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New mask - fogging


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We had brand new masks for our last cruise. Let me say that it was not very pleasant. The masks fogged up like crazy. Come to find out that you need to do a lot of prep work once you receive them. Spoke with the local dive shop. They said they should have taken care of that before we got them. They said to scrub with non-abrasive toothpaste, rinse completely, then go over the surface lightly with a lighter to finishing getting the chemicals off. 


Any other recommendations? We snorkel in Cozumel and Roatan in about 4 weeks.

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While it's common, I'm not a fan of the use of a lighter.  Also, saying "non-abrasive toothpaste" makes me think whoever you spoke to doesn't understand what you're trying to accomplish.  The deal is there's a residue of silicone left on the glass from the manufacturing process.  You want to get rid of it.  You need something abrasive - but mildly so - to cut the film of silicone that's left. 


All toothpaste fits the bill, as it has the mild abrasive qualities you need.  Toothpastes that specifically are labeled as "whitening" tend to have more of this quality, otherwise just any brand of paste, rather than gel, seems to do best.  Soft Scrub cleanser also works well and is what we use at the shop I teach at. 


Use a small amount of of Soft Scrub or toothpaste, and polish the lens with your fingertip. You want this to stand up while polishing, so don't get it wet during this step.  Make sure you work over the entire lens, getting right to the edges.  Once you've got both the inside and out fully polished, thoroughly rinse the mask, making sure you get all the toothpaste or cleanser out. 


One warning:  If your mask has a reflective coating on the outside of the lens, do NOT scrub that side of the lens with anything, or use a lighter on it.  That coating is not near so durable as the tempered glass lens. 


This will basically have you set for your dives.  There are commercial anti-fog products.  I use baby shampoo cut 50% with water.  a drop or two on the inside of the mask, then smeared completely over the lens to create a thin film, then a quick (in and out) dunk to rinse of the excess, works as well as anything.


After many dives, if you notice the lens getting any buildup of anything, clean again with Soft Scrub or toothpaste.



Denver, CO



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Liquid dish washing detergent. Squirt a little on the lens, rub around for a while and rinse real good with fresh or salt water. If on a boat don't dunk in the rinse tank. 350+ dives. No fogging.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wouldn't use the lighter, but the toothpaste is great.  Make sure you rinse it really good because minty fresh in the eyes sucks.  Otherwise, spit on and rub the saliva on the lenses pre dive, or use one of the commercial anti-fog things out there (the one I like is called spit and most dive shops will have it) but these only work well if you've already done the toothpaste treatment first.

Edited by rsldonk
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AFTER a GOOD cleaning and tooth paste is my recommended .....  SPIT ... but not clean spit ... you need a lil LUUGY ... and don't rinse it all out.  


There's a reason they call it 'artificial spit'


certified in 1974 by a single digit PADI instructor .......

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Baby shampoo, dishwashing liquid, expensive Mask Defog drops.  All do an OK job of making the fine droplets of water on the inside of a mask coalesce.  The real trick is to stop that fogging at the root cause.  Don't exhale out the nose into the mask.  That warm air from your nose hitting the cooler glass will always fog up.  I know the instructor says exhale through your nose to clear the water from your mask -- but do it sparingly.  

When water starts interfering with seeing the fish, tilt your head toward the surface just enough to get the water to settle under your nose where your mask meets your upper lip.  Use your hand to hold the top of the mask against your forehead, push it about half an inch toward your face.  Be careful not to push at an angle that allows the bottom of the mask to come away from your upper lip, this will just let more water in.  Then exhale a small amount of air into the mask, just enough to push the accumulated water out the bottom of the mask.  When you now release the pressure against the top of the mask, a slight vacuum will be left in the mask to hold the mask against your face, and aid in sealing it against further water incursion.

Remember to not breathe out your nose.  bubbles coming from around the mask are a sure indicator that the mask will again immediately fog up. 

If there is significant fogging, before starting the mask clearing, rotate your head slowly to cause the water puddle inside the mask to rinse off the glass.

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