How To Clean A Snorkel Mask and Prevent Fogging

Cleaning your snorkeling equipment is an essential part of your preparations for going for a snorkel. You will extend the lifespan of the equipment and keep the underwater adventurer in you happy, especially when it comes to your snorkel mask. 

The best way to clean a snorkel mask is by washing it with soap and water after each use, especially after use in the ocean. This will prevent sand from scratching the lens and make sure its ready for your next swim. New masks should be cleaned before your first use to ensure it does not fog up. 

There’s nothing worse when you’re out in the water ready to look at some corals, and your mask keeps fogging up. Even if you are sure that you put as much anti-fog on as possible, but you still can’t see clearly, chances are your mask needs a good clean. 

How To Clean A Snorkel Mask: The Easy Way

Snorkeling gear should be regularly cleaned to ensure that you are always comfortable and safe underwater. This includes cleaning your snorkel mask. 

Your snorkel mask should be cleaned after each time you have been in the ocean. Although this sounds like an effort, it will help you the next time you are in the water. Your mask will be squeaky clean and ready to go in a few quick steps. 

Step 1: Rinse The Mask With Warm Water

To properly clean your snorkel mask, you need to first get rid of all the sand and dirt in the mask. Using warm fresh water that is not hotter than 120°F will help you quickly rinse out all the gunk. 

Step 2: Wash The Mask With Gentle Soap

Once you have rinsed the snorkel mask, you can wash it with warm water, gentle soap, such as baby soap, and a soft cloth. I usually use dawn dish soap if available as it cuts through the grime left over from saltwater or sometimes even freshwater if there is a lot of seaweed where you are snorkeling. Using the cloth, gently scrub away the build-up of dirt that can be left from previous times.  

Always ensure you are using a soft microfiber cloth so that the lens of your snorkel mask does not get scratched while you are cleaning it. 

Step 3: Clean out the Snorkel Tube

It is important to also clean out your snorkel tube for breathing. Use a brush, soap, and water to scrub the inside of the breather tube to get it as clean as possible.

You don’t want to be breathing nasty things from the lack of cleaning.

Step 4: Rinse And Dry The Mask

Once the mask is clean, you can rinse off all the soap suds and dirt you have scrubbed off in the previous step.

Your snorkel mask can now either air dry or you can dry it, but again use a soft microfiber cloth to do so, and even then, you should be cautious not to rub too hard with the cloth so that you do not scratch the lens. 

Whichever way you dry your snorkel mask, ensure that it is 100% dry before packing it away in its carry case or bag. 

Step 5: Keep Your Mask Safe By Storing It

Although you would want to go snorkeling every day, it’s not always possible for everyone. So, if you don’t use your snorkel mask, keep it in a carry case or bag to ensure that you will enjoy many moments through its lens.

Why should you clean your snorkel mask after every use?

Dirt can build up and scratch the lens of your mask if you don’t end up cleaning it after every use. Also, it can become pretty unsanitary if you fail to clean it frequently. If you want to sterilize it, use some alcohol on the mouthpiece for extra precaution.

How To Clean A New Snorkel Mask

Cleaning a new snorkel mask before using it for the first time is as important as putting the snorkel on when you go into the water. You might, however, think we have lost the plot, but the lens on a snorkel mask comes with an oily protective film that will fog up or give you unclear vision once you go in the water.

There are different ways to clean a new snorkel mask, but the best way to do it is by using a small amount of white toothpaste and steering clear of gel toothpaste for this method. 

Step 1: Rub The Toothpaste On The Lens Of The Mask

Before starting, ensure that your hands are clean and that your mask is dry. 

Take a drop of toothpaste about the size of a pea and gently rub it on with your fingers or a clean, soft microfiber cloth. You can even use an incredibly soft brush. 

Now you can wipe the toothpaste in a circular motion ensuring it covers the lens completely, inside and outside. 

The toothpaste will remove the oily protective layer from the lens and also help that it does not fog up when you are in the water. 

Step 2: Rinse The Mask With Clean Water

Rinse your snorkel mask with clean water and rub the toothpaste off using a soft microfiber or spectacle cloth. When rinsing the toothpaste off, ensure that you are getting it off the edges too, where toothpaste is likely to accumulate. 

When you feel that all the toothpaste is gone, give it another rinse to ensure you are getting rid of all the residue toothpaste. 

Once you have rinsed the mask, be careful not to touch the lens with your fingers, as the oil in your skin can increase the likelihood of the mask fogging up when you go for a snorkel.

Step 3: Dry The Snorkel Mask

Dry the mask lens the same way you would when you are cleaning it every time after use both inside and out. Drying well with a clean, soft, microfiber cloth will ensure that the mask does not deteriorate due to residual water stuck in it. 

Step 4: Repeat The Process

If you are using your fingers to clean the mask’s lens, you might have to repeat this process about 6 or 7 times to ensure the oily protective film comes off ultimately.

However, using a soft brush will only need you to follow the process once, but if you don’t have a soft brush instead, use a cloth or your fingers to ensure you will not be scratching the lens before even using it. 

Step 5: Apply Defogging Agent To The Lens

Once you are satisfied with the mask’s lens, you can apply an anti-fog solution (like our favorite here) to the lens to ensure that it does not fog up when you use it for the first time. 

A commercially defogging solution will work well, and it is good to purchase some with your new snorkel mask. 

Step 6: When To Not Use Toothpaste On A Snorkel Mask

Plastic and Polycarbonate lenses scratch easily and will not respond well to the toothpaste cleaning method. However, often these lenses come with anti-fog agents and won’t need pre-treating to remove the film. 

Always check the manufacturer’s manual of the snorkel mask before applying any solution that might damage the mask. 


Going for a snorkel is fantastic, and it can be a real kicker if you get in the water and your snorkel mask is dirty. Following this easy cleaning regime for all of your snorkel equipment will ensure its longevity and less drama when you want to quickly grab your stuff and go snorkeling.