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feenix

Found my old snorkel and mask but the mask has discolored

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Does anyone know what has caused my mask to discolor - not the part you look through, but all around the edges it has turned orangish. Is it still probably ok, and is there something good to clean it with? I haven't used it in 9 years, and it has been in a bin in the basement. Thanks.

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Does anyone know what has caused my mask to discolor - not the part you look through, but all around the edges it has turned orangish. Is it still probably ok, and is there something good to clean it with? I haven't used it in 9 years, and it has been in a bin in the basement. Thanks.

 

That's caused by the silicon in the skirt drying out or being exposed to prolonged sunlight. Actually it probably means time for a new mask (when the silicon changes it gets stiffer and is a lot more prone to leaking). The good news, masks are a lot more affordable than 9 years ago. :)

 

Randall

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Lol...ran...I was not wanting to hear you say that!

 

Sorry :). But it's better to hear it from me than to go on a cruise and watch your mask fill up with water before your eyes. :eek:

 

Randall

 

Glad to have helped. :p

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Does anyone know what has caused my mask to discolor - not the part you look through, but all around the edges it has turned orangish. Is it still probably ok, and is there something good to clean it with? I haven't used it in 9 years, and it has been in a bin in the basement. Thanks.

 

The silicone skirting on dive masks tends to discolor with age but the discoloration is hastened if the silicone is in contact with dark rubber items such as regulator hoses, fin straps or foot pockets, dive booties, etc. The discoloration doesn't affect the performance of the mask. I've used the same mask since 1987 and it still works fine, notwithstanding the yellowing. If your mask has a silicone headstrap, you might replace the strap with one of the stretchy neoprene ones available cheaply at dive shops.

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I wouldn't say that you need to replace the mask. If the skirt around the lens is still pliable and not stiff, it's probably fine. Take it to a pool and see how it performs before you go buy a new one. As someone else said, a new strap might be a good idea. I've got a mask that's over 20 years old and still is in fine shape.

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I just did a quick google search and pulled up several tabs that said you couldn't get out the yellow and that it may be a sign you needed a new mask so I was debating on buying new gear. The rubber on the masks, tube and straps seemed fine and not brittle, so I decided what they heck...I'd just clean them up for sanitation with some dish soap and use them one last time. They'd be unattractive so I wouldn't be concerned about losing them or them getting taken as I would with fresh new gear anyway. So I drew up a sink full of warm soapy water and went to the grocery store. When I returned about an hour later, almost all of the yellow had came out. Now, I may have had a different type of yellow but I've heard that toothpaste also does the trick. It's worth a shot, I can testify to this because as I'm typing my fingers are still waterlogged. Hope this saves someone some $$$.

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I pulled a couple old masks out of the basement to check out before a cruise. Took them to the local pool. On the third try the straps broke on both of them, apparently they dry rotted in storage. Give the straps a good pull. If they hold they are probably good to go.

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rubber breaks down ... silicon not so much

 

stored my gear in one bag ... black rubber fins and sil' mask

 

mask absorbed some black color but 'pull test' on the strap said everything was OK

 

same pull test on the fin straps said ..... buy new straps

 

my discolored mask works just fine (a couple of years later from original story)

 

and I replace the rubber fin straps about every 2 years . . . .

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On 5/2/2019 at 9:37 PM, anacreontic said:

I just did a quick google search and pulled up several tabs that said you couldn't get out the yellow and that it may be a sign you needed a new mask so I was debating on buying new gear. The rubber on the masks, tube and straps seemed fine and not brittle, so I decided what they heck...I'd just clean them up for sanitation with some dish soap and use them one last time. They'd be unattractive so I wouldn't be concerned about losing them or them getting taken as I would with fresh new gear anyway. So I drew up a sink full of warm soapy water and went to the grocery store. When I returned about an hour later, almost all of the yellow had came out. Now, I may have had a different type of yellow but I've heard that toothpaste also does the trick. It's worth a shot, I can testify to this because as I'm typing my fingers are still waterlogged. Hope this saves someone some $$$.

 

The OP started this thread ELEVEN YEARS ago.  I think the issue has been resolved.

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