Thread: Fogging Mask

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    Default Fogging Mask

    Hi everyone! I'm a fairly new firefighter. I've been in EMS for many years, but finally ended up living in a place where I get to do fire too!

    I have a MSA SCBA mask. Since my vision is pretty crappy, I also have the lens inserts, which I love. Yes, I know half the time in a mask you can't see anyways, but for all the other times, it makes a world of a difference.

    Are there any tricks in helping prevent fogging of your mask? I've heard about Cat Crap defrogger, but haven't been able to find it. I also heard Rain-X works, but I'm not sure I want to put that stuff inside my mask where I'm breathing.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated! Merry Christmas all.

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    Use an old diver's trick.....spit in it.

    Seriously, saliva (not a big yellow double yoker, just spit) and rub it around on the inside of the mask. DO NOT wash it out, just dry it out with a paper towel. When you clean it after a fire, after you rinse it, shake out as much water as you can but don't try it. Spit in it, rub it around, then dry it. It works!

    Much cheaper than buying a bottle of stuff and having that build up over time. If you don't want to use that, be careful for what you buy, certain chemicals can eat away at the rubber guts of the mask over time.
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    Don't put your mask on until just before you need to. Purge it once then you should be good. Spittin is also good, I've done that a few times.

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    Dish soap.

    A drop or two on the inside of the mask, use a paper towel to smear it around and keep polishing until clear. The residue it leaves prevents fogging.

    Disclaimer: Some brands work better than others. I don't remember what I used to use. ALSO: While this has worked great on goggles worn for dirtbiking, paintball, and general shop use, I have not tried it on an scba mask. I just don't put the mask on until needed so it doesn't fog.

    I've also never tried it on my scuba mask. The spit and rinse method always worked.
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    I like my mask to stay as clean as possible, and while i know the spit trick works well with dive masks so it probably would with an SCBA mask, i do not like the fact you cannot get it perfectly clean with spit. It's hard enough keeping a mask clean with a good quality cleaner.

    I use an anti fog product called Parkers Perfect. It works great. It's a cleaner and it anti fog coating.

    You should not have any worries about using it inside the mask anyhow as the nosecup seperates the lens area from your mouth and nose. I have used it for years and never had any issues. They even mention on their website that it's used for Hazmat and firefighting equipment.

    http://www.parkersperfect.com/intro_frameset.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDMAXX View Post
    Dish soap.

    A drop or two on the inside of the mask, use a paper towel to smear it around
    I would avoid using paper towels on ANYTHING plastic. Especially plastic lenses. Paper Towels are surprisingly abrasive. If you doubt this, rub a paper towel on a piece of plexiglass with a decent amount of pressure and watch the fine scrathes start forming.

    The only thing you should even use to clean plastic lenses with is something that is 100% COTTON. If your not sure, check the tag on the shirt or towel you are using. If it's a cotton blend, then it's going to be abrasive. I just bought a bag of cotton polishing cloths at my local auto parts store and i use them for cleaning my SCBA lens, goggles, sunglasses and even the window tint in my car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    The only thing you should even use to clean plastic lenses with is something that is 100% COTTON. If your not sure, check the tag on the shirt or towel you are using. If it's a cotton blend, then it's going to be abrasive. I just bought a bag of cotton polishing cloths at my local auto parts store and i use them for cleaning my SCBA lens, goggles, sunglasses and even the window tint in my car.
    Old T-Shirts are a very cheap source of 100% cotton towels, just cut it in strips/squares.
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    Spit method works just fine for me.

    But like others have said, waiting untill you need to put it on then using the purge is a great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    Old T-Shirts are a very cheap source of 100% cotton towels, just cut it in strips/squares.
    When they are 100% cotton, yes. But more and more it seems the t-shirts i get are a poly/cotton blend.

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    A touch of dishwashing soap clensed with a microfiber towel works wonders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    I would avoid using paper towels on ANYTHING plastic. Especially plastic lenses. Paper Towels are surprisingly abrasive. If you doubt this, rub a paper towel on a piece of plexiglass with a decent amount of pressure and watch the fine scrathes start forming.

    The only thing you should even use to clean plastic lenses with is something that is 100% COTTON. If your not sure, check the tag on the shirt or towel you are using. If it's a cotton blend, then it's going to be abrasive. I just bought a bag of cotton polishing cloths at my local auto parts store and i use them for cleaning my SCBA lens, goggles, sunglasses and even the window tint in my car.
    I use microfiber toweling to clean my SCBA facepiece.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2426 View Post
    Don't put your mask on until just before you need to. Purge it once then you should be good. Spittin is also good, I've done that a few times.

    It works for me. I don't do anything special to my mask, just wait until its needed to put it on and I never have a fogging problem. Wearing your mask around in the front yard or the truck is one of those things that doesn't make a good impression on other firefighters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    I use microfiber toweling to clean my SCBA facepiece.
    The good quality Microfiber cloths are good. But i keep finding a lot of these nasty imported microfiber rags that are almost rough on your fingers.

    I am in involved with a military aviation helmet supplier and we deal with very expensive plastic lenses and visors. We have helmet visors that cost over $1,000 because of the special coatings on them. So i tend to be a little OCD when it comes to cleaning plastic lenses. Even when it comes to the fire service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    The good quality Microfiber cloths are good. But i keep finding a lot of these nasty imported microfiber rags that are almost rough on your fingers.

    I am in involved with a military aviation helmet supplier and we deal with very expensive plastic lenses and visors. We have helmet visors that cost over $1,000 because of the special coatings on them. So i tend to be a little OCD when it comes to cleaning plastic lenses. Even when it comes to the fire service.
    Do a cd scratch test. Take a blank cd disc and rub the micofiber towel over it, then look at the surface under bright light. If it shows marring, then it can scratch plastics and vehicle paint. I am a "clean car fanatic" and use a lot of microfiber toweling when detailing my vehicles.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Thank you all for your advice and suggestions! :-D

    That MaskView thing is kinda neat. I might get one just to see how well it works.
    Last edited by FyrnResQ; 12-26-2009 at 03:18 PM.

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    only time i had trouble with mask fogging was with masks without the nosecup, and if i "masked up" with connecting the regulator and flowing air, once i had the air on, the fogging stopped
    "If you can't be a good example, the you'll just have to be a terrible warning."

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    The nosecup helps me greatly. The problem I have is when I'm sweating a lot and the condensation that accumulates and then runs down the inside of the lens.

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    The maskview looks like a nice idea. But i see one major problem. If the outside of your mask has dirt and dust on it and you move that felt pad around, the pad will pick up the dirt and now will act like a piece of sandpaper and scratch up the outside of your mask.

    I may get one though to try it. It's certainly priced cheap enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    The maskview looks like a nice idea. But i see one major problem. If the outside of your mask has dirt and dust on it and you move that felt pad around, the pad will pick up the dirt and now will act like a piece of sandpaper and scratch up the outside of your mask.

    I may get one though to try it. It's certainly priced cheap enough.
    I've been using a Maskveiw for over a year, never have had any problems with it scratching the lens. Not saying it can't happpen, just has not been a problem.

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