When you’re out in the ocean, you need full and clear visibility: this means preparing your snorkeling mask after purchase as well as defogging the mask before every swim. You really don’t want to miss out on the experience because your mask is fogging up!
For a successful no-fogged-up mask, we recommend a two-tier approach:
- Prepare a brand new mask before its first use so it doesn’t fog up as easily
- Defog your snorkeling mask before every swim
These are the definite essentials for a clear view underwater.
Why do snorkeling masks fog up?
The fogging up of a snorkel mask happens when water vapor condenses.
Usually, that occurs because of the temperature difference between the inside and outside surfaces of the lens. The moisture that collects inside the mask attaches itself to the lens… which in turn results to a mask you can hardly see through.
What’s the Right Way to Defog your Snorkeling Mask?
Defogging your mask must happen before every single swim, not just once during your vacation.
Always apply the defogging solution right before you enter the water. If you do it earlier, the solution might dry up, making it useless.
These are the steps to defog your snorkeling mask:
- Spray the defogging solution onto your mask (inside of the glass)
- Add a little fresh water to remove excess solution
- Put your mask on without delay.
After defogging your mask, don’t put it on your forehead as it causes faster condensation!
What’s the Best Defogging Solution? (+ our Secret Ingredient)
There are some good defogging solutions on the market; we’ve used brands like Sea Drops or Aqualung Anti-Fog Gel in the past and they’re great.
However here at Manta Ray Advocates, we create our own defogging solution which works just as well, and is a whole lot cheaper:
- 70% plain (fresh)water. Salt water can be used as well in a pinch.
- 30% Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo
We mix both ingredients into a spray bottle which makes it easy to spray into the mask (we like these travel-sized spray bottles).
We’ve had emails from guests after they went out on a manta ray swim with us, asking us about our defogging “secret”… it’s this simple!
You can use your own spit when you really have no alternative; however, this is nowhere near as efficient as a good defogging solution. Also, you should NEVER spit in rental equipment (eek!), only in your own. You wouldn’t want to wear a mask that someone else has spat in, right?
Preparing a Brand New Snorkeling Mask to Avoid Fogging Up
Snorkeling mask manufacturers apply a transparent chemical layer to new masks, so they look nice and shiny when you buy them. However, leaving this layer on means your mask will fog up much quicker at every swim, so it’s important to scrub it off before you first use your mask.
There are different techniques, and sometimes you even have to repeat it a couple of times. You will find excellent information about preparing the mask before the first use in this video and/or this recording.
Bonus Tips: How to Make Your Snorkeling Mask Last Longer
With just a few simple practices, a good mask will last for a long time.
These are our top tips for extending the lifetime of a snorkel mask.:
- Always rinse your mask with fresh water immediately after using it in saltwater
- Never leave your mask out in direct sunlight
- Keep your mask out of the sand at all times
Tell us in the comments what type of defogging solution you use… and if you’ve tried our special mix!