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Defog Your Dive Mask for Good

Maui scuba diver smiles with an example of perfect mask defog.

There can be nothing worse during your Maui vacation than scuba diving or snorkeling with a foggy dive mask! It’s true, a comfortable and well-prepared dive mask is essential to your ocean experience. It is also safer for everyone around you. Unfortunately, when your lenses are full of fog it blocks your view so you cannot see hand signals from your dive buddy, let alone sea life. Luckily, you can use this blog to learn the tricks for how to prepare your dive mask and save yourself the frustration!

Many divers have a method to best prepare a new mask for scuba diving or snorkeling. Most say using toothpaste before every dive rates as the magic cure. While regular white toothpaste helps (NOT the gel kind!), these alternative ideas can defog your new dive mask for good.

4 Defog Tips

Tip 1: Choose the Right Scuba or Snorkeling Mask

Dive mask lens needing defog before scuba diving.

Before you even think about needing to defog your lenses, you first need a suitable dive mask. When shopping around, it is essential to try a variety of brands and skirt sizes. Every face is different, so scuba manufacturers make many types of dive masks at various price points. Most pro divers recommend that you don’t buy the cheapest or the most expensive scuba mask. Instead, go middle of the road.

A good dive mask with a soft silicone skirt should cost $75 to $100. You can use your face size to choose the best-fitting brand and model because every scuba mask gets made differently for different face sizes. Banyan Tree Divers Maui recommends that divers with smaller and narrower faces use the Tusa Freedom Ceos or Scuba Pro Spectra Mini. After trying different brands for smaller faces, these masks from Tusa and Scuba Pro are top of the list for comfort, fit, and price!

When testing a mask, you want to hold it up to your face and inhale through your nose to see if the mask skirt sticks around your face. If you get a good seal and like the feel of the mask skirt, you can try it on to make sure it is easily adjustable. Whether you buy a clear or black skirt mask is purely based on personal preference. But, masks with a black skirt help to cut the sun’s glare, which is great for underwater photography in shallow ocean environments.

Tip 2: Rub Diamond Magic on Each Lens

The best dive mask defog is called Diamond Magic.

The best dive mask defog is called Diamond Magic.

The holy grail of defog! Diamond Magic normally gets used with stainless steel, but unbeknownst to many moonlights as the best dive mask defog. This stuff works but you need to apply it correctly. First and foremost, you only want to use a small amount. It can be really easy to use too much. If you do drop too much, just wash it out and start over. Once you start using a small amount, gently rub the paste onto the inside of each lens, while avoiding the silicone skirt. If you leave the paste on the silicone too long, it might start eating away at the silicone.

The key here is not to use too much pressure while rubbing on each lens! Let the paste sit for a couple of minutes and then very gently remove everything with water and your fingers. If you accidentally get too rough Diamond Magic can easily scratch your new lenses!

Once you are done, use an old toothbrush to clear any remaining paste from the corners and edges, and then let your mask soak in water for a few hours. You do not want any of this stuff to get in your eyes!

Tip 3: Burn Your Dive Mask

Dive mask lens burning tips to prevent fog while Maui scuba diving.Yes, this is the scariest part of preparing your brand-new dive mask. All new tempered glass lenses have a factory layer of protective silicone that causes each lens to fog when exposed to heat, such as heat from your face. Do not attempt to burn a mask with plastic lenses (#commonsense) on a side note! By removing that silicone layer with a lighter, you will permanently set up your scuba mask for success.

People out there will tell you not to attempt to defog your mask with a lighter, and it comes down to how comfortable you are with handling fire. So kids, please have a grown-up complete this step for you! As a dive instructor who has to replace her mask every few years and has prepared many dive masks, I can attest that this method works correctly.

Steps to Burn Lens:

  • NEVER burn plastic or prescription lenses. Burning applies only to glass lenses.
  • Do NOT burn the outside of the lens. Only let the flame touch the inside glass of each lens.
  • Hold the flame to the glass while avoiding the silicone skirt.
  • Burn the glass until it turns black to remove the original factory protective coating.
  • Be careful not to burn yourself. The lighter gets hot, so take a break every 3 to 6 seconds.

Remember, each lens gets very hot after burning your scuba mask, so let the glass cool down before moving to Step 3. Be careful here! Glass tends to break when exposed to sudden changes in temperature!

Tip 4: Rub Toothpaste on Each Lens

Dive mask lens toothpaste rubbing tips for plastic and glass.

After cleaning the lenses so they are clear again, rub regular white toothpaste on each lens. The lightly abrasive properties in the toothpaste will help to remove any factory coating that remains. Rub the toothpaste around for a couple of minutes. Some scuba divers firmly believe in setting your dive mask aside for at least an hour before rinsing, if you have the time.

Hold your mask under lukewarm water and rinse it with baby shampoo. If you use regular shampoo or soap, do not leave any soapy residue that could later burn your eyes. If any of the burnt residues managed to get into the silicone skirt of your scuba diving mask, then you need a toothbrush or high-pressure water to remove the discoloring. Of course, the burning method is more aesthetically pleasing for black skirt masks. Just know it can be sometimes harder to remove all of the black residues from transparent silicone masks. Consider this when purchasing your new, favorite scuba mask.

Once you thoroughly rinsed your mask, you are ready to scuba dive! But remember, regardless of burning your mask, you still need to defog your mask every time you use it. We recommend you use one of the following methods before you go scuba diving or snorkeling:

3 Best Ways to Prepare a Mask Before Scuba Diving

  • Rub baby shampoo on each lens. Our dive service uses this method because baby shampoo ensures no tears! We prepare a mixture of baby shampoo and water for divers to use before entering the water. It is essential to vigorously rub the mixture onto each lens.
  • You can spit on each lens and rub it in! Scuba divers say, “Greener the cleaner, whiter the brighter.”
  • Spray store-bought anti-fog on each lens. You can purchase small bottles of defogging solutions from any Maui dive shop.

Final Thoughts About New Dive Masks

A properly fitted and well-prepared dive mask is the most critical component of your scuba diving locker. Take the time to prepare your new scuba mask, because it is the only way to enjoy your countless future dives! Always protect your dive mask by securing it to your BCD before entering the ocean. And once you put it on your face, leave it on your face.