How to Stop your Mask Misting and Fogging up.
Taken from Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine volume 5
Guys often buy new masks and when it mists up when they use it, they think there is something wrong with it. They have tried 'everything', so the mask must have a manufacturing problem. The reality is that glass is glass and there is another reason for the mask misting up, and luckily it's very easy to correct.
Basically, any oils, greases, and a number of other substances will effect your mask's lens. New masks have loads of silicon release agent on them when you buy them - this the compound used in the molding process of the soft silicon skirt. This is the primary reason for new masks misting up.
The solution is a simple one, remove all compounds from the lens and you won't have a problem again.
Find yourself a very clean, or preferably new sponge. Used ones have all sorts of grime and grease from washing dishes etc. Using ordinary dishwashing liquid and hot water, wash the mask. Be very thorough, wash the strap, the skirt inside and out, and both sides of the lens. Do this for a few minutes. When you think that you have done it enough, rinse the sponge and the mask thoroughly and then repeat the process another 2 times!
You might think this is excessive, but, have you ever noticed how grease spreads and gets everywhere? Well if there is any grease, oils or release agents still on your mask, it will find its way onto the lens.
Some guys use stronger detergents like Vim and Cleangreen. Both work very well, but this is not something that I recommend as most mask manufactures will tell you not to use even mild detergents.
This step I don't have an explanation for, but for some reason it just works. Its good old toothpaste. Now that your mask is 'super' clean, rub some toothpaste on the inside lenses. Use toothpaste without granules in it, otherwise you might land up scratching the inside of the lenses.
Be sure to clean your mask well after rinsing the toothpaste off as spearmint and your eyes are not friends.
All you need to do now, is use the tried and tested spit in the mask with a light rinse just before you jump in the water and you should have no problems at all.
Now that your mask is clean and not misting up, it does not mean that it will stay this way. Any oils, greases etc will cause your mask to mist up all over again. Here are some tips that will help keep your vision clear in the long run:
- After handling fish, especially oilly ones, don't touch the inside of your mask with your gloves. Take your gloves off and using a clean hand rub the spit in your mask.
- Watch out for sunblocks that wash off in the water, not only will they mess up the inside of your mask, they will burn your eyes too.
- I wash off my mask after every dive with the mild soap, or wetsuit wash. Your skin has natural oils which can cause problems, that and everything else in your fish blik.