Practical tips on how to defog your scuba mask

A foggy mask does not only ruin your view of corals, fish and other marine creatures but it can also put you in danger. When your vision is impaired underwater, it’s hard to focus on your buoyancy and surroundings. When this happens, you can bump into structures and hurt yourself and even can cause irreparable damage to coral reefs. It’s also very challenging to communicate with your buddy if your goggle is foggy which can lead misread signals. Another possible risk when struggling with your line of sight is getting separated from your buddy or group. Here are some tips to save you from the trouble of experiencing any of these things.


Why does a scuba mask become foggy?

First of all, it’s important to understand why a scuba mask develops fog which hampers your visibility underwater. When you breathe out through your nose while wearing your goggles or clearing it, you add more moisture to the air inside it. The humidity within condenses into tiny droplets which creates a fogging effect.

This leads us to the next question, how do you defog your goggles? To effectively do this, you need to deal with a new scuba mask differently from a used one. 

Defogging a new scuba mask

Did you know that when you buy a new scuba mask it comes with some sort of residue coating on the glass which is used during the manufacturing process to protect the glass from being scratched? You need to remove this residue; otherwise, you are bound to experience fogging issues.

An easy way to remove the residue is by putting a small amount of toothpaste on the tip of your finger and rubbing it thoroughly around the inside of the scuba goggles. Do not use toothpaste variants with crystals or granules like a whitening toothpaste that could scratch the glass. You can leave the toothpaste overnight or you can apply it several times for better results.

Another way of doing it is by running the flame of a lighter over the inside of the mask until it blackens. The black area can easily be washed off with water, however, this method requires extra care.  You have to be very careful not to melt the silicone or rubber of the goggles and like the toothpaste method, you may have to repeat the flame method a couple of times to get the desired effect. Make sure you handle the glass with caution because it is expected to get hot.

Defogging an old, used mask

If you notice that your used mask is still experiencing persistent fogging, there’s a possibility that there is still some manufacturing residue left. To solve this problem, you can either try the toothpaste or flame method again.  

For minor fogging issues, you can try the most common method which is spitting on it. It’s very simple, just spit on the glass of your goggles and rub it around with your finger and rinse quickly in freshwater. It may seem gross for some but it works since the spit prevents the water from creating droplets. This is just a temporary method which is best done on dry goggles before you make a plunge but also works when you’re already out diving.

If you want a less icky alternative, you can try baby shampoo which is another effective defogging agent. Just rub some baby shampoo on the glass using your fingertips and rinse before diving. In case it accidentally gets in your eye, you need not worry because baby shampoo is designed not to sting. If you don’t have baby shampoo, other alternatives are glycerin soaps and dishwashing detergent which require the same method of application. However, soap and dishwashing detergent may sting your eyes unlike baby shampoo so make sure that you rinse it well before the dive. You can also apply toothpaste just like the way you apply it to a new one.

You can also purchase commercial defogging agents which are available in the market. It usually comes in a small spray bottle that you can conveniently carry with you when you go diving. If you choose this option, you can refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines indicated on the back of the bottle or somewhere on the packaging for best results.

Change your habits

If you’ve tried one or a few of the solutions above but you are still dealing with a foggy mask, you might want to look into your habits and find a way to change them to solve the issue.

One of the top reasons why your goggles get foggy is when you exhale through your nose. Train yourself to only breathe in and out through your mouth to prevent it from appearing cloudy from the inside. In line with this, it’s important that your gear fits you properly; otherwise, it will be prone to frequent flooding which means that you will have to breathe out your nose to clear it. You can try adjusting it for a better fit. One more thing to remember is to refrain from touching the inside of your mask, especially after applying a defogging agent to avoid contaminating it with oil and dirt.

Hope these defogging tips be useful to you on your next diving trip in Cabo. Happy diving!

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