What is the best way to clean your mask and snorkel after a trip in saltwater?
Just got back from a snorkeling trip in the sea and have rinsed the mask and snorkel with fresh water, but is there and soap or anything I should use to clean it better? Want to have this set for a long time in great shape!
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Re: What is the best way to clean your mask and snorkel...
No need to use soap or fancy cleaners for snorkel or dive gear. The important thing is just to get the salt off, and plain old fresh water will do the trick.
The best way to clean your gear, is to fill a bucket or a tub with warm water, and then dunk your gear several times to rinse it out thoroughly. In some cases I like to swish it around underwater, and maybe rub the rubber parts to ensure a thorough rinsing. After that, let it drip dry and store it in a cool, dry, *dark* place.
Salt and sunlight are the two things that'll kill your gear in no time at all, keep it safe from that and it should provide good use for a long time.
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it depends on the quality of the mask and it depends on how you stored it (if you leaved it at sunlight, if you washed it thoroughly after using it in the sea...)
i have a mid quality mask Mares mask, i have been using about 20 times for snorkeling, then i used it to take diving certifications in pool, then i used it for about other 20 dives in the sea... i always stored it in a dark bag (the mask is now about 8 years old)
you can check if you mask is still in good shape, and the silicone has not worn out, in this simple way: just put the mask on your face without straps.. remove all the air inside the mask by inhaling with your nose.. then look at your feet (keep inhaling): if the mask remains on your face you can keep using it
Here is a quick 2-minute video that will explain how to loosen the straps on your snorkeling mask, and tell you many other useful facts about snorkel masks. If your mask is a different model, you can look at the related videos on YouTube and find one that has straps similar to yours.
I use baking soda, warm water and bottle brushes for pretty much anything that goes near my mouth. My hydration bladder gets that treatment often especially after a long trip, as has my snorkel a couple of times. You could try find a platypus or camelbak cleaning kit at your local outdoors store.
A broken frame on a nice mask, that is a bummer. I am only aware of replacement lenses, but not replacement frames. If you want to save on costs, you can find a used similar mask or a mask that uses the same style of lens that is interchangeable with your current model. I suggest looking on ebay, craigs list, and of course the internet.
There are two easy reasons the mask is fogging. First can be the initial film wasn't properly cleaned off. When you get a new mask there is residue on the tempered glass. The easiest way to get it off is using the toothpaste as mentioned above. You dip the mask in the water and then put about a pea sized blob of tooth paste on each lense. (some masks have one large one some are two split.) Rub the toothpaste all around for a few minutes. Rinse and repeat. (it's worth the extra few seconds to do it again. It is the slight abrasiveness in the tooth paste that gets the film off.
Second before you dive (or snorkel) apply a pro grade anti fog. or dip. I live in FL and use 500 PSI brand. It works great for me in the warmer water temps. A small bottle is like 6 bucks, but considering what we spend to go dive, or the small amount of time we get to spend on the bottom it is well worth it. Plus you use very much.
A local dive shop can give you a good rec on what will work in your area. but 3 - 7 bucks can get you more than enough for 25+ dives.
"A snorkel must fit comfortably in your mouth, allow you to purge water out of the mouthpiece and hose quickly and help you to swim efficiently. But, the most important characteristics to remember when choosing a snorkel are its length and the diameter of its barrel.
Snorkels must not be too long or too short. If a snorkel is too long it will be difficult to breathe because the barrel will fill up with carbon dioxide. Every time you breathe out carbon dioxide through your snorkel your breath must travel up and out of the barrel of your snorkel to allow you to draw oxygen back down the barrel and into your lungs. If your snorkel is too long you will only push a percentage of the carbon dioxide up and out of the barrel during your exhale. You will need to inhale oxygen before all the carbon dioxide has been pushed out; leaving the percentage of carbon dioxide entering your bloodstream higher each time you take a breath. This cycle could lead to suffocation. If a snorkel is too short it will constantly fill with water, requiring you to constantly force the water out of your snorkel which can be very exhausting.
The inside diameter of your snorkel must be approximately three quarters of an inch or 1.9 cm. If the snorkel is thinner than .75 inches it will be difficult to breathe because there will not be enough room in the barrel for you to draw enough air into your lungs. This will cause you to breathe harder and rapidly, which could cause hyperventilation. If the barrel is thicker than .75 inches it will be too large and will be uncomfortable to use and attach to your mask.
Learning to attach your snorkel to your scuba mask to make sure it is easy to grab and use is an important part of safe scuba diving practices. Snorkels are attached to the left side of your mask with a snorkel keeper. Snorkel keepers are either plastic or rubber and most use a post-hole closure. Each snorkel keeper is different and attaching your snorkel to your mask with a snorkel keeper requires practice. If you will detach your snorkel from your mask after each dive you should practice attaching your snorkel, as it can be a little tricky. Alternately, you can leave your snorkel attached to your mask if you are diving more than once in a day.