As with all diving equipment, a little care and maintenance for your new mask goes a long way towards keeping it in working condition for a long time.
The first time you buy a dive mask, it’s very important that you treat/clean/defog it before using it; otherwise it’ll end up fogging up in a major way and you’ll not be able to see anything!
That’s because during the manufacturing process, a film of silicone and mould release agents forms on the surface of a scuba mask – said film is annoyingly resistant to the usual defogging methods of spit, baby shampoo or commercial defogger.
But how does one clean or “defog” a new scuba mask? All you need to do is get a small blob of regular toothpaste and rub it firmly in circular motions all over both sides of the mask lens/lenses. Be sure to push the toothpaste in extra hard – I find rubbing it in firmly with a thumb is the best way! (Some people prefer to use a dry toothbrush).
Once you’ve firmly coated both sides of the mask lens/lenses in toothpaste leave the mask for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then wash the toothpaste off using water. Be sure to get all the toothpaste off, you would not want it to irritate your eyes when you wore the mask! Then repeat the entire process three or four more times! Might be good to put on a good scuba diving movie for this one.
Oh and by the way! You should totally use kids’ toothepaste for this as it’s less corrosive meaning it won’t damage the lens and also if you do leave some residue in the mask and then wear it, it won’t sting your eyes nearly so bad!
Another strategy is to burn your mask. You can do this using a lighter – hold it to the glass lens and move it about. You’ll notice the glass turning black which means that the silicone layer that is stuck to it is burning off. Once the glass is all black you can let it cool and wash it with dish soap or toothpaste. You may also have to repeat this process a few times if the mask still fogs.
If you do opt to burn your mask, take great care not to damage the skirt and also do not apply heat for too long on any one spot of the lens! A steady sweeping motion across the surface of the lens is best!