Cleaning Snorkel Gear | Expert Tips for Cleaning and Storing Your Snorkel Gear Properly

Cleaning Snorkel Gear

Snorkeling is awesome, right? But do you know what is not awesome? Dirty, smelly, and damaged gear. It is very important to clean your snorkel gear and store it in a dry and cool place after you spend a day exploring the amazing underwater world. If you do not, you could end up with foggy masks, moldy snorkels, and brittle fins. Is cleaning your snorkeling gear just about comfort and safety? No, it also helps your gear last longer and perform better. In this article, we will guide you on how to clean everything, from your mask to your fins and other essentials regarding cleaning snorkel gear.

Let us dive in.

Master snorkel gear maintenance, from cleaning snorkel gear to storing

Before we jump into the cleaning part, let us understand the different parts of your snorkel gear and what they are made from.

Mask – A mask covers your eyes and nose and lets you see underwater. It has a frame (could be plastic or metal), a lens (made from tempered glass), a skirt (made from silicone or rubber for a good seal), and a strap (made from silicone or rubber for a good fit).
Snorkel tube – You breathe with the snorkel tube while your face is underwater. It has a tube (could be plastic or silicone), a mouthpiece (made from silicone or rubber), and it might have some extras like a valve (helps get rid of water) and a splash guard (stops water from getting in from the top).
Fins – You need to wear fins to move better in the water while snorkeling. They have a blade (what gives you thrust) and a foot pocket (which holds your foot and transfers power), and they might have some extras like a strap or buckle (for adjusting the fit).
Cleaning products – You need to get a specialized scuba gear cleaner and snorkel cleaner to get rid of dirt, salt, bacteria, mold, etc. You can mix these liquid solutions with water and soak your gear in before rinsing it off.

Why should you clean your snorkel gear?

Now you know what your snorkel gear is made of, so let’s talk about why you should clean it regularly.

Cleaning Snorkel Gear

01. Keep things clean.

It is all about hygiene. Your mask, snorkel, and mouthpiece always touch your face, eyes, nose, and mouth. Did you know those are very sensitive areas and can easily catch germs and bacteria? So, if you do not clean your gear after each use, you could end up with health issues like eye irritation, sinus infection, sore throat, colds, flu, and more.

Cleaning Snorkel Gear Expert Tips for Cleaning and Storing Your Snorkel Gear Properly copy 1

02. Extend the lifespan of your gear.

When you regularly clean your snorkeling gear, it will last longer and maintain quality. You expose your gear to saltwater, sand, sun, chlorine, and other harsh elements all the time when you snorkel. They can affect your gear, and slowly, you will notice corrosion, discoloration, cracking, peeling, and other wear. So, if you do not clean your gear after each use, you could damage it permanently. Then you will have to replace it sooner than you thought when you bought them.

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03. Get the best performance.

Want to give your snorkeling gear a boost?

All you need to do is clean them regularly. Snorkeling gear manufacturers design gears for maximum comfort, safety, and efficiency. But if it is dirty or damaged, it will not work either. For example, you will not see underwater if your mask is foggy or scratched. You will not breathe easily underwater if your snorkel is clogged or leaking. Or let us say if your fins are stiff or loose, you will not be able to move smoothly underwater.

Step-by-step guide to cleaning snorkel gear

Cleaning your snorkel gear is actually pretty easy. We will share the cleaning steps and process with you now.

Pre-cleaning steps

You need to do a few things before you start cleaning your snorkel gear.

Rinse your gear with fresh water as soon as you can after you use it. You can get rid of any built-up salt, sand, chlorine, or other gunk this way.
Disassemble your snorkel gear. You can get to all the parts and clean them well if you break down your gear. For example, you can take off the strap and the skirt from the mask, the mouthpiece and the valve from the snorkel, and the strap or buckle from the fins.
Take a good look at your gear and see if there are any signs of damage or wear and tear. Look for cracks, scratches, tears, holes, etc., on the lens, tube, blade, etc. If you find any, you can take it to repair or consider replacing it.

Best way to clean snorkel gear

Are you done with the pre-cleaning steps? Now, let’s explore how to sanitize snorkel gear with the actual cleaning process. Use appropriate products and methods for each of the following parts.

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Best way to clean snorkel gear

01. Cleaning a snorkeling mask

Step 01 – Rinse your mask with fresh water ASAP to get rid of any debris or saltwater. (Protect the lens on the mask to prevent scratches or damage that could affect your underwater vision)
Step 02 – Soak your mask in warm water with mild dish soap or a silicone-based cleaner.
Step 03 – Wipe the mask all over and make sure no sand or other debris is stuck under the seal or anywhere else on the mask.
Step 04 – Want to scrub the mask? Then, do not use anything rougher than a soft sponge.
Step 05 – Rinse it thoroughly with fresh water.
Step 06 – Dry the mask with a soft towel.
Bonus tipStore your mask in a cool, dry place when you are not using it.

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02. Cleaning a snorkel tube

Step 01 – Rinse your mask with fresh water as soon as you can to get rid of any debris and saltwater.
Step 02 – Soak your mask in warm water with a bit of mild dish soap or detergent. (or a mix of vinegar and water).
Step 03 – Let the snorkel soak in the solution for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 04 – Is there any leftover gunk? Use a toothbrush and scrub away them. 
Step 05 – Rinse the tube thoroughly with fresh water
Step 06 – Pat your snorkel dry with a soft towel.
Bonus tip – Store your snorkel in a cool, dry place, like a breathable bag, to keep it fresh.

03. Cleaning snorkeling fins

Step 01 – Rinse your snorkeling fins with fresh water as soon as you can to get rid of any debris and saltwater.
Step 02 – Soak your snorkeling fins in a bucket of warm water with some soap.
Step 03 – Grab a soft sponge and gently scrub away any remaining dirt or grime.
Step 04 – Rinse your fins thoroughly with clean water.
Step 05 – Pat your fins dry with a soft towel.
Bonus tipStore your fins flat or hang them up in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

What is the best snorkel cleaner?

There is no single best snorkel cleaner. The best one for you depends on your needs and what you like. But here are some popular snorkel cleaner choices.

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What is the best snorkel cleaner

Use mild dish soap or detergent mix and a warm water mix

This is a common method to clean snorkel gear. Soak your snorkel gear in this for about 5-10 minutes, then gently scrub away any leftover gunk with a toothbrush. Thoroughly rinse after cleaning to get rid of any soap.

Cleaning snorkel gear with vinegar

Vinegar is a completely natural and effective way to remove dirt or stains without harming plastic or silicone.

Step 01 – Mix vinegar with water in a ratio of one part vinegar to four parts water. Pick white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Step 02 – Soak your snorkel and fins in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes. Shake and get it everywhere.
Step 03 – Rinse your snorkel and fins well with fresh water to get rid of any leftover product.

Give your mask a toothpaste treatment

Toothpaste is a cheap and easy option to get rid of any oily film or coating without scratching the glass or polycarbonate. So, you can use it and clean your mask lens and stop it from fogging up. How to clean snorkel mask with toothpaste? Follow the below steps.

Step 01 – Smear a bit of non-abrasive toothpaste on both sides of the lens (no whitening gels!).
Step 02 – Gently rub it in with your fingers or a soft toothbrush (avoid the skirt and frame).
Step 03 – Rinse thoroughly with clean water and get rid of any leftover toothpaste.

How to disinfect snorkel gear?

Do you want to take an extra step and ensure your snorkeling gear is clean and lasts longer? Try disinfecting them. Here is how you do it.

First, get a disinfectant safe for snorkeling gear, like Dettol or a chlorine-based disinfectant, a scrub brush or sponge, and a towel.
Fill up a sink or basin with a mix of the disinfectant and water. Make sure to follow the instructions on the disinfectant for how much to use.
Put your snorkel gear in this mix and let it soak for the time it says on the instructions.
Use the brush or sponge to scrub the gear and get hard-to-reach spots.
Rinse the gear well with fresh water and remove any leftover disinfectant.
Dry the gear off completely with a towel before you store it.

Storing your snorkel gear the right way

You need to store your snorkel gear properly to use them for years. Here’s the best way to store snorkel gear.

Rinse and dry – After using your gear, rinse it off with fresh water to remove any damaging salt water or chlorine. Once it is clean, ensure it is totally dry before you put it away to prevent mold or mildew from growing.
Storage – Keep your gear in a cool, dry spot, like a storage closet or garage. Avoid hot places because the heat can damage the rubber parts.
Regular Check-ups – Regularly check your gear for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any parts that are worn out, replace them before they cause damage to the rest of the gear.
Storing for travel – Wrap your gear in cloth layers or put it in its original hard plastic case to protect it.

FAQ Section

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about cleaning snorkel gear.

Conclusion

Why is cleaning snorkel gear important? It is essential for several reasons for every snorkeler. Cleaning extends gear life, guarantees a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience, and saves money.

How to do it?

In this article, we explained many of the best ways to clean, sanitize, disinfect, and store your gear. Follow those steps and keep your snorkeling gear in great shape for all your future underwater adventures.

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