After you’ve had an amazing dive and taken some great pictures, it’s time to head back to the hotel and relax. However, saltwater, debris, shell fragments, sand and seaweed can wreak havoc on your gear and create bacteria in your equipment.
Before you toss your equipment in a pile, take a few minutes and clean off your snorkel gear and care for it properly.
Our simple post-swim cleaning checklist can help to maintain the quality and durability of your equipment for years to come.
After each dive, follow this simple maintenance checklist.
- Rinse all of your equipment with fresh water. Be sure to remove any debris, including sand.
- Soak your mask face-up in warm water with a silicone-based cleaning solution from a dive shop or mild dish soap. It’s important to use a cleaner that does not contain alcohol or petroleum. Keep the water temperature lukewarm because hotter water can soften the skirt and lead to a poor fit.
- Thoroughly clean your snorkel with dish detergent and warm water to remove any debris. Never use bleach or any solution that contains a chlorine derivative as the chlorine will attack the plastic, making it brittle and will eventually crack the mask.
- Rinse your fins and then let them soak in warm, soapy water. You can use either baby shampoo or dish detergent. Be sure to clean out any debris, using a soft-bristled toothbrush if necessary.
- Wipe all equipment with a soft sponge or nonabrasive cloth. It’s important to prevent scratches on your gear. Even a small scratch can obstruct your view, and create a breeding ground for bacteria to hide and grow.
- Allow all equipment to thoroughly dry before storing it. This ensures that no standing water will remain and cause bacteria or mold in the future.
- Always store your mask in a protective case.
For a deeper clean, you can use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to clean off older snorkel equipment. It’s important to thoroughly rinse and dry the gear in between each use.
Even if your gear looks pretty clean when you get out of the water, there are a ton of different contaminants and bacteria in the ocean that are not visible on the surface. Be sure you clean all your snorkeling equipment thoroughly after each use to help them last for years and function just as good as the day you bought them. The better kept your equipment is, the less overall cleaning you’ll need to perform each season.