As per the guidelines followed by most medical professionals, every N95 or KN95 face masks that they use must be discarded after using them once. However, due to pandemic situation created by COVID-19, there is an acute shortage of these masks.
So, people have got no other choice other than reusing these masks after cleaning and properly washing them to cope up with the current situation.
One US-based company called Custom Earth Promos that is a well-known eco-friendly product manufacturing company is also engaged in manufacturing and supplying these KN95 masks.
However, to ensure the safety of these masks after cleaning is not as easy as it may appear to be. You need to follow a certain procedure so that it will be reusable by any professional healthcare professionals.
So, in this article let us discuss this procedure in brief details so that it is possible to tide over the present condition when these masks are in great demand and there is an acute short supply in the market.
How you can clean and decontaminate your cloth face masks
You must wash your cloth face masks very frequently. The public health department of California recommends that you must wash them daily or after each use. You must launder your cloth masks by using a suitable detergent along with hot water and thereafter get them dried up on a hot cycle so that all the bacteria and microbes present may get killed.
Your hot soapy water will be key. Your soap can break down the entire protein coat of a different kind of virus and will be very effective.
In case, it becomes necessary to re-use the mask before you can wash it, then it is recommended that you must at least wash your hands immediately after you put the mask back on so that you may avoid touching your face.
The following are a few general guidelines for your cloth masks obtained from health service providers:
- All face coverings must be made of cloth, either factory-made or sewn by hand, or improvised using bandannas, T-shirts, scarves, towels, or sweatshirts.
- The material must cover both mouth and nose.
- Ideally, your face masks must be washed after each use. You must place your dirty masks in a designated laundry bag or bin.
- While washing cloth masks, use detergent with hot water, and then dry them on a hot cycle.
- Make sure that your mask is comfortable and you should not keep on adjusting the mask, due to improper fit so that you have to touch your face.
- Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands, before and after you touch your face or your face masks.
- If you need to wear your cloth face masks again before washing it, then immediately wash your hands after you put it back on and try to avoid touching your face.
You must discard or get rid of those cloth face masks that no longer can cover your nose and mouth, have damaged straps or stretched out, or have holes in the fabric