How to Clean Your N 95 Respiratory Face Mask & Filters
Respirator masks such as N95 should not be reused when contaminated but there are some circumstances that we can clean the N95 respiratory masks & filters.
You should never use these methods to maintain the effectiveness of the mask:
- Spraying or wetting with aerosol or liquid alcohol.
- Washing in soapy water.
Dr. Tsai, a designer of a modern N95 mask, indicates that these methods can break down the inherent electrostatic charge that is key to the way an N95 filters small particles. They can reduce a mask's effectiveness 1/3 or a half.
How to Clean Your N95 Mask?
According to the study in the New England Journal of Medicine, a round robin rotation of masks should be implemented so that each one is rested for at least 72 hours before being worn again.It relies on the fact that Coronavirus should not survive more than 72 hours on an inhospitable host, like the surface of N95 mask.
2. Steaming or boiling
Submerging an N95 in 125C/260F degree steam or boiling water for 3 minutes will disinfect the mask without affecting and reducing its filtration efficiency (FE). Remember not to excessively stir the mask if you boil it, use only enough manipulation to keep it submerged. But, it is not advisable if your mask has a paper outer and inner layers, because it will only disintegrate those paper layers that hold the filter medium between them.
Researchers at Michigan State University refined this method using a laboratory oven, and Dr. Tsai concurs that heating a mask for 30 minutes at 70C (160F) is an effective decontamination method.
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Don't destroy your freshly decontaminated mask by treating it improperly. Don't let your hands create a connection between the particle-trap front of the mask and the clearly clean back of it. Practice these CDC N95 steps to properly put on and remove your mask.
Good news: You can actually protect yourself as much as possible by wearing an FFP3 or N95 respiratory mask:
Please note that we can only pass on general information and cannot make any guarantees or be liable for any consequences of your decision making or behavior. Use good common sense and ask your health care provider or physician for advice.
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