Caring for Snorkeling Equipment
Proper care of your masks, snorkels, mouthpieces, fins and other accessories is key to maintaining your investment into these items, and it’s actually quite easy.
The most important thing is cleanliness. Seawater and even freshwater found in natural bodies of water is damaging to manmade materials long-term, which is why washing your equipment after use is the number one most important thing you can do. Rinsing thoroughly with running tap water does the trick, and this can be done easily at the same time you shower after your water activities. To take it a step further, you can use a little mild soap and scrubbing with your fingers or a cloth. If you have applied an anti-fogging lens gel to the inside of your mask, you may be able to skip washing the inside of the lens depending on the directions on your anti-fog.
Another good idea is to dismantle your snorkel’s mouthpiece from its tube. On most snorkels the mouthpiece fitting is simply stretched over the end of the tube and can be carefully removed. Warm water and soap might help for removal. Washing the mouthpiece separately using dishwashing soap is recommended since of course you’ll want to eliminate the possibility of any bacteria, germs, sea salt, or other residue.
After washing and rinsing, allowing your equipment to properly dry is also important. If it is put away for storage before completely drying, you may open it up next time to find a nasty green surprise in the form of possibly toxic mold or mildew!
For storage, somewhere out of the sun and indoors is the best. Sun and heat are harmful to the rubber and silicone used in masks, snorkels, and fins. Ventilation is also important. Its not a good idea to store any masks or snorkels in an airtight bag in the event you there’s trace moisture remaining. One tip is to throw a paper towel or two in whatever container you put your equipment in, to take up any excess moisture.
Following these simple steps are important for safety as well being the surefire way to get the maximum life out of your valuable equipment, and will allow you to enjoy your snorkeling set for years to come rather than just once or twice.