know that it’s safe to use for diving! Just remember not to do anything reckless or stupid with flames underwater because they can be very dangerous.
The Duct Tape Trick
It’s pretty simple, but it works like a charm. Just apply some duct tape (or any other gaffer tape) to the surface of your faceplate before you go diving! It’ll stop condensation from forming on the inside of your mask.
Spit on the inside of the mask and massage it with your finger. Submerge the mask for a matter of seconds. The objective is to cover the interior of the glass with as little saliva as possible. If you spit before diving but then your mask dries out, this technique will not work, so use it right after you surface.
Commercial Defogging Agents
Many divers find commercial defogging solutions to be more successful than spit in removing fog from their masks. Use a little amount of the defogging solution and massage it around with your finger before rinsing the mask thoroughly. Remember that the aim is to apply a thin layer of defogging agent inside the mask, so don’t rub it out when rinsing.
Many manufacturers of commercial defogging agents also produce a topical treatment that attaches to the outside surface of the mask and creates an invisible, impenetrable layer on the exterior of the glass. This solution is called a “heater”. The heater keeps water from penetrating into the surface of your scuba mask. If you’re interested in purchasing a heater, look for one that is made specifically for your mask.
You may use baby shampoo in the same way as a commercial defogging solution. Many divers keep a bottle of watered-down baby shampoo on hand while driving. A few drops rubbed into the lens and then washed away to prevent masks from fogginess. Baby shampoo is hypoallergenic, less irritating to your eyes, and biodegradable.
chlorine dioxide mouthwash
There is a product that is available in the United States and Canada by the name of FTA. It’s a chlorine dioxide mouthwash that costs $5 for 30 ml. The bottle comes with a small plastic syringe so you can fill it up without spilling or wasting any of this amazing defogging solution. After a single application, your mask will not fog for at least 24 hours.
In seawater, chlorine dioxide is rapidly decomposed into chloride and chlorate ions. This process gives the solution a very short shelf life after it’s been opened. However, there is no indication that this product causes any environmental problems. In fact, if you use the same syringe to defog multiple masks, it will probably take a very long time before you notice any problems with your local environment. Of course, you need to be extra prudent when using this in freshwater.
Some divers swear by squeezing a small amount of toothpaste onto their mask before diving in order to prevent it from fogging. Others find the same result with deodorant.
Cut a potato in half and remove the pulp so you are left with just the skin. Rub your scuba mask with this to stop it from fogging up while diving. Just remember that if you keep this trick for many days before diving, the solution will eventually turn black.
Baking soda or baby powder
Place baking soda inside your mask to prevent it from fogging. The same effect can be achieved with baby powder. Many divers also swear by the toothpaste method, which has anti-fog properties that will keep your mask clear even if you don’t rinse it out immediately.
Rub some coconut oil onto your scuba mask before diving in order to prevent fogging. It’s best to use this method when the weather is fairly cool, as coconut oil melts in warm water.
Generally speaking, you should never store your scuba mask in a plastic bag or container. If you want to ensure that it doesn’t fog up inside of its storage case, coat the interior with baby powder, baking soda, or another defogging agent.
How to clean a scuba mask
The best way to keep your mask from fogging up is to rinse it in freshwater after every use. However, if you want to take things one step further, then you can also dip the glass into a little dishwashing liquid and then remove any excess by wiping with a towel or tissue before rinsing.
If your mask is made of plastic, you can simply rinse it off with fresh water after every use. There’s no need to treat the glass at all. Plastic masks are also easier to clean than glass ones because there are no facial grooves that attract dirt and other debris.
So what does all this mean? It means that if you follow these simple steps, your mask will not fog up while scuba diving. This is a huge relief to anyone who has ever had their mask fogginess ruin an otherwise perfect dive experience. You should be proud of yourself for taking the time to read and learn about how to stop your scuba mask from fogging! Now go out there and enjoy some underwater adventures without worrying about whether or not your view will be obscured by water droplets on the inside of your goggles.