With the mask shortage it makes sense to be able to sterilize and reuse your mask, but how can we do that? Can we even do that with a paper mask? Surprisingly, yes you can sterilize and reuse a paper mask. I have many questions about the exact kind of mask to use, so I went searching on youtube and found an amazing video by Patrick Poon who is a product designer in Hong Kong and he really takes an in-depth look at masks. Patrick breaks down the mask layer by layer and lets us know all the layers are basically polypropylene fibers which he ingeniously thought could make it through a very hot water sterilization process and come out unscathed. So he invented a process where he soaks the mask in hot water then adds hand soap and scrubs well with a toothbrush, then he simply rinses the mask and hags it up to dry on a coat hanger. Patrick was so clever to see such a practical solution to a serious shortage. However, the masks that you can make at home are not proven to protect against COVID 19 and I have only made them in a pinch to wear with another disposable mask. For in-depth information regarding how to protect yourself against COVID 19, please view this link from the CDC Website describing all safe practices during the COVID 19 outbreak.
- A toothbrush
- Very hot water
- Soap (Dr. Bronner’s or other plain soap)
- a bowl of clean water (for rinsing your mask)
- A coat hanger (for drying)
In the video, you will learn about the construction of the paper mask and how different sterilizing substances affect them.
Then step by step you will see exactly how to wash your mask and hang it up to dry.
I’m so glad I found this idea, it’s made me worry a lot less.