How To Clean Your N95 Mask Or Face Covering

If something is going to touch your face, whether its a face mask to prevent Covid-19 corona virus transmission, a Lone Ranger mask, or that inflatable doll that you keep under your bed, you are going to want to keep it clean. After all, your face is not a roll of toilet paper. It can be the window not only to your soul but also for a bunch a microbes to infect your soul if you are not careful. So here are some suggestions first on how to wash your reusable face covering and then on how to handle medical masks like N95 masks.

As a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web site shows, the three most promising N95 mask disinfection methods are:

Vaporous hydrogen peroxide (VHP): This is exactly what it sound like, having a gaseous form of hydrogen peroxide run through the masks. A vapor could be more penetrating and less damaging than the liquid form.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI): This is applying ultraviolet (UV) light to the mask. However, it’s effectiveness depends heavily on the dose of the UV light and how much of the mask is actually reached.

Moist heat incubation: This is exposing the masks to hot air (e.g., 60 to 70°C) that also has a high relative humidity (e.g., 70 to 80% ) for an extended period of time (e.g., 60 minutes). As the CDC site indicated, studies have shown that it can be effective in killing the H1N1 flu virus.