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How To Clean A SCUBA Diving Mask & Snorkel

   December 12th, 2023   Posted In: How-To   Tags:

I don’t know about you, but I love to be able to see underwater while SCUBA diving! This may seem silly, but many people have mask issues that disrupt their vision while diving. Most of the time, if the mask had been properly cleaned, these vision problems could have been prevented. SCUBA diving masks and snorkels should be rinsed and cleaned in freshwater after every use, even after freshwater use. Keep reading to find out how to clean a SCUBA mask and snorkel.

How to Clean a SCUBA Mask

Initial Cleaning

You just bought a brand mask. How exciting! Did you know that most brand new SCUBA diving masks come with a manufacturer’s film on the inside lens that needs to be removed before use? Sometimes this message is not conveyed by the person selling the item. However, this film can be easily removed with a little effort. This film can be scrubbed off using a non-whitening toothpaste.

Simply place a little bit of toothpaste on the inside of the mask lens, rub it in for a few minutes with your finger or a soft bristle toothbrush, rinse in freshwater and repeat again. This can be repeated once a year or before your next dive trip to ensure it stays nice and clear. Most new masks only need this to be done once. Then, you are free to just use your favorite choice of de-fog right before you jump into the water. The mask should be clear and clean and might even smell a little minty fresh depending on what kind of toothpaste you used!

how to clean scuba mask and snorkel

Cleaning Your SCUBA Mask After Diving

After SCUBA diving, how do you clean your SCUBA diving mask? Most people do not realize the damage that can be caused by salt water and other particles that might even be found in freshwater. Freshwater lakes can contain algae, minerals, or other types of substances that can stick to your SCUBA mask. After diving, simply rinse your mask in freshwater.

If you are done diving for a while, a good soak in freshwater will help get rid of some of the smaller sediments that have leached into your mask. When cleaning, be careful not to scratch the mask lenses. Most masks are made of really good material and hard to scratch, but always use soft materials to dry your mask or let it air dry on its side so it doesn’t leave water spots.

How to Clean a Snorkel

Many people don’t think about cleaning their snorkel, especially if it is their own personal one. A little freshwater rinse after use is usually all that is needed. Mild soap can be used for a deeper clean. Make sure the snorkel thoroughly dries after cleaning to prevent mold build up. This is the case even for those smaller snorkels that you fold up and place inside your BCD pocket. If these ones are forgotten about, they can mold up pretty fast.

How To Clean Rental SCUBA Diving Masks and Snorkels

Deeper cleaning can be done with rental SCUBA masks and snorkels. There are SCUBA diving specific solutions such as “sink the stink” that are safe on all SCUBA gear, including masks and snorkels. Even deeper cleaning can be done if needed. This was especially true during COVID times. Many people opted to use a mild bleach solution to dunk and/or soak their rental SCUBA masks and snorkels.

After the bleach cleaning, masks and snorkels should be rinsed in freshwater so that you do not breathe in the bleach. Other places like aquariums that regularly share these pieces of equipment use stronger hospital grade disinfecting solutions to clean SCUBA masks and snorkels. Again, a long freshwater rinse after a strong clean is required.

Keep Your SCUBA Masks and Snorkel Masks in Top Shape

Taking care of your SCUBA diving gear is important to maintain a long lifetime for the gear. Masks and snorkels are no exception. I have some SCUBA diving masks that I have been using for more than 10 years! So cleaning your SCUBA diving mask and snorkel is pretty simple! Depending on your needs, you may just be able to do a quick rinse, unless you are going to be sharing the mask and snorkel, then the deeper cleaning options are recommended.

Candace is an avid scuba diver and freelance writer with a PhD in Biomedicine. She has been diving since 2002 and is currently a PADI IDC Staff Instructor. When she is not instructing, she enjoys writing about scuba and volunteering at the local aquarium where she dives with the sharks!

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