Finding a good dive mask is one thing, but caring for it to keep its good working condition is another story. A good dive mask can take your diving into new heights, so it’s extremely important that you take good care of it by performing certain measures right after every dive. With improper care, your mask can develop fog, preventing you from enjoying the view and working cooperatively with your dive buddies.
To prevent the hassles of a dirty, fogged dive mask, here are some tips to apply right after your diving stint.
Getting the Mask Out of the Box
Most new dive masks are covered and protected with tempered glass. When removed, they leave an oily or silicone-like residue. Here, you will need to use a pre-cleaner that’s specifically formulated for this task. In the absence of a pre-cleaner, you can use either a regular toothpaste or dishwashing liquid. Apply any of these in and outside the lenses. Rub the product thoroughly using your fingers, while making sure all surfaces are completely covered. Afterwards, rinse with tap water. Quickly slide your finger to see if it makes a squeaking sound. If it does, you accomplished the task correctly. Also make sure that cleaning agent has been completely removed from the lenses to avoid all sorts of eye irritation.
Transport To and From Diving Site
Your mask serves as your window to the underwater world and nobody likes a broken window. Dropping it alone can leave it utterly useless. This explains why you should treat it with a 360-degree care. Some masks come with protective cases, while others don’t. The case can also protect the mask against scratches. If you don’t have a case, the best option would be rolling up your mask inside a shirt prior to packing it into your luggage. Using a crew sock works as well. If you can get a gear bag with a separate compartment for your mask, that’s much better.
Inspecting and Packing for Travel
Before packing for your vacation, it’s extremely important that you make sure your mask fits like a glove. Fit may not be time as the last time you used it and is often affected by multiple factors such as weight loss, weight gain, added facial hair and the likes. To check, begin by inspecting the buckle system and strap for any signs of damage. Replace the broken part or the entire mask if needed. Store it into your carry-on bag, especially if you have prescription lenses. This way, you can always have it with you even if your luggage arrives late.
Preparing for Diving Session
Is your mask made of tempered glass? Then might as well pre-treat it with a commercial defogging agent beforehand. You may also use the good old toothpaste or spit method, but this is far more sanitary than other mentioned alternatives. If your mask is plastic, the best product to use is one that works specifically for the material.
Additional Caring Tips
Keeping your mask clean and clear is actually a pretty straightforward task. Here are some additional tips in addition to those mentioned above:
- When diving, always keep your mask on. Each time you remove it, you’re decreasing effectiveness of the defogging product. Refrain from placing the mask onto your forehead or head, especially if you’re still submerged underwater because waves could easily wipe off your mask and take them away from you. If you want to take them off your eyes, simply let it hang down around your neck.
- Rinse your dive mask right after every dive. Do this by soaking it in warm soapy tap water to loosen up any residue. Check it for any sand, grit, or other debris that might harden and ruin your mask over time. Always use freshwater (not saltwater) to avoid getting any salt residue.
- Dry your mask completely before storing. Molds and other organisms might lurk into your wet mask while in storage. It also might accumulate bad odors in the process.
- Never let your mask dry in direct sunlight. Strong heat will only degrade silicone and cause premature discoloration on straps and buckles so it’s best that you keep it away from the sun. Drying it on open air or by wiping with a soft cloth is a better alternative.
- Always position your mask face up. When not in use, do not place your mask in a face down position. This might give your lenses scratches, leaving it unclear for your vision.
- Routinely clean your dive mask. Aside from removing debris, it is important that you defog your lenses using a commercial defogging agent, dishwashing liquid, or a regular toothpaste. Apply a few amounts, rub using your fingers or a soft cloth, rinse thoroughly, and you’re done.
- Store your mask in a cool, dry place.