Cleaning any snorkel equipment is important. It will extend the lifespan of the equipment, preventing you from purchasing unnecessary replacements because of negligence.

A snorkel mask is one of the most important pieces of snorkel equipment because it is the only means you will have to be able to see the underwater world below. Without a snorkel mask, you will be unable to see the various lifeforms that live in the shallow water beneath the surface.

A dirty snorkel mask that is deteriorated or corroded won’t provide you with the snorkeling experience you deserve, which is what makes cleaning the snorkel mask so important.

Properly cleaning your snorkel mask will keep the mask in good working condition, rendering it a safe and effective piece of snorkeling equipment that can continue to be used, but it is more than just scrubbing it with soapy water. Properly cleaning your snorkel mask should be a process that is followed from beginning to end after each snorkel excursion is complete.

Cleaning Your Snorkel Mask After Each Use

Sand, saltwater, and other abrasive materials can enter the grooves of the snorkel mask and damage the skirt, strap, and lens of the snorkel mask if they are not cleaned properly. This is why it is so important to clean the mask after each use.

Oftentimes, it is virtually impossible to see the sand and saltwater particles that have been left behind on the snorkel mask, and oily suntan lotions and sunscreen sprays can have the same effect. While you often can’t see the remnants of these various residues, the damage will still be done.

Oily lotions and sprays can create a film on the snorkel mask skirt that can cause it to break down, especially if the skirt material is made of rubber. Rubber skirt material is less durable and long-lasting than silicone. This makes it especially important to clean snorkel masks that have a rubber skirt or rubber head strap.

To prevent your snorkel mask from deteriorating quickly, you will need to clean it after each use.

Step 1: Rinse With Warm Water

To do this, you will need to take the snorkel mask away from all sand, dirt, and saltwater. You will need clean, warm, freshwater to rinse the entire snorkel mask. Make sure the water is no hotter than 120°F, as this can damage the materials of the snorkel mask.

Step 2: Wash With Soap

Once the snorkel mask has been rinsed, you can take a gentle soap and a soft cloth to scrub away any build-up of corrosion or dirt that has been neglected from previous snorkel trips. The cloth will need to be a soft microfiber material or lens cleaning cloth so that the lens of the snorkel mask does not get scratched during the cleaning process.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

Once you have gently scrubbed the mask with warm soapy water, you will need to rinse it completely with warm water to get rid of any soap suds.

After the snorkel mask has been rinsed, it will need to dry completely before it is placed back in its carrying bag or case. You can let the snorkel mask air dry, or you can dry it with a soft towel; just be careful not to scrub the mask too aggressively as this can cause the lens of the snorkel mask to scratch.

Step 4: Store Your Mask Safely

When the mask is not in use, place it in a carrying case or bag so that it is protected from the elements. This will ensure the longevity of the snorkel mask.

How to Clean a Snorkel Mask Before Using It

After buying a snorkel mask, you should clean it. This may sound weird and understandably so; however, this is an important step in making sure the mask functions properly at its highest and best use.

Step 1: Clean Your Mask With Toothpaste

To clean the snorkel mask after you buy it, you should take a small amount of toothpaste and place it onto a brush and cover the visor of the mask on the inside and outside. The toothpaste will remove the layer of oily film that has been coated on the glasses to protect it during shipping.

The toothpaste will safely remove the oily film from the lens while also protecting the lens from fogging when it is in use. It is important that you don’t touch the lens with your fingers as the oil from your fingers can cause the lens to become oily once more. What’s more, the oil from your fingers can actually increase the likelihood of fog sticking to the lens, and this is exactly the opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish.

Step 2: Rinse Your Mask

Once you have scrubbed the inside and outside of the snorkel mask with toothpaste, you will need to rinse it off. Do this by taking clean water and running it all over the inside and outside of the mask; again, not touching the lens of the mask with your fingers.

Step 3: Dry It Off

When all of the toothpaste has been rinsed from the mask, you can take a clean, soft towel to dry the mask. This will prevent any bacteria from growing on the mask, as well as prevent the mask from deteriorating due to residual water that is stuck in areas within the snorkel mask.


Other Ways to Care For and Maintain Your Snorkel Mask

Use a Protective Case

When your snorkel mask is not in use, it must be in a protective carrying case or bag. This will ensure the snorkel mask does not become damaged while being left out in the elements. The snorkel mask should not remain in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time as the UV rays from the sunlight can damage the skirt and lens of the mask.

Store Your Mask Properly

Make sure that the location where you store your snorkel mask is not humid. Humidity can weaken the integrity of the mask and cause it to deteriorate, so make sure the mask is always stored in a cool, dry place.

Try to keep your snorkel mask out of direct sand as much as possible. Some sand may inevitably come in contact with your snorkel mask; however, make sure your snorkel mask is never thrown directly onto the sand. Sand can quickly and easily cause different parts of the snorkel mask to malfunction and be rendered useless. The best way to ensure this does not happen is to keep the snorkel mask off the ground as much as possible.

Keep It Clean

Lastly, always try to keep your fingers from touching the lens of the snorkel mask. Touching the lens of the snorkel mask will leave an oily residue, which can cause the mask lens to fog more quickly and easily. If you find that you have touched the lens of the snorkel mask with your fingers, follow the cleaning steps above to get rid of the oily residue that has been left on the mask.


Your snorkel mask is one of the most important pieces of snorkeling equipment. The snorkeling mask is the window to the underwater world, so it is imperative that it is taken care of properly and routinely. By following these steps of how to clean a snorkel mask, you will be able to use your snorkel mask for many years to come.