When enjoying an underwater adventure, your scuba mask is your viewpoint to the beautiful, mysterious world around you. The lens of the mask allows you to see the world clearly, but if you don’t clean and take care of it properly, you may find that you cannot see things as well as you would like to while diving.
It’s important to learn how to clean and maintain your scuba mask if you want to make the most of every experience. Not only does cleaning your mask regularly ensure that you can see crisp views when underwater, but maintaining it properly will help any scuba mask stay in usable condition for much longer.
Today, we’ll run through the most important tips and reminders that you need to know about how to keep your scuba mask in great condition for years to come!
Preparing a New Mask
The first thing that you will need to do when you get a new scuba mask is to prepare it for use. If you don’t take a few minutes to prep the lenses, fogging can become an issue while diving. This fogging is caused by the build-up of silicone and other manufacturing agents in the mask.
While many divers use toothpaste to remove this layer of build-up, your new mask should be treated kindly with a non-abrasive product. Using baby shampoo is the best way to gently and safely remove the layer. Plus, it won’t burn your eyes if any product is left behind.
Here is what you need to do:
- Wet the mask and then rub baby shampoo around both the lens and the skirt of your scuba mask.
- Rinse the mask with warm water.
- Repeat this process two to three times.
If you want to try something other than baby shampoo, there are a number of commercial cleaning products available that work on new masks too. Another at-home solution is to use a paste made of baking soda and water. This paste can be rubbed gently into the mask and then thoroughly rinsed to ensure that the silicone layer is removed.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Scuba Mask After A Dive
After going on a dive, you will want to make sure that you properly clean and store your mask. If you do not take the time to clean it up and put it away somewhere safe, the skirts or lens may easily become damaged by the elements.
To clean your mask after a dive, follow these steps:
- Immediately after diving, rinse your mask with fresh water until you can fully clean it.
- Use warm, fresh water that is less than 120°F to rinse the mask. This will dissolve salt crystals that are stuck to the mask.
- Rinse the mask thoroughly using fresh or filtered water.
- Towel dry the mask completely.
Periodically, take the time to do a deep clean on your mask. You can use watered down dish soap to cut through build-up that may not have been removed during your post-dive cleanings. Here’s how it’s done:
- Take a little bit of dish soap, and rub it into both the lens and the skirt. Make sure you get into all the sides, the nose area, and every little pocket around the mask.
- Use fresh, warm water to clean the soap off.
- Rinse three times to make sure all of the dish soap is removed.
- Leave to dry.
- Do not store until completely dried.
Once your mask is cleaned, you should put it in a secure storage setup. Be sure to follow these cautionary tips when storing your mask:
- Do not store in direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause the plastic to degrade on the mask.
- Store in a dry, cool place.
- Store in an air-tight bag or container. If you do not, insects may begin to chew on your mask. The risk of bugs eating at your mask is even higher if you do not clean it properly.
- Store with the lens covered or face up. If you store it face down, you might accidentally cause scratches on the lens.
- Store in a bag or separate from other gear if you have a clear skirted mask. This is because the black color of other gear items can discolor the mask’s clear skirts.
- Remove any neoprene straps from your mask and put them in a separate ziplock bag before storing. They can cause your mask to turn yellow.
By following all of these cleaning and storage tips, we are confident that your mask will be in like-new condition for many dives to come!
General Maintenance Tips
While the guidelines outlined above explain the methods that we recommend using to keep your scuba mask in great condition, there are a lot of different bits of advice and anecdotal suggestions out there. It can be hard to know which tips are reliable and which ones can actually cause more harm than good.
It’s great to try out different suggestions to see what practices work best for you, but there are some general rules that you should follow when using any products or cleaning techniques on your masks:
- Do not use gasoline, aerosols, chemical solvents, or alcohol to clean or defog your mask.
- Using aerosol sprays on your mask can cause both the rubber and the plastic used in it to degrade. This can lead to dangerous conditions when diving, so avoid this at all costs.
- Alcohol, solvent, and petroleum-based products shouldn’t be used to clean or maintain your scuba mask.
- Storing your mask near any of the chemicals or solvents mentioned in the bullet points above can cause damage to the mask.
These tips will ensure that you can make your high-quality mask last for even longer than you might expect it to. Any mask, no matter how expensive it was, can be easily ruined if you do not take the time to care for it.
With proper care, a quality scuba mask can last for many years. If you want to get the most bang for your buck and also be able to keep using the mask that you’ve come to love, make sure that you are taking the time to learn how to clean and maintain your scuba mask.
Properly storing, cleaning, and treating your mask does not have to take a lot of time. Make these routines a regular part of your scuba diving practice, and you’ll find that it becomes second nature in no time at all!