Face Mask Hygiene during Corona? Is it safe to Clean Face Masks with Hand Sanitizer? Face masks and hand sanitizers have become a part of our daily lives. The cleaning of the mask and proper disposal of a mask is really important as it can lead to many health issues.
Also known as fabric mask is the most commonly used by public as it affordable and easy to clean. As per WHO, homemade cloth masks need to have three-layer, with each layer providing a function: 1) an innermost layer of a hydrophilic (water-absorbent) material 2) an outermost layer made of hydrophobic (water-resistant) material 3) a middle hydrophobic (water-resistant) layer which has been shown to enhance filtration or retain droplets. Cloth masks can be washed with soap or detergent and preferably hot water (at least 60° Centigrade/140° Fahrenheit) at least once a day. If it is not possible to wash the masks in hot water, then wash the mask in soap/detergent and room temperature water, followed by boiling the mask for 1 minute. Is it safe to Clean Face Masks with Hand Sanitizer?
Surgical and N95 masks
Surgical masks and N95 masks are recommended to use only by healthcare workers. Most of the surgical masks are one time use and WHO has strictly mentioned that single-use mask need to be discarded immediately after removing it.
Why Hand sanitizers should not be used to clean a mask?
Recently a study was conducted by National institute for Occupational safety and Health to check if hand sanitizers/ alcohol can be used to sanitize a mask. The study reported that the masks become less effective after sanitizing it with hand sanitizer/alcohol. Also on the other hand, sanitizing a cloth mask everyday with hand sanitizer can lead to health hazard if people inhale the alcohol. Moreover not all hand sanitizers are the same and some of the content in it may be toxic. Hence the normal hand sanitizers should not be used for cleaning a mask. Is it safe to Clean Face Masks with Hand Sanitizer?
Mask Cleaning Liquids Safe for Masks
In the market, couple of companies have come up with mask cleaning liquids. These products not just sanitizes a mask but also keep it fresh and sterilized for a long time. Most of these mask cleaning solutions are very common in abroad. But in country like India, these are something very new. One of the example of the mask cleaning solution that is commonly available here is a “Liquid Mask” solution developed by Thanmatra Life. The solution instantaneously sterilizes the mask and prevent it germ free for a full working day. These type of solutions can be easily sprayed to our cloth mask for better protection. However, one thing we need to remember is that these solutions are different from our normal Hand sanitizers.
Face Mask Hygiene during Corona? Mask Sanitizers Is it safe to Clean Face Masks with Hand Sanitizer?