The snorkel mask is a vital part of a snorkeling kit, and it deserves more care and maintenance than other gears. With this mask’s help, you can witness and experience the underwater beauty, wildlife, reefs, and beautiful landscapes. But none of this is possible if this mask is or poor quality or poorly maintained.
Taking care of snorkeling equipment is mandatory as it adds years to the life of these gears. A well-maintained kit can be re-used for years, and it saves a lot of money. If someone doesn’t know how to clean a snorkel mask set, this article will be a great help.
Why is it necessary to clean the snorkel mask set?
Whenever we hear about cleaning the snorkel mask set, the first thing that comes to the mind is; do we really have to clean it? Well, why not?
Like any other thing, snorkel equipment deserves maintenance so that it never disappoints you whenever you need it next time. Many reasons are implying to keep the snorkel gear clean and free from contamination. Some of which are as follows.
- Body oils
The human body secretes oils, sweat, and pheromones necessary to keep the systems running. These secretions retain the body’s temperature and moisturize the skin even when it is underwater. But these secretions may not be friendly to your snorkel mask set. Not cleaning the mask after using may result in a breakdown of the material that makes this mask, i.e., neoprene or any other rubber or silicon type. However, it may take years to degrade, but there is absolutely no way to predict when it will happen. It is better not to take a risk and make sure to avoid an accident.
- Stones and sand grains
while swimming underwater, irrespective of saltwater or the freshwater, there are high chances for the small stones and sand grains to be stuck into the mask and deposit in the cracks, strap, edges, and folds the snorkel mask. If left uncleaned, it may also become a habitat to bacteria causing dense bacterial colonies to form. In any way, it is unhygienic and dirty, thus requires proper cleaning after using it.
- Rocks and mineral deposits
Cleaning the mask after using it ends the mineral deposits’ chances to accumulate when someone swims in the saltwater. This saltwater is rich in salts, alkaloids, and minerals, which is why, after drying, sometimes the water leaves tiny particles behind it. Without thoroughly cleaning it, these particles can affect buoyancy control and may also cause corrosion.
- Decaying material
One honest thing to mention here is that no one likes the stinky gear. When a person neglects cleaning his snorkel mask or wet suit, the bacterial colonies form over the decaying material causing the intolerable odor. It makes using this equipment next time almost impossible.
Easiest ways to clean snorkel mask set
Many things can help in the deep cleaning of the snorkel mask set. Greatever and other top snorkeling manufacturers share complete cleaning guidelines with its customers to enjoy their gears for the long term.
Some of the simplest ways to clean them are as follows.
Option#1- Try bleach on it
After being exposed to water, the decaying material and residues are very much likely to grow mold. No one would surely like to breathe into the mold, so a simple bleach solution can be used to clean it. Use warm water to dilute bleach as per the standard amount. Dip the breathing tube and mask in it for a few minutes and let it sit. Make sure that the bleach is thoroughly rinsed. Dry it and keep it inside the snorkel bag.
Option#2- Use detergent on it
Those who don’t find bleach safe can use detergent and warm water to clean the snorkel mask set. Any antibacterial handwash or dishwasher can also be used for this reason. It may not be as effective as bleach, but still, it helps to some extent.
Option#3- Try for vinegar.
Vinegar is a mild acid that can help in deep cleaning. Just dilute the vinegar in warm water and soak the snorkel gear in this solution. Gently scrub it if there is the excessive buildup on and inside the equipment. Clean it with warm water and let it air dry.
Option#4- clean it with toothpaste.
Not many people know, but the snorkel gears, especially the mask, can be cleaned with toothpaste. Just take a small amount and rub it on the mask. Scrub if required or use a small soft brush for cleaning the debris. Rinse with water and use a paper towel to dry or let it air dry.
Note- use a gentle hand to clean the snorkeling gear. All of this equipment epically the mask is delicate, so you have to be careful while cleaning or scrubbing it. Avoid using hard brushes, sticks, and anything that may scratch it.
Five- step guide on cleaning snorkel set
Now that we know the ingredients to clean a snorkel mast set, next, we need detailed instructions on what to do and what not to do during this cleaning.
Of course, it can be done at home and doesn’t require professional cleaning. Not only that is costly but also may not effectively deliver satisfactory results. Besides, what’s better than cleaning the snorkel set by yourself and ensuring it is perfectly clean? That satisfaction is priceless.
1- Clean thoroughly
The first and foremost thing to pay attention to is to clean the mask thoroughly. For this, it is necessary to completely inspect the mask and see where does the debris, mold, or residues lie. Use a soft brush or damp cloth to scratch it and remove it lightly. Pay attention to the corners, grooves, and ridges, which are more likely to contain these remains.
2- Use any cleaner for deep cleansing
There are so many things that can help to clean and disinfect the snorkel mask set properly. Some of them are already mentioned above. If you want to save money, try any of the above-listed ingredients. Or else, you can also try any professional-grade cleaner, which is readily available everywhere.
3- Dry it with a soft towel or cloth
After removing the dirt, scrubbing, soaking and cleaning the snorkeling gear, next is to thoroughly rinse it with water, making sure that no cleaning product remains inside the equipment. It is better to wipe it with a clean cloth and let it dry completely before storing it.
4- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun
While air drying or drying in the sun is the best approach, one should make sure that he doesn’t forget his snorkeling gear in the sun. The drying takes only a few minutes, and leaving the gears in the sun for hours is never a wise idea. The sunlight may kill the germs, but it can also degrade the material, crack it, or make it weak to break anytime. Also, it changes the colors and makes them faded.
5- Store it carefully inside the packing bag
Once the cleaning and drying is finished, put the snorkeling mask set back into its packing and keep it inside your snorkeling bag or any other secure place.
Important tips for maintenance
Interestingly, cleaning is only a part of this maintenance plan of snorkeling gears, and there is more that can be done. If the equipment is well-maintained, it may only need a basic clean after every trip. Also, you may not need to spend on anything for a long time. Just try to be sure about the following things.
- Never leave your mask on sand, stones, or anywhere around the visor. This mask is delicate, and anything even small rocks or scrap pieces can damage it and affect the clarity of vision.
- Never leave the mask in the sun for more than a few minutes. The solar radiation can melt and alter the silicone, mainly used in making the mask’s borders. With heat, these borders can wave and cause problems during use.
- An ideal drying place is a shady place with no direct sunlight. This also applies to keep the mask on the beach, after coming out of water. Never leave your mask in the sun, anyways.
- If you experience fogging in the mask, make sure to fit the mask before entering the water accurately. The fogging is caused by the moisture which is produced while breathing. If you purchase the snorkeling mask set from a reputed company like Greatever, there are very fewer chances to become foggy. If you are using any other mask that does, try using an anti-fog spray.
- Do not leave your mask in the sand. The tiny sand grains, debris, and scrap pieces can be stuck inside the mask and may become impossible to take out.
- Follow the complete maintenance guidelines issued by the mask manufacturing company. All A-listed companies like Greatever explain tips and tricks to clean the mask and maintain it until the next use. These instructions are usually mentioned on the packing.
- Keep disposable towels inside your snorkeling bag before going on any trip. Whenever you come out of the water, use the towel to make snorkel mask clean immediately.
How often should you clean it?
The snorkel mask should be cleaned before and after a snorkeling trip. If you are short on time, just make sure that you are cleaning it after the tour. But before using it next time, don’t forget to wipe it with a clean towel or wipe. Also, check if any part of the mask is damaged or needs a fix before packing.
Taking care of all snorkeling equipment, especially the mask is necessary to enjoy the snorkeling trip safely. Even though people believe that saltwater itself is a disinfectant, there are high chances that it can contaminate the snorkeling gears. Thus, it is necessary to keep your snorkel gear clean. Well-maintained equipment will last for more time and need no repair. Don’t use if the mask is damaged, broken, or contain mold as it may invite several health and safety concerns.