So, you just brought your shiny new mask home and you’re ready to test it out. Before you schedule a dive and head out to the ocean for a day in the water, take a few minutes to prepare your mask in advance. You see, new scuba diving masks have residue coated on the lenses from the manufacturing process. If you don’t remove that residue before you dive, no amount of defogging agent will help you see clearly.
Here’s a tip:
Grab a tube of your favorite toothpaste. Rub a dime size amount onto the inside of the lens. Spread it out evenly and rub it around the complete inside for about 30 seconds. You can also use a soft cloth or your fingers to do so. Stay away from abrasive toothpastes with bleaching agents or extra gritty formulas. These can scratch the lenses.
Now, once you’ve made your way out to the ocean or lake, remember to defog your mask before each dive. The most common agent is something we can all produce easily: Spit. Spit on the inside of your mask and move it around with your finger. Rinse the mask in either ocean or fresh water. Do this just before you are ready to go in as this only works as the mask stays wet.
Commercial anti-fog and lense cleaners are available in dive shops and work exactly as suggested. One application can last several dives.
Baby shampoo and dish washing detergents work as well. Consider carrying a watered down version of either in a travel-size, flip top container in your dive bag. Add a few drops to the inside of the mask, rub around with your fingers and rinse. Baby shampoo would be the preferred detergent as it is less irritating to the eyes, biodegradable and sweet smelling.
One final note, urban legend says that rubbing a cut potato on the inside of your mask will prevent fogging of the mask. We aren’t sure we would take the chance of it not working, cutting a dive short.