The global covid-19 pandemic changed the way we live, and so in 2023, wearing protective masks is a part of our everyday life.
Purchasing a new mask every morning can slowly become a serious monthly cost. This is why most people try to search for masks that can be reused. One of the most popular choices nowadays seems to be the KN95 masks.
These are different than the regular masks we see, and the main advantage is the fact that they can be cleaned and reused for a long time. However, not everybody knows how to do this properly.
By making a bad attempt at cleaning your KN95 mask, you risk damaging it, and that may cause it to be unusable. Over time, this will turn to be the exact opposite of what your goal was, which is to save money.
This is why in this article, you will find the six easiest and most practical cleaning tips for KN95 masks, so if you are looking to learn more, now’s the right time to do it. Let’s take a look.
1. You need to clean your mask after each use
The best tip that you can get for cleaning your KN95 mask is the fact that you have to clean it after each use. Especially if you plan to wear it somewhere where a lot of people are present in a small area. Buses are one of the examples.
If your mask falls on the ground, immediately store it somewhere out of touch from your body. If you plan to wear it for the entire day without taking it off, wash it when you get back home, or do that first thing in the morning the next day. If you work a job that requires you to take off your mask for some time, it’s better to bring two masks with you and swap them.
2. Clean your KN95 mask by hand to prevent damage
This is important to understand. Although washing your mask by using a lot of force with your hands is not recommended, it’s still better than putting it into a washing machine. Why? Because in your washing machine your mask can get completely ruined, and besides that, you use chemicals that are not suitable for something that you put on your face and breathe with. The filters can get damaged and other unwanted things may happen as well, such as the material getting caught in one of the tight spots in the machine, completely deforming, or tearing up the mask, making it unusable.
3. Use dry heat at 70C for half an hour to decontaminate the mask
By using dry heat at 70C for at least thirty minutes, you can decontaminate the mask and then it’s safe to use it again. This is easy to do as it doesn’t require you to apply water and then wait for the mask to dry out, which is handy and time-saving. Most of us wash our KN95 masks before work early in the morning, so dry heating it instead of boiling or putting it in the washing machine (which is not recommended at all) is very time efficient.
In case you already damaged your old kn95 mask from improper washing, you can take a look at databazaar.com for other similar models with approximately 95% filtration.
4. Never use alcohol to clean your mask as this is not approved by the CDC
This applies to other substances that may harm the mask as well, such as alcohol, bleach, ethylene oxide, etc. Not only can these damage your mask, but your health can also suffer from inhaling. Other things that you shouldn’t do are microwave or bake the mask. It’s common knowledge that immense heat can destroy the virus and bacteria, but these methods are strictly forbidden as they can cause a fire hazard.
Soapy water is also not recommended, as well as using wet wipes. There are far easier methods that are also more efficient and don’t require you to put physical strain on the mask. When alcohol or soapy water is used on a KN95 mask, it drastically reduces the filtration efficiency.
5. If you decide to boil, don’t steer the mask inside the water
Please note that boiling your KN95 mask is going to lower the filtration even if you do it in less than three minutes. However, it’s one of the least painful ways to make sure it’s clean and reusable. Other methods can either ruin the filtration by more than fifty percent or completely. Boiling for just three minutes disinfects it completely if you do it at a temperature of 260 Fahrenheit or 125 Celsius.
Instead of steering it around in the water, it’s best to use some kind of weight, an object that is clean and safe to be in the same water with the mask. Just place the object above the mask and it will keep it submerged. Don’t just leave the mask floating on top of the water because half of it won’t be cleaned properly.
6. Store your mask in bags
To avoid germs or particles reaching your mask, every time you take it off, it is best that you store it in a plastic bag. An even better idea is to use paper bags since they don’t pollute the environment as much. But, after you’ve placed a “dirty” mask in a paper bag, you shouldn’t put a clean one in the same paper bag later on. Pay close attention to this.
Through many pieces of research and experiments, the health experts proved that KN95 masks are highly efficient if you’re looking to improve your overall safety regarding the covid-19 virus. N95 masks are currently difficult to obtain, which is why KN95 masks spiked so much in popularity.
If you take care of these masks and clean them properly, they will last for a very long time. In this article, you can find out exactly how to do that. Thank you for reading and remember to stay safe as health is priceless.