Over the last year, it became a common sight to see people wearing face masks. We learned of several personal measures to stay safe as the pandemic took over the world. Although an N95 face mask has become a common household name, there may still be some confusion about the proper usage of such masks.
By now, there is a wide variety of options available in the market when it comes to an N95 face mask. But can N95 mask be washed to use them for a longer period? We can answer this question by discussing the type of N95 face masks.
How Do N95 Face Masks Work?
The N95 face mask is regulated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). They are designed to offer the wearer protection from minute hazardous particles. As the name suggests, they are able to provide 95% efficiency in filtering the particles.
Typically, filtering facepiece respirators such as an N95 face mask is used in healthcare or environments that require extensive protection. At the beginning of the virus outbreak, there was a sudden spike in demand for them due to the uncertainty of the situation. Different companies have come up with N95 face mask that is designed to suit the regular person’s requirements with time.
Do You Need To Wash Your Mask?
When you wear an N95 face mask to go outside, it traps the dust and other harmful particles from the environment. As a result, the mask itself can get dirty. Hence, the answer to that question would be yes; you should frequently wash your mask to keep it functioning. Here are some reasons why you should be doing it:
- Since the N95 face mask is placed directly over your nose and mouth, any remaining contaminants can easily enter your system. You are always touching the mask with your hands while putting it on or taking it off, or adjusting it on your face. Thus, increasing the chances of further contamination.
- If you leave the N95 face mask dirty for long, it could also contaminate other surfaces and articles in your home.
- Wearing a dirty mask is counterproductive as it will only decrease the efficiency of the mask and increase your chances of contracting infections.
- It makes sense to treat the face mask as you would treat your hands, to be on the safer side. If you are in an environment when you can potentially come in contact with the virus, it is better to be cautious than to regret it later.
N95 Face Mask: How Long Can Be Used?
Ideally, it is a wise choice to wash your mask after each time you use it. However, it can be challenging to do it if you have to go out frequently. But, you may be wondering if the N95 mask is reusable? Some companies use advanced technology to produce washable and reusable face masks without compromising on their functionality.
Airific 2.0 by Nirvana Being is among the trusted choices available today. They are laboratory tested to provide more than 96% of filtration efficiency. Keeping in mind the sustainability issues with masks, these are designed to be reusable and washable.
How to Wash the N95 Face Mask?
You can wash a mask easily by rinsing the outer and inner layers with water. You don’t have to use harsh detergent necessarily, it can be done with mild liquid soaps. The purpose is to remove the particles stuck on the inner or outer surface of the N95 face mask. After gently washing them, let them dry in the sun properly and use it later.
This is an easy-to-do method, which doesn’t take more than few minutes. The simple rule is to wash it after each use, if possible or when they are dirty.
Wearing an N95 face mask is an essential step that most of us have incorporated into our daily lives. It’s a small but effective personal method of reducing the community spread of the virus. Even as we move ahead on the road to recovery from the pandemic, it is crucial to take the necessary precautions.
Hence, a washable N95 face mask can help you maintain the habit without making it expensive or harm the environment. In the long run, it can have a positive impact on your health and habits.