Sanitize Your N95 Face Mask Using An Instant Pot

August 12, 2020

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One thing you've learned from this show is that the appliances in your home can multitask!  We learned that you can clean you denim jeans in the freezer, sanitize the kids toys in the dishwasher and now, using your Instant Pot to decontaminate your highly-prized N95 face mask. Still today, N95 masks are in short supply and if you happen to have one of these masks, it is important to make it last as long as possible. That means they need to be decontaminated.  While there are methods of using a microwave and your oven, researchers say the Instant Pot method is by far the easiest. Simply place your N95 mask (or multiple masks) in the inner pot.  If you are using slow cooker, rice cooker or pressure cooker with exposed heating elements, line the pot with towels to keep the mask from touching them). No water is poured into the pot at any time; the sterilization requires a completely dry cycle. Next, seal the Instant Pot with the lid and set the steam release to the “Seal” position. Use the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” Smart Program on High and use "plus" and "minus" to set the time of 50 minutes. The idea is to get the masks to a temperature of 212°F. If you use cooking pot similar to an Instant Pot, refer to the manual for the proper setting that targets 212°F and be warned that if you go hotter than 212°F, you could damage the mask. Go cooler, and it could take longer to sterilize. The good news is that this process is repeatable. Researchers decontaminated masks 20 times, showing that SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses were destroyed on all parts of the mask. Meanwhile, components such as the elastic headband stayed intact. After sterilization, researchers tested the filtration and found that it still filtered 95% of particles down to 0.3 microns. Just remember NOT to add water at any time.

SOURCE: Fast Company

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