It doesn’t take much time or effort to master “how to clean a snorkel tube” after every dive. But it’s also crucial. Proper cleaning ensures that your snorkel, and other gear, like snorkel masks and fins, are all set to go for your next dive.
Cleaning your snorkel tube after each use is essential since exposure to the sun and salt water may cause premature wear on various components if they are not regularly removed [Source]. That’s a major issue, both in terms of durability and security.
In the end, everything must be maintained properly to prevent water leakage. This is especially true of the more intricate and minute pieces found in modern “dry snorkels” (snorkels with a one-way valve at the tip that keeps water out while enabling you to breathe properly).
So, let’s go through the simple measures you should take while cleaning a snorkel tube and make sure you don’t make any of the common mistakes that people make.
How to clean a snorkel tube? : 3 quick steps & 2 surprises
Before doing anything else, loosen the snorkel strap that holds the tube to your mask and release any other pressure on your snorkel.
It’s common for ocean salt to accumulate in the tight crevices formed by the little grooves or curves of snorkel straps; therefore, widening them makes it simpler to remove the salt.
Thoroughly rinse the snorkel
The next step is to do the most obvious thing: rinse the snorkel.
You may clean your snorkel tube by submerging it in warm, flowing water. A standard kitchen sink is ideal. Don’t just stream water along the exterior of the snorkel but also through the tube itself. Make careful you run water against both sides of the valve on your dry snorkel and let it drain slowly.
The best way to clean the snorkel is to run your fingertips over the plastic while rinsing it. Most of the salt from the ocean should be removed with just water; however, this will ensure that anything dried or adhered to your snorkel is washed away.
Make sure your snorkel is completely dry when you’ve finished cleaning it.
Remove as much moisture as possible by blotting with a dry cloth. The furthest parts of the tube will still be moist, so you won’t be able to collect every last drop.
After drying the snorkel tube with a towel, leaving it out in the open air for a while will ensure that the inner components are completely dry. To prevent mildew and other unpleasant growths within your snorkel, wait until everything is dry before putting it away.
It’s tempting to leave it out in the sun, but you shouldn’t. Keep your snorkel in the shade while drying it outside. There is a risk that prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will cause the plastic on your snorkel tube to dry up and break.
Once you’ve dried off your snorkel, you’ve finished the most obvious stages of how to clean a snorkel. You’d think it would be simple. Yep! Now, though, we’ll look at a handful of snorkel-specific surprises that might be useful the next time we go through this process.
The snorkel’s mouthpiece is often overlooked when cleaning, but it must be done before rinsing the rest of the equipment.
Following each usage, your snorkel mouthpiece will have picked up some common resident germs from your mouth. Left unchecked, the bacteria can multiply into something unsanitary that you probably wouldn’t want to put in your mouth again.
A little antibacterial soap (hand soap or dish soap works wonderfully) worked with your fingertips along the exterior and inside of the snorkel mouthpiece will prevent this from happening. Soap up the entire snorkel while you’re at it, because why not? The more sanitary, the better.
After using the snorkel tube to lather up, rinse it out under warm running water. It’s best to avoid using hot water, as doing so may warp the more fragile areas of your snorkel (even though it speeds up the soap-rinsing process).
The antibacterial soap will loosen any debris you’d like, not take with you into the water, where it can be easily washed away, leaving you with a clean snorkel ready for your next dive.
Sand grains in the valve of your dry snorkel are another possible surprise that many individuals don’t consider looking for. Sand may easily enter your dry snorkel valve, as anybody who has ever gone to the beach will testify.
Even a small amount of sand can severely impair the performance of a dry snorkel, perhaps resulting in a constant drip of water into your mouth the next time you use it.
Most sands stuck in your snorkel can be easily rinsed away, but the soft rubber around a dry snorkel valve is a favorite sticking spot for sand. Check for sand by carefully looking at the dry snorkel as it sits above your tube in bright light after cleaning it.
If you notice granular hitchhikers, you should reach in with a soft brush, a paper towel, or anything similarly delicate and sweep the sand out. Avoid using abrasive tools like a wire brush, which might carve grooves into the dry valve and produce the same issue as sand, but permanently.
Learn how to clean a snorkel mask once you’ve mastered cleaning the snorkel tube. As with snorkel tubes, masks are quickly damaged by exposure to sea salt. [Source]. Check out our guide, How to Clean a Snorkel Mask & Easily Prevent Fog and Damage, to learn how to clean a snorkel mask.
The steps for how to clean a snorkel tube are simple to learn and should be obvious. On the other hand, you should be aware of a handful of pitfalls and prepare for them.
However, follow the process of releasing the straps, cleaning the snorkel in clean water, drying it gently, applying antibacterial soap on the mouthpiece, and checking for sand in the dry snorkel valve. Your snorkel will be spotless and last for years.