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Merdeka.com – The use of masks in the midst of the Covid-19 case has become an obligation. This is because masks are claimed to be able to be a barrier to catching respiratory droplets or droplets that are released when people cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets are what carry the virus from person to person, according to Dr. Steve Pergam, MPH, infection prevention medical director at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
If the closest person inhales these droplets or droplets land in their mouth or nose, they are more likely to catch a viral infection. And if someone touches a contaminated mask and then touches their mouth or nose, they also have the potential for infection. Therefore, masks must be cleaned and sterilized regularly.
Here’s how to wash masks of various types that are commonly used again during a pandemic, so you can safely disinfect them. How to deal with medical grade masks that cannot easily be cleaned properly outside of a medical setting, cites Healthline.
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How to Wash a Mask Fabric appropriately
Debra Goff, PharmD, FIDSA, FCCP, an infectious disease specialist and professor of pharmaceutical practice at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that masks fabricbandanas, scarves and neck protectors are all types of face masks that can be cleaned and reused.
For how to machine wash a cloth mask, wash your hands first. Then remove the mask, being careful not to touch the eyes, nose or mouth.
Put the mask directly in the washing machine and wash your hands immediately afterward. Goff recommends using regular detergent along with bleach and warm water recommended for this type of cloth mask.
After the mask is washed off, dry it until it is completely dry. If you plan to wash a cloth mask by hand, Goff recommends following the same procedure of washing your hands before removing the mask.
To disinfect your mask, soak it in a bleach solution containing 4 teaspoons of household bleach for every liter of water for 5 minutes. After soaking the mask, rinse thoroughly with water. Let the mask dry on its own.
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How to Handle Medical Masks After Use
Kaiming Ye, PhD, professor and chair of the biomedical engineering department and director of the Center of Biomanufacturing for Regenerative Medicine at Binghamton University, State University of New York, says that certain types of masks, such as N95 and surgical masks, are designed for single masks or single-use use only. .
For most people, this means that masks have to be thrown in the trash after use. Ye said they can be reused in a professional setting if properly disinfected. For example, how to wash an N95 mask can be disinfected with germicidal UVC radiation or vapor phase hydrogen peroxide.
Ye noted, however, that no tests have been carried out on surgical mask disinfection or reuse, due to its low demand. If you can’t change the mask between uses, Goff suggests checking the mask when removing it. If the mask is dirty, torn, or wet with moisture, then you should definitely throw it away.
If they appear clean and intact, Goff recommends storing them in a clean paper bag or other breathable container between uses. Ideally, however, medical masks should not be reused after one use.
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How to Clean the Face Shield After Use
Goff said how to wash face shiel masks or face shields is in a category of its own. Due to the open-side model, the face shield provides no protection from sneezing or coughing behind your back. However, they provide protection for the eyes.
Goff says face shields are often worn in addition to face masks for added protection. To clean the face shield, first clean the inside using a clean cloth dampened with a neutral detergent solution or a cleaning cloth. Then wipe the outside with a disinfectant cloth or a clean cloth dampened with a disinfectant solution.
Follow up by wiping the outside of the face shield with clean water or alcohol to remove residue. Let the face shield dry. Lastly, wash your hands when you’re done.