Why Does My Dive Mask Fog?


Ever bought a new dive mask and wondered why your dive mask fogs all the time? Maybe you’ve had your dive mask for a while and it seems to be fogging up suddenly. As divers, snorkelers, and ocean explorers, every one of us will experience mask fog, so we’re here to talk about why it happens and how to manage it.

What causes your dive mask to fog? 

It’s usually one of three reasons. First, did you know that most dive and snorkel masks ship with a film on the lenses? If you don’t remove the film, your mask will fog constantly when you’re in the water. Second, it might be due to a dirty dive mask. It happens to the best of us since over time, particles accumulate on the inside of the mask lenses. Finally, if you’ve removed the film and cleaned your mask yet still experience mask fog, it’s usually because you’re exhaling through your nose. 

How do I avoid fog in my dive mask? Now that we know why the dive masks fog, let’s talk about how to prevent and manage the fog.

New Dive Mask Fog:

You’ve just bought a new dive mask and are ready to go hop in the water. Not so fast. Let’s walk through how you get that film off.

The best way to remove this film is to grab a mask scrub or some toothpaste (no mint, gel, or whitening toothpastes). Go to the sink, put a little water inside your mask, swish it around and dump the water out. Next, apply a few drops of the mask scrub or toothpaste to the inside of the mask lenses. With your bare finger, rub the cleanser around the inside of the mask lens for a good 3 to 5 minutes and make certain you get the entire lens. Finally, rinse the inside of the mask with warm water thoroughly. 

Make certain you get all the cleanser out of the mask, and you’re ready to go.

Maintaining Your Dive Mask:

Over time, particles build up on the inside of your dive mask lenses. This can be simply from the handling of the mask and the natural oils on your fingers. And just like any other lenses, your dive mask lenses need to be cleaned periodically. 

If you’ve had your mask a while and it’s fogging up, grab a mask cleanser or dish soap. Wet the inside of the mask lenses and apply a few drops of your cleanser. With your bare finger, gently rub the cleanser around the inside of the mask for a few seconds. Be sure to get the entire inside of the lens. Rinse the inside of your mask thoroughly and make certain you get all the cleanser out.

Rinsing your mask after every dive helps; however, build up happens and sometimes we forget that cleaning the mask lenses goes a long way to keeping you out of the fog in the water. 

Still experiencing mask fog in the water? 

This can happen due to temperature difference or moisture from your breath (by breathing out of your nose into your mask). To get the fog under control due to these situations, use a defogger or anti-fog solution. 

With an mask defog solution, as you arrive at the dive site, dip your mask in water then put a few drops of the solution on the inside of your mask lens. Rub the solution around the inside of your lens with your bare finger. Dip your mask in water again, pour the water out, and you’re good to go. Do not thoroughly rinse your mask before putting it on. You want to leave the slight film on your lens as that is what keeps it from fogging.

If none of these techniques work, it’s possible that your dive mask doesn’t fit properly or (if it’s been a while) needs to be replaced.

Thanks for stopping by. If you have any questions or need help with your gear, stop in to any of our Divers Direct stores. We’re here to help.


Which is the best dive mask defog product?

Everyone has their favorite mask defogger. Our recommendation is that you try them all and find the one you like best. 

Can I use baby shampoo as a mask defogger?

Yes. It is an option. Just make sure you mix a small amount of reef safe baby shampoo with water for this defogging technique. If you put your mix in a spray bottle, that works best and makes it transportable and easy to use. You’ll spray the inside of the lenses, rinse, and you’re ready to go.

How do I defog my dive mask underwater?

Gently tilt the mask away from your forehead a bit, just enough to let a little water in. Gently move your head so the water rinses the fog away, then exhale through your nose to clear the water from your mask (just like you learned in certification class). Repeat as necessary.

Why shouldn’t I use gel, mint, or whitening toothpastes in my mask?

These types of toothpaste usually contain mint or another chemical that will cause the eyes to burn or tear up. It’s best not to use them inside your mask for your comfort.

Can I burn the film out of my new dive mask?

Yes, but that is the one method we recommend not using. The reason is that you can damage the lens or mask skirt which can render your mask useless. Additionally, you could burn yourself in the process.