Can I Reuse N95 Masks?
Not all people know how to use N95 masks properly. Some people reuse the N95 although it has not been effective or wearable.
If you are about to ask how to use a N95 mask, to reuse it, your health authorities will say a big NO. N95 is a disposable mask. Then it does mean that these masks are not healthy to reuse.
But with the pandemic, it can be an excruciating process to throw the mask out. The stocks have been decreasing so that there’s a chance that your neighbors might not have the stocks for themselves.
Although it is not recommended by the WHO, some experts stated that reusing the N95 is possible. But there’s a string attached.
As long as we know how to use the N95 mask or reuse it properly, you will be able to fight the covid-19 effectively. Some researchers have put their effort and time to find out how to reuse it safely and effectively.
Because of the limited stocks against high demands, medical professionals and front-line hospital workers are reusing the N95 and surgical masks to fight the coronavirus. We cannot deny the fact that Covid-19 has been forcing the supply chain’s suppression.
The N95, although looks tougher than surgical masks, is intended for a single use. That means you will need to throw it out once you’ve finished using it. But that’s not what’s happening in many hospitals.
The doctors and experts have found the way to reuse the masks with precautions. Here is what we’;ve found.
The decontamination method can be different depending on what you have right now. You could pick one of which you think will be appropriate for you.
Here are some of the ideas:
Soak the mask in 96% ethanol alcohol, let it dry
Clean the mask with hydrogen peroxide, and let it dry
Clean the mask with bleach
Steam the mask with hot vapor
Use extreme heat of the sun, or microwave if you don’t have enough sunlight
All of the methods mentioned above are what they’ve done to maintain the masks for reusability. However, not all of them are good ideas. For instance, the bleach could be toxic. If you have a bleach alternative such as alcohol, you can rest assured then. The alcohol could also compromise the N95 filtration quality. So, you might be able to reuse it for twice or thrice at max.
If you can, stay at home. That’s for the best.