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How to clean and reuse your mask

We have had many people ask us if our masks are reusable and quite simply the answer is that they are recommended for one use. However the inventor of the N95 mask, Dr Peter Tsai, has come up with two methods that can be used to sanitise your mask for using multiple times.

Method 1: Steaming or boiling

Dr. Tsai says submerging an N95 in 125C/260F degree steam or boiling water for 3 minutes will disinfect the mask without significantly reducing its filtration efficiency (FE). Don’t excessively stir the mask if you boil it, use only enough manipulation to keep it submerged. If your mask has paper outer and inner layers, neither the steam or boiling methods are advisable as they will disintegrate those paper layers that hold the filter medium between them.

Method 2: Baking

Caution must be used for this method. Ensure you have a second, dedicated oven for this purpose otherwise you run the risk of contaminating your main food preparation oven. 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.

It must be noted that both methods will degrade the mask over time and that it is up to the individual wearer to determine the integrity of each mask they wear.

 

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