foggy goggle problem

Fix Foggy Goggle Problems, Forever

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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Ever went diving and had to continuously put water in your mask to swish around, just so you could clear all the fog out. Only for that fog to come back 2 minutes later so you could repeat the process. And you are diving for 45 minutes so eventually, you just give up and start squinting through it. Then your guide points out a frogfish which you’ve been dying to see… but them darn foggy goggles are foggy again. Yeah, no one likes that crap.  Which is why there are a few things you should know if you often suffer the foggy goggle issue.

I can’t see through the Fog

Just about every diver has had the foggy goggle problem at least once. Though it doesn’t leave you totally blind, a foggy mask can be really annoying while diving. Especially when trying to enjoy observing the behaviours of seahorses or other marine animals. There are a couple of reasons a mask might get foggy. The most common problem being that it wasn’t defogged well enough before diving, and the second being that the mask has not been treated properly. Here’s how to fix it.

Defog, Defog, defog,

Before each dive, you need to defog that lovely viewing window we call a mask. To do so is quite simple, put a defogging agent onto the inside of your mask rub it around and rinse it out. The trick being not to wash all the defog out of your mask, just enough that it won’t get into your eyes. Then, and this is the most important part, put your mask on your face right away and don’t take it off. This way the defog will not dry out and you are less likely to rinse your mask… again.

 

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If you are wondering what to use a defogging agent there are many great options, and all do the trick. Though I, of course, prefer you use an ocean/earth-safe option as there is enough pollution in the ocean already.

  • SCUBA defog: there are many brands out there such as Frog Spit, Reef Safe Biodegradable Anti-Fog, and many other, each will stop your foggy goggle problem.
  • Toothpaste: also leaves your mask smelling minty fresh
  • Liquid Soap: typically dish soap or shampoo is used, but any liquid soap will work. I recommend finding an earth-friendly baby shampoo, as it will be ocean safe and no tears.
  • Mermaid Spit: Wondering where to find the mermaid? Look no further than your mirror. You are the mermaid I’m talking about, and yes, your spit will work wonderfully as a defog (it is also earth-friendly, bonus!)

 I defogged, defogged, defogged, and it’s still a foggy goggle!

If the defog isn’t working, it isn’t the defog that’s the problem; it’s your mask. Don’t freak out though, you don’t need to go buy a new mask, you just need to treat the one you’ve got. When masks are manufactured, the company will put a thin layer of film on the inside of the mask. This protects it from scratching, but it also makes your mask fog like crazy. To make it stop you obviously need to get rid of that layer. There are two simple ways of doing this.

 

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More Toothpaste, please!

Toothpaste is once again the answer to our problems, defog treatment, gingivitis, teeth whitening it does it all! To start your treatment find a white paste toothpaste (not the newer gel toothpaste) and smear and healthy layer on the inside of the mask. Allow it to sit and overnight and dry before washing it off. Note that you may need to repeat this process 2-3 times, and you will still need to defog your mask before each dive, or you could still get a foggy goggle.

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Though you don’t need to create a disco inferno in your mask, burning the film on the inside is, in my opinion, a sure-fire way to treat your mask (pun intended). All you need is a lighter and some water. It is a good idea to wet your mask beforehand. Though it is not necessary, it will help protect the skirt inside your mask. To treat it, light your lighter and pass it over the inside of the mask, burning the film off. You will see black soot forming, this is good and means that it’s working. It is very important that you do not hold the lighter in one spot for more than a couple seconds. The heat from the lighter can melt the silicon skirt on the inside of the mask so you need to be aware. After burning it let the mask cool off before washing away the soot, then burn it again. though it shouldn’t be necessary, it will help ensure you didn’t miss any spots. If you don’t feel comfortable burning your mask yourself, remember you can always ask a dive professional for help. Most shops will do it for you free of charge even.

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Viola!

If you have followed my instructions correctly you should have a beautifully clear and fog free mask! Woo-Hoo! Now you can see all those little ocean wonders! If you are still experiencing the foggy goggle problem leave me a comment and I can try to help you as best as I can. Feel free to send an email instead if you’d prefer.

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what scuba equipment to buy first

What SCUBA Equipment to Buy First

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A little while back I trained a student who instantly fell in love with SCUBA. After their first few dives, they were already wanting to buy their own gear. At this point, they asked me what was most important, and where to start. When you decide to buy your gear piece by piece it can be tricky figuring out which purchases will be the more vital. Hence I have decided to write this gear guide on what SCUBA equipment to buy first, which I would like to develop into a series of posts helping divers choose the equipment best suited to them.

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This article is based on my personal opinions and feelings and experiences. I hope that you all find it useful!

Numero Uno

The big cojones on my order to buy scuba gear list is the mask. Every person has a different kind of face making the mask one of the more important buys. I say this because the mask is typically one of your primary sources of comfort while diving. Imagine have a leaky rental mask that just doesn’t quite fit even when you tighten it own so hard you feel like you’ve put your head in a vice grip. Not fun. Many people find ill-fitting masks very deterring and even cause some people to panic while diving.

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Finding a mask that properly fits your face, doesn’t fog up on you, and fits comfortably is a great first choice scuba purchase. The mask is also one of the less expensive pieces of gear typically sold in the $50-$120 range. It’s lightweight, easy to travel with, and you can use it for snorkeling too!

Safety is Important

Especially in SCUBA diving, safety is extremely important. It is for this reason that I highly recommend that a dive computer be at the top of your ‘what SCUBA equipment to buy first’ list. A dive computer can not only help you log your dives, but also save you from decompression illness. Computers can also extend your bottom times in comparison to using dive tables. This is because dive computers calculate your no stop limits as you dive.

There are many great models out there that are quite affordable and great quality. After you buy your computer make sure that you read the manual and get familiar with it. Knowing how your computer works and being able to understand the displayed information is key when it comes to avoiding decompression illness.

They say to follow your feet

After buying a mask and computer the next vital gear pieces are a bit of a toss-up. That being said I would recommend your next purchase to be fins. It’s a hard decision between fins and wetsuit but in the end, I choose handy dandy flippers. The reason for this being that many shops cheap out on rental fins.

A fair few dive shops will provide snorkel fins instead of dive fins because of their lesser cost. The problem is that they are really crappy underwater. If faced with any kind of current, or even if you are simply a weak swimmer, having good-for-nothing fins can be dangerous. Having a proper SCUBA fin that fits properly can save you a whole lot of trouble in the water.

Exposure protection!

As I mentioned earlier it was a hard decision between wetsuit and fins for 3rd place. If you are wondering why, well it has to do with something you may find disturbing. I wasn’t to place wetsuit third for the simple reason that rental wetsuits are often peed in… Yeah, totally gross. I know. It is for this reason that many divers choose wetsuit when deciding what SCUBA equipment to buy first. However, the trouble with wetsuits is that depending on where you are diving you may require different thicknesses of suits. Where ever you decide to dive, proper exposure protection should be available to rent. Whether you need no wetsuit, a 3mm all the way up to a dry suit. 

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Why buy a wetsuit? You mean apart from not having to dive in a smelly, old, peed in rental? Well rentals, being old, tend to get thinner meaning they don’t offer the same warmth as a newer personal wetsuit. You can also buy one that is exactly your size, meaning no too short limbs for the tall and slender, and extra room in junk trunk spaces for women buying ladies wetsuits. In addition, there are many different wetsuit technologies out there such as infrared and polar fleece that will keep you warmer than generic neoprene.

The Life Line

That’s right, coming in second to last on my list is your regulator set. My reasoning for having it so low on the list is that a proper dive shop will maintain their regulators well. Meaning that you shouldn’t need to worry about it malfunctioning. Unlike the previous pieces of gear, your regulator will need servicing and maintenance at regular intervals, especially if you aren’t using it for an extended period of time. With proper maintenance and care your personal regulator will become one of your scuba treasures. Not to mention, having a regulator that you trust and are comfortable with can help you feel relaxed, improving your breathing technique.

The Big Piece

Last but not least is your BCD. though this too is an important part of your SCUBA set up I recommend it as the last purchase for a few reasons. The first being that it requires just as much maintenance if not more than your regulator. With a BCD it is very important you always wash, dry and store it properly, as a failure to do so can end up in a malfunction at depth. The other reason I believe you should get your BCD last is that it is the most difficult piece of equipment to pack in a suitcase.

That being said, once you do fall so deeply in love with the underwater world that you are ready to buy and drag a BCD around the world with you, that purchase is going to be one of your little babies. When I finally bought my first BCD I was in love with it and 7 years later, I’m still loving it and taking all the steps to make sure it lasts another 7 years. Having your own BCD can also help with your buoyancy control. Diving with the same equipment on a regular basis allows you to get to know how it works, instead of switching it up all the time wiith different rentals.

What SCUBA Equipment to Buy First

When trying to decide what SCUBA equipment to buy first you will need to take a few things into consideration. Things like comfort, safety, peace of mind, cost, etc. Each of these is important but you need to prioritize what is most important to you. I hope you found this guide insightful and has made your ‘what SCUBA equipment to buy first’ conundrum a little easier to solve!

 

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