Foggy masks are one of the worse things that can happen to you on a dive. You have been so excited to get in the water and go diving. Now you find yourself under water and all you see is a hazy view of what you imagine is a beautiful reef and incredible marine life you were dreaming off.
You wonder if you forgot to put defog in your mask, did you buy the wrong mask for you, did you rinse it out to quickly? It has happened to all of us, but it can be prevented in most cases.
What is a foggy mask and why does it happen?
Especially new masks tend to get foggy easily. The reason for his is that they have residue left on the lens from the manufacturer. If you don’t get rid of this coat on the inside of the lens, your lens will keep on fogging up, no matter what solution you try to use.
Another reason for mask to get foggy is when people breath out through their nose while diving or snorkeling. The last cause has the easiest solution; stop breathing through your nose. Although this may require some practice and awareness.
There are 2 ways to get rid of this protective layer on the inside of your mask.
The most commonly know one is to rub the inside of the mask with toothpaste or soft scrub. Just rub it in good, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse it really well. You may have to use this method a couple of times to get the desired affect.
Another more risky option is to use a flame to burn the fog coat off. Use a lighter, ideally a bbq lighter and run just the tip of the flame over the inside of the lens. You will see the lens go foggy and then go clear as it burns off the layer. Some people say burn until the lens goes black, but in our experience seeing it burn off is sufficient. Wait for the mask to cool down and then rinse it. Do make sure that the glass doesn’t get too hot and take extra care around the edge to make sure you don’t burn the silicone skirt of the mask. If you are unsure on how to do this, ask us and we are happy to do it for you.
Even when you have made sure there is no more residue on your mask and you are sure you don’t breath through your nose, chances are your mask will still fog up. Therefor we recommend using a anti fog method every time before you use your mask. There are a couple of methods you can use to prevent your mask from fogging;
Probably the most famous is trusty old spit. Spit in your mask, rub it around and rinse it out. This old fashion method generally does the trick and is definitely the cheapest option, plus, you always have it with you.
Store bought defogging agents are in abundance and chances are the dive shop you are diving with will sell you their favorite or recommended one. These work the same as spit; put some drops in the mask and rub it in. Right before jumping in the water give a quick rinse and you should be all good to go.
Dish washing detergent such as dawn or joy is another often used method as it is generally readily on hand. This is used the same as the previous methods by rubbing in and rinsing. The main issue when using such a detergent is that if you do get any water in your mask during the dive, it may have some of the detergent in it, which may cause stinging eyes. Not pleasant of course.
The last and in our opinion the best defog in the world is baby shampoo. Although it is similar to the dish washing detergent, the main difference is that it has a no tears formula, so won’t sting your eyes (or at least not as bad). The best way to use this product is to have a bottle filled with about 7/8 fresh water. Then just top it off with 1/8 baby shampoo. Shake it and you are good to go. Now the most important thing when using this diluted baby shampoo method, unlike all the other products, is DO NOT RINSE!
As with all these methods it is also very important to not let the mask sit without the product for too long. Meaning if your product requires rinsing, then don’t rinse until you are ready to put it on your face and go diving. If you rinse the mask and then let it sit without the product for a couple of minutes it will loose it’s effectiveness.
The way we use our magic potion is to have your mask ready with the baby shampoo mixture in it. Right before you jump in the water, pour the solution out, place the mask on your face, enjoy the smell of the baby shampoo and jump in the water. Once in the water, do not take the mask off, just leave it on your face and go and enjoy your dive.