If you are someone who enjoys snorkeling, you will be more than aware of just how much equipment you need to take part in the sport. Not only do you have to overcome gathering all of the equipment that you need, but you also need to deal with all the costs that come along with your list of equipment.
If you are someone that is really into snorkeling and want to acquire your own equipment, you may be intimidated by the sheer cost of it all. However, if you finally take the step and buy your own equipment, you will be able to hold onto it for quite a while. Most of the equipment you buy, such as your wetsuit and your full face dive mask, should last you for a long time, as long as you keep up maintenance and regularly clean them.
If you are new to snorkeling, you may not know exactly how to clean your gear. This is because all of your gear is different and so requires different cleaning techniques. Here are some tips useful on how to properly clean your snorkeling gear.
Arguably one of the most important pieces of kit that you use during a snorkeling session is your snorkel. This bit of kit allows you to breathe in the water, and so it must be properly cleaned and maintained.
How to clean your snorkel
Bleach and water
Anything that constantly has water in it has a very high risk of developing mold. Mold in your snorkel is the last thing you want as it would be extremely dangerous to breathe in any mold spores. One of the most popular methods that people use for cleaning their snorkels is bleach and water dilute. Now, of course, you don’t want to put too much bleach into the dilute as you also don’t want to be inhaling bleach.
The best way to effectively do this method is by filling a bucket with water and adding about a cap’s worth of bleach. Mix the two thoroughly, put your snorkel in, and then sit for around ten minutes. Once this is complete, remove your snorkel from the bleach solution and then thoroughly run it under clear warm water. You should make sure that the water is clearly all of the snorkel’s internal parts so that there is no bleach left inside. This technique should be done regularly, as mold can appear out of nowhere quite quickly.
If you don’t feel comfortable using bleach on their equipment, don’t worry, as there is a completely natural solution and just as effective. Instead of bleach, you can make a diluted mixture of water and vinegar. Vinegar is a tried and tested ingredient for many cleaning products and has been known to remove bacteria and leave your equipment looking fresh and brand new.
With your mask, you have to be a bit more delicate than you have to be with your other equipment. This is because you depend on your mask to see when you are underwater, which arguably is the entire reason you even scuba dive.
Unfortunately, snorkeling masks can get scratched very easily, so you must take care during the cleaning process. Because your snorkel is likely to have glass or plastic elements, you are going to want to use a silicone-based cleaning product to make sure that the mask is as clean as it possibly can be. If you go to dive and scuba shops, there should be a few options for brands that you can use to clean your mask.
It is also advised that you soak your mask in warm water to kill any nasty bacteria. However, you should remember not to use water that is too hot. This is because masks usually have rubber or silicone sealants that ensure that water cannot get into the mask. If you put the mask in very hot water, you could distort and change the shape, which is the last thing you want to do as it means it won’t sit on your face properly. This could be extremely dangerous for someone that does scuba with soft contact lenses, as the water could get in and touch the lenses. This could displace the lenses or lead to a bacterial infection, so it is best to avoid any sort of distortion.
Fins are one of the easier bits of equipment to clean, and they actually require very little maintenance, which I’m sure is handy for those of you that don’t like having too many things to clean. After you have finished your scuba adventure for the day, be sure to clean the fins in clear water quickly. Then when you get home, be sure to give them a quick scrub with some general detergent. This will mean there is no algae build up on your thins, which won’t exactly ruin your snorkeling experience, but isn’t what you want to see.
Storage after cleaning
If you have gone through all of the cleaning efforts, it would just be a waste to store all of your snorkeling equipment inaccurately. Storing your equipment in the wrong place could result in all of the things you have been trying to avoid, such as mold and corrosion.
After you have finished cleaning all of your equipment, you must ensure that it is all properly dry before you think of storing it away. This can be done by simply leaving it out to air dry or even using a soft absorbent towel. Putting away your equipment without drying it properly could lead to water build-up and mold, which is always something that you want to avoid.
When your equipment is dry, be sure to put it in a protective bag or some sort of casing. Corrosion for some equipment can be caused by exposure to natural air, so having a protective barrier could do this. Ensure that you store your equipment indoors, as the outside elements could create moisture that could break your equipment. If you have a pantry or a garage, those are usually the best places to store your gear as they stay dry and also cool. You should avoid storing your equipment in kitchens or bathrooms, as they are hot spots for potential moisture build-up that could damage your gear.