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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 of the Maui sea life, and you cannot see hand signals from your dive buddy. Learn how to prepare your dive mask and save yourself the frustration.

There are a few methods that divers have long touted as the best way to prepare a new mask for diving. Most will tell you that toothpaste is a magic cure. While regular white toothpaste is helpful (NOT the gel kind!), there is an additional step that will defog your new dive mask for good.

3 Tips to Defog Your Scuba or Snorkeling Mask

Tip 1: Choose the Right 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. Our dive shop recommends that you don’t buy the cheapest or most expensive scuba mask.

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 Scuba Pro Spectra Mini. After trying different brands for smaller faces, this Scuba Pro mask is top of the list for its comfort, fit, and price!

When testing a mask, you will want to hold it up to your face, inhale through your nose and see if it sticks. If you get a good seal and like the mask skirt’s feel, you can try it on and make sure it is easily adjustable. Whether you buy a clear skirt mask or a black skirt mask is purely based on personal preference. Black skirt masks tend to cut the sun’s glare, which is helpful for underwater photographers.

Tip 2: 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 always staying away from 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 very hot, so take a break every 3 to 6 seconds.

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

Tip 3: 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, then you are ready to scuba dive! However, regardless of burning your mask, it will still be necessary to defog your mask every time you enter the ocean. We recommend you use one of the following methods before you go scuba diving or snorkeling.

The Best Mask Defog Tips

  • Rub baby shampoo on each lens. Our dive shop 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 rub the mixture onto each lens vigorously.
  • Spit on each lens and rub it in! As scuba divers say, “the greener, the cleaner, the whiter, the brighter.”
  • Spray store-bought anti-fog on each lens. You can purchase small bottles of defogging solutions from any Maui dive shop. They are often little enough to fit in a BCD pocket and handy to defog again on the surface before your descent.

Final Thoughts About Your Dive Mask

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! Lastly, 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.