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Prepare your mask for diving

Investing in your equipment is always super exciting! So when you get home with your new mask, you'll probably want to go diving as soon as possible to try it out! However, there is nothing worse than a mask that is continually fogging up under water, and newly purchased masks can become your worst nightmare if they are not properly prepared before use.

WHY DO MASKS FOG UP

During the manufacturing process, the goggle lenses are covered with a thin layer of silicone. Silicone protects the lenses and prevents them from scratching during the manufacturing, storage and packaging processes. The protective layers, however, cause the mask to fog and will continue to fog until you gradually remove the silicone by wearing it or doing something to remove it. Luckily, there are a couple of things to remove the protective layer without damaging your new mask!

USE A CLEANER

The best option is either a commercial cleaner, such as a degreasing cleaner (e.g. CIF) or toothpaste. If you use toothpaste, it should be in paste form rather than gel and not a whitening variety. Whitening toothpastes contain small crystals to remove stains from your teeth, and these crystals may scratch your mask.

When using a degreaser, apply a drop-sized amount of toothpaste or detergent to both the inside and outside lenses. Use your fingertip to rub the paste vigorously onto both sides of the lenses, focusing mainly on the inside of the lens. Make sure you scrub every inch of the lens. DO NOT use a rough sponge or steel wool to scrub, as this will scratch the glass.

After scrubbing all parts of the lenses, rinse well with fresh water. If you're not in a rush to use your mask, you might also consider leaving the toothpaste or degreasing cleaner on the lenses overnight.

Let the mask dry and then store it in its original plastic box. If the process to remove the silicone is done properly, it only needs to be done once. You will need to use a defogger on your mask before each of your dives.

BURN THE SILICONE

This second system should only be attempted by a professional experienced in this method. If done correctly, it can be very effective, but if not done correctly there is a risk that you could damage your mask.

Using a lighter, you can burn the silicone. The position of the lighter is important so that the tip of the flame is exactly under the lenses (when doing this, hold the mask horizontally and place the lighter directly underneath). The tip of the flame needs to be kept moving around the lens to prevent it from getting too hot in one spot. Particular care must be taken not to burn or melt the silicone corners of the lenses. Don't be scared if the lenses darken during the process, it's soot due to the burning of the silicone.

After treating the inside and outside of the lenses, rinse the mask and the soot will come away.

Let your mask dry and then store it in its original plastic box. If done properly, the silicone will be removed and when you dive you will only need to use a defogger on your mask.

USE A DEMIST BEFORE EACH DIVE

Just because you have removed the silicone, remember to defog before every dive. Apply a drop of defogger to each lens, rub it in with your fingertip, then rinse before putting on your diving mask. If you don't have a commercial defogger, you can also use dish soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and even saliva!

By following these simple but essential steps in preparing your new diving mask you will be able to go on happy, fog-free dives time and time again!

Are you ready for your next diving adventure? Discover all the diving vacation resorts, cruises and day trips available on PADI Travel.

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