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Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Sterilization Wrap Mask

Sterilization wrap is design to be used in autoclaved and can stand up to steam and pressure.

Statement from the Center For Disease Control:

Disposable filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are not approved for routine decontamination and reuse as standard of care. However, FFR decontamination and reuse may need to be considered as a crisis capacity strategy to ensure continued availability. Based on the limited research available, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and moist heat showed the most promise as potential methods to decontaminate FFRs.

Microwave Generated Steam Sterilization Technique

Of the three decontamination techniques that the CDC has stated shows the most promise, only one is practical for use by the general public: moist heat. The effectiveness of using microwave generated steam as a decontamination technique has been tested and the antimicrobial efficacy has been rated at 99.9%. Sterilization Wrap Masks do not contain any metal parts and can be microwaved safely.

Process 1:

  1. Fill a microwave safe bowl with a small amount of water, just enough to cover the bottom.

  2. Find something that you can use to suspend the mask over the water, so that when heated, the water turns into steam and rises up into the mask. You can use a non-metal grate or a couple wood chopsticks.

  3. Place the bowl and mask setup in the microwave and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or enough time to generate a good amount of steam.

  4. Let cool and remove.

Process 2:

  1. You can use a microwave steam bag, similar to what is used for sterilization of baby bottles and lactation pumps.

  2. Follow the instructions on the steam bag, which is generally to add a little water, seal bag, and microwave for 2-3 mins.

  3. Let cool and remove.

 

The microwave does not appear to cause any damage to the elastic bands, but they do wear out after 5-10 uses.

Sources

1. COVID-19 decontamination and reuse of Filtering FACEPIECE Respirators. (2020, April 09). Retrieved April 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/decontamination-reuse-respirators.html

2. Mechler, Mechler, S., MechlerScott, S., Scott, Consolidated, & Northeastern University. (2020, April 10). Covid-19 pandemic: Disinfection and sterilization of face masks for viruses. Retrieved April 22, 2020, from https://consteril.com/covid-19-pandemic-disinfection-and-sterilization-of-face-masks-for-viruses/

 

***The safety and efficacy of facemasks using the materials and processes described here have not been formally evaluated. By accessing this information, you agree to hold harmless the authors and maintainers of this site for the acquisition or transmission of contagion associated with its use. Improvised masks should not be considered a substitute for commercial personal protective equipment (PPE).