How to Clean Snorkeling Equipment

Robinson Cartagena Lopez - RoCarLo/Demand Media

Snorkeling consists of swimming on the surface of the ocean while wearing a dive mask, a breathing tube and swimming fins. Snorkeling is usually done in relatively shallow water over coral reefs to observe the local underwater animal population. Over time the equipment can get dirty and degrade in quality. Take special care to clean each individual piece of equipment to ensure a quality and safe experience.

Robinson Cartagena Lopez - RoCarLo/Demand Media

Run the equipment under fresh water. Always rinse your equipment off immediately after a snorkeling session, even if you don't intend to clean it thoroughly. This will help prevent nasty films and bacteria from growing on the gear.

Robinson Cartagena Lopez - RoCarLo/Demand Media

Clear all of the equipment of debris. Look for clumped sand and shells in crevices. Even tiny grains of sand can scratch your mask, damaging it permanently.

Robinson Cartagena Lopez - RoCarLo/Demand Media

Rinse each piece of equipment with running fresh water either in a sink or tub. Sometimes sun block builds up around the mask skirt. You can remove this by gently rubbing the skirt with dish detergent.

Robinson Cartagena Lopez - RoCarLo/Demand Media

Clean the inside of your mask using a small drop of toothpaste the size of a fingertip. Use your fingers to gently smear the toothpaste around the inside of the mask. Be careful not to use your fingernails as they can scratch the surface. Rinse it with fresh water afterward.

Robinson Cartagena Lopez - RoCarLo/Demand Media

Fill a bucket with fresh water and clean your snorkel. There are two ways to do this. One involves washing the snorkel in the bucket with dish detergent and rinsing it clean under running fresh water. Another involves soaking the snorkel in a bucket of diluted bleach for 30 minutes, then rinsing it clean under running fresh water.

Robinson Cartagena Lopez - RoCarLo/Demand Media

Clean the fins in a bucket of water. Use dish detergent and scrub both the inside and outside using just your hands. Rinse the fins afterward with fresh water.