Is it a good technique to use?
You probably know that all dive masks need to be cleaned for first use to ensure they will not fog up during use. How many times have you actually seen Instructors/divemaster/divers using their lighter (or any flame) to burn the inside glass of a mask before the first dive? or even before any dive? have you seen it recently?
We have been able to contact on this matter, Theo Knevel, from Cressi. Theo started to work with Cressi some 20 years ago. He is now manager for Cressi withing the Caribbean and beside being a one of Cressi’s Lifestyle ambassadors, he is always happy to talk about equipment and tricks to maintain it well functioning.
‘Let’s try to clarify what it may have been a misconception in the diving world about preventing fog on your brand new mask. Apparently this technique is still in use, however it may not be the one for you. Let me tell you why. First and foremost there are other methods that don’t present any risk for your new mask. It’s easy to overheat the skirt and there with damage the mask for good. So this makes any other method better than the burning method. On top of this, many of the new masks (most brands) have lens coating of any sort that is easily damaged by a flame’ Theos says.
We want to add that in the past masks used to be made from rubber and that is somehow more durable than silicon (only) when it comes to flames.
‘So the burning was not so bad for a mask in the old days as it is in today’s world with silicon mask skirts and lens coating. So I understand how it was adopted from the past but the changing of the masks materials should have stopped the burning… It is wrong‘.
Theo has no doubts about the topic and we agree with him. Cressi (as many other brands) will not ever recommend to burn any mask. This techniques is obsolete. There are other methods that actually work much better, like for example, we recommend to clean a mask with DIY materials from home, toothpaste (medium grid white toothpaste, not a gel). We are happy to teach the perfect method to clean first time mask here and, please, share it with all your friends. If you meet anyone burning an inside glass of a mask, next time tell him the truth about that.