How to Defog Your Snorkel Mask

by Alex Chiruta on September 23, 2019

Ah, the pitfalls of enjoying one of life’s greatest activities: having to defog your snorkel mask every now and then. As annoying as it may be, that’s just something you have to put up with when you’re dealing with water and warm body temperatures, and all you can do is learn how to get around it.

Of course, our full face snorkel masks over at Ninja Shark have an anti-fog coating that allows you to bypass this little irritation, but for those of you with traditional snorkel masks, no fear. We’ve got a few tips and tricks that’ll help you keep that mask defogged so you can enjoy crystal clear, smooth vision for longer.

It’s all about prevention & cleanliness

It’s easy to defog your mask on the spot once it’s fogged up, and we’re not here to teach you how to wipe a lens with your fingers. Instead, we’ll go into some preventative measures that’ll stop your snorkel mask from fogging up in the first place. These are tried and tested secrets from the snorkel community, and as weird as some of them may sound, you can trust that they’ll do the trick.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the most common reason for foggy snorkel masks is a dirty mask. We’re not saying you’re a filthy slob, but even the tiniest specks of dirt, sand, and oil can contribute to fogging. If you wanna get scientific about it, the moisture that forms inside your mask clings to debris and dirt, resulting in fog. If your mask is clean then there’s nothing for the moisture to attach itself to, and it just seeps down and collects at the bottom of your mask. So let’s get into those tips and tricks, hey?

1. Clean your mask with toothpaste

Assuming you’re a normal, everyday human being, you’re likely to have toothpaste at home. So this is easy! Take some toothpaste and squirt it on the inside of your snorkel mask lens. Rub the toothpaste with your finger a few times (you can also use a cloth if you don’t want to get your hands dirty).

Try and use a toothpaste that doesn’t have crystals, bleaching agents, and fancy stuff, the simpler the better. If you’re dealing with a particularly dirty mask here, you might want to leave the toothpaste on overnight or scrub it a few times to allow the chemicals to react properly.

Again, if you’re going to be rubbing toothpaste into the lens of your snorkel mask then you want to make sure there’s nothing abrasive in it that could scratch the surface of the glass. The last thing you want is to have a clean but scratched mask.

2. Clean it with fire

This trick is a step above the toothpaste trick, in that it’ll clean your mask even better and it’s more fun. What you want to do here is run the tip of a flame over the inside of the lens until the glass turns black. Use a lighter or tapered candle for this.

Once the inside of your mask turns black, wait for it to cool and then wipe away the soot with a cloth. Repeat this process a few times until the glass stops turning black. What’s happening here is that the flame burns off any residue or coating on your mask that might be contributing to the fog.

Of course, we’re dealing with fire here, so there are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Don’t allow the glass to overheat.
  • Don’t attempt this on a snorkel mask with a plastic lens. It’ll just melt. Trust us,
    Again, if your snorkel mask has a silicon border then make sure to keep the flame away as the silicon can also melt with very little heat.

3. Spit on your snorkel mask

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re a snorkel aficionado then you’ll already be well experienced with the spitting trick. Spit will prevent condensation from forming on the inside of your snorkel lens and thereby stop it from fogging up.

Just before you’re about to embark on your little adventure, spit on the inside of your mask and give it a rub with your fingers before dunking it in the water. The idea is to leave a thin layer of wonderfully defogging saliva on your mask, so you wanna do this just before diving so the saliva doesn’t dry out.

4. Buy a commercial defogging spray

If the idea of spitting on your mask or using household items to defog your mask doesn’t sound appealing, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of commercial defogging agents that are designed to prevent your snorkel mask from fogging up. They’ll cost ya, but you can guarantee that they’ll work with as little effort as possible.

5. Baby shampoo

If you’ve got some baby shampoo lying around the house, that can also be used to clean and prevent your snorkel mask from fogging up. Not too dissimilar from commercial de-fogging sprays, diluted baby shampoo makes a more affordable solution that plenty of snorkellers are into. Water down the baby shampoo and squirt a few drops onto your lens before giving it a quick rinse.

As your snorkel mask is right up there next to your eyes, you want to avoid using normal shampoo. The good thing about baby shampoo here is that it’s less irritating to the eyes, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable. 

6. Potatoes

The best thing about home remedies is how outrageous they can sound. Using potatoes to defog your snorkel mask? Yep! Cut a potato and rub it on the inside of your snorkel mask lens to prevent it from fogging up. Give it a brief rinse after rubbing, then off you go.

We’ll be honest, this one is a bit of an urban legend amongst the snorkelling community but we’re putting it out there anyway. Give it a go and share your results, we’d love to hear about it! 

7. Glycerin & dishwashing soap

You can also use glycerin soaps and dishwashing detergent to prevent your mask from fogging up, much in the same way that you’d use baby shampoo. Squirt a few drops on the inside of the mask, rub it in, and then rinse the mask.

With this one, it’s possible that if your mask leaks then you’ll get soap in your eyes, which will burn. So keep that in mind if you choose to use this method, and try not to do this just before going out into the water. Your eyes might suffer a bit of stinging still, and the non-biodegradable soaps might be washed into the water, which is no good!

So there you have it, 7 tried and tested ways to keep your snorkel mask from fogging up. Some are easier than others, some more expensive than others, but there’s a good tactic out here for everyone.