Just like any other outdoor equipment, your snorkel will also need a lot of attention over the years. The exposure that your gear will receive, not to mention, it will most likely be packed along with tons of other belongings, when you venture out for snorkeling.
To keep your snorkel set in good shape for long, you have to learn how to clean it. Not only cleaning is important, but it is also important to maintain your snorkeling gear. Here below, we will discuss how you can clean, treat, and maintain your gear.
The Most Popular Ways To Clean Your Snorkel
You will stumble across a few interesting methods if you search for cleaning tips. Here are the most effective solutions:
Method 1: Bleach And Warm Water
When water gets trapped in a device, it is highly likely that mold will grow in it. You use your snorkel as a breathing apparatus, and the last thing you want is breathing in mold. That is why a mild bleach solution and warm water are recommended.
This process emphasizes on using a mild bleach solution and thoroughly rinsing the mouthpiece and tube(J tube) with warm water.
- Step 1: Dilute 1 tablespoon of bleach in a bucket of water, mix the solution thoroughly.
- Step 2: Using gloves on your hands, place the snorkel and mask into the solution and swish it around.
- Step 3: Let the breathing tube sit in the water for 30 minutes.
- Step 4: Remove the tube from the solution and thoroughly rinse it with warm water.
If you are worried about the excessive dirt buildup, you can repeat these steps a second or third time, as needed.
Method 2: Dish Detergent And Warm Water
If you do not like the idea of putting your snorkel in bleach, you can use an antibacterial dishwashing detergent instead. But you may need to scrub away any grime stuck in areas that are hard to reach, as it is not as effective as bleach.
- Step 1: Mix 4 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent with warm water and keep stirring till bubbles form.
- Step 2: Put your snorkel in this water for 30 minutes. Then scrub away any leftover residue and dirt, using an old toothbrush.
- Step 3: Place it back in the detergent solution for an additional 30 minutes. After this, remove it and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
Method 3: Vinegar And Warm Water
Vinegar is known for the cleaning properties it has and is popular among those who like to use more organic solutions. When you are cleaning your snorkel gear using vinegar, just follow the steps as you did in using dishwashing detergent. However, you may need to scrub a little more than you would have to with a soap.
It is also important to remember to scrub gently, as you do not want to leave scratches on your gear where bacteria can grow later.
How To Clean A Snorkeling Mask
Your snorkeling mask is more sensitive than the J tube. The reason is that you use it underwater to see, so you don’t want any scratches on it. This means that you avoid using astringents to clean it, instead go for a silicone-based cleaner.
It is highly recommended to get the right cleaning solution from a local dive shop. But if you want to consider a more affordable option, you can also use toothpaste.
The important thing to remember is not to use any sponge or brush. Use a gentle microfiber cloth instead, to remove the leftover residue. It is also important to rinse the mask with warm water, in order to get rid of as much dirt as possible before you start cleaning it.
Important Maintenance Tips
Not only cleaning but maintaining your gear is also an important part of the cleaning. The better you keep your equipment, the less you have to clean it every season. And well-maintained equipment means it will remain in good condition for longer.
Tip 1: Allow The Snorkel To Dry
You must allow the snorkel to air dry after every use before you store it. The reason to do this is that water stuck in the tube may dry. Otherwise, it will undoubtedly get mold in it, and you will also see that the tube turns yellow much faster than it should.Using a mesh bag to carry your equipment after use is a great option to allow enough air to circulate for the equipment to dry properly.
Tip 2: Rinse All Cleaning Residues
Even when you have thoroughly disinfected your snorkel, it is highly likely that the residue from the cleaners is left behind. Hence, you must rinse your snorkel multiple times, in order to remove any trace elements left behind. This not only prevents you from tasting soap or bleach when you use it next time but also preserves the plastic.
Tip 3: Storing The Equipment Properly
When your equipment is not in use, treat it with care, especially the mask. It is recommended to store the fins, snorkel and mask separately, to prevent scratches. Store them in a mesh bag and place them in a cool, dry, and dark place to avoid damage from sun and moisture