To a large degree, you care for your mask the same as you would any other piece of dive equipment. The basic steps include:
Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and allow to dry.
Transport in a protective case.
Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
Let’s take a look at how each of these steps apply specifically to dive masks.
Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and allow to dry
If your mask has been exposed to salt, sand, mud, chlorine or any other potentially harmful substance, you need to rinse it thoroughly in fresh water following use. When doing so, pay particular attention to the buckle area or any other place where salt or sediment can build up.
If you dive in clean, fresh water, you can most likely skip the rinsing step; however, you will still need to allow your mask to dry thoroughly before storing it. Sealing up wet dive gear inside equipment bags or cases (or any other enclosed space) invites the growth of mold, mildew and other unpleasant things that can harm your equipment.
After a week of diving in a saltwater environment, it’s a good idea to soak all of your equipment overnight in a tub of warm, fresh water. Let’s face it: That communal rinse tank on the boat or at the resort may start out as fresh water; however, once everyone else has dunked their salty equipment in it, it won’t be that fresh. Assume that you will be coming home with gear that is in dire need of a thorough overnight soak and rinse prior to drying and storage.
Transport and store in a protective case
Unlike some of your other equipment, your dive mask has a lens that can break and a silicone skirt that can be torn or damaged. To prevent the need for a costly replacement, always transport and store your mask in a protective case. The thin, plastic case your mask came in is better than nothing. A sturdier, hard-shelled case will afford even greater protection and is a good investment.
Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight
Sunlight is one of your dive gear’s greatest enemies. Fading and UV damage can drastically shorten the life of almost any equipment item — including masks. Ideally, you will store all of your equipment in a place that is dry, well-ventilated, out of direct sunlight and away from extremes of heat or cold.
Follow all of these steps and you will help ensure that your dive equipment provides years of service.
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