Asked on Apr 12, 2020

How to clean face mask?

TheHoneycombHomeMorgan McBrideKathy Gunter Law


14 answers
  • K. Rupp
    K. Rupp
    on Apr 12, 2020

    Does it have any metal on it at the nose piece? If not, could you microwave it? I was thinking about doing that to mine. I microwave my kitchen sponges, why not microwave the face mask. I don't know how long you would have to put it in to kill the germs....probably not that long since the coronavirus can't withstand heat. You would have to look into that. You could wash it but microwave would be faster.

  • Gk
    on Apr 12, 2020

    If you have a N95 facemask you can't clean it. It is made to be thrown away. If you try to microwave a N95 mask it may melt before it is clean. Health professionals have found that even trying to use an autoclave to sterilize masks is not totally effective. If you have professional paper type surgical masks those also have to be thrown away. If you have homemade cloth masks they should be washed and dried in a wash machine and dryer. The homemade cloth type masks are the easiest to use and clean for the general public.

    Here is an article that discusses all the INEFFECTIVE and perhaps unhealthy ways people try to clean masks. It is suggested that using an oven for a certain period of time MAY work but how do you know for sure...

  • N-95s are not meant to be cleaned. Cloth mask should be able to be washed either by hand or in the washer.

  • Janice
    on Apr 12, 2020

    One time use fo the N-95 masks.

  • Linda Sikut
    Linda Sikut
    on Apr 12, 2020

    Hi Milton,

    I have a cotton cloth face mask that I use when I deliver Meal on Wheels and when I go food shopping. When I come home, I carefully remove it so that my hands don't touch the outside of the cloth. Then I put it into a bowl of Hydrogen Peroxide. I let it sit there for 10 - 20 mins, then wash with HOT water and soap. Rinse, rinse, rinse with HOT water then I pour some boiling water over it for the final rinse. It's best to put it in a hot dryer but I don't run mine often so I hang it (outside if possible) and let it dry naturally. Also, mine is white so the Hydrogen Peroxide won't fade the colors. If yours is colored, it might fade. Just be aware that can happen. From what I've read you can just wash it with hot water and soap. Be safe. Wishing you the best.

  • Flipturn
    on Apr 13, 2020

    Keep in mind that fabric home-made masks are not surgical grade, and are not capable of blocking airborne germs, the way N95 masks are supposed to.

    Surgical graded face masks are meant to be used Only Once and Can not be washed.

    Autoclaves are used in medical environments to sterilize items such as stainless steel tools, but not face masks.

    Home made fabric face masks can be washed in the laundry with hot water, the same way that underwear is. Putting them in a mesh bag can help keep them from twisting up and getting caught on other items. Hang to dry.

  • Cindy
    on Apr 13, 2020

    Hi Milton. I am making face masks with my sewing machine. I am using paper towels as filters. I read that you could also use coffee filters too. Mine are made so that we throw the paper towel in the garbage and the mask goes in the laundry. Good luck Milton. Stay safe and stay healthy.

  • If it's fabric then you can just wash it in the washer and dryer.

  • Flipturn
    on Apr 13, 2020

    Neither paper towels or coffee filters are considered to be surgical graded medical filters. They do not provide any barrier from viruses.

  • Kate Garrett
    Kate Garrett
    on Apr 13, 2020


    I hope this finds you & yours well.

    I use cloth neck gators wrapped around aquarium filters rated for bacteria. These protect others from what I might breath on them. They protect me against a lot of airborne bacteria and many allergens. But they provide me only light protection against viruses from other people.

    But these protections are all based on proper protocol and cleaning.

    Washing your hands regularly to a good lather with soap and water remains your best defense. Wash before & after meals, bathroom activities, touching your own face (or mask), entering/leaving your home, etc. Use hand sanitizer when washing is not an option.

    Your cloth mask should have any filter media removes, laundered in hot water as you would towels or underpants/socks, dried throughly in the dryer (if possible, or laid out with maximum air circulation). Once dry, storing in a sunny window for some UV exposure won't hurt.

    I dip my reusble filter in bleach water & rinse with hot water, then air dry.

    Once everything is clean and fresh, I store one reassembled mask on the dashboard of the car I keep in my driveway. That is a good place to soak up UV & it is waiting for me when I go back out. I do my best to go 8-12 days between trips out. So far the recommended 2 weeks hasn't been manageable. Obviously, if your car is on a public street or lot, you need to put your mask on before leaving home.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    Kathy Gunter Law
    on Apr 13, 2020

    Spray with hydrogen peroxide until damp and dry with high heat. If you don't want ot use the dryer you can use a blow dryer.

  • Morgan McBride
    Morgan McBride
    on Apr 14, 2020

    Don't put anything with metal in a microwave!

  • TheHoneycombHome
    on Apr 15, 2020

    Depending on the material you may be able to microwave (the homemade masks usually are safe) but if not, then I would spray it with something like Lysol or soak in in soapy water.

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