How to Properly Dispose and Reuse Face Mask

At this time, the whole world is facing a crisis of Coronavirus and at such times, the face mask acts as a protective shield. The mask protects us from the risk of infection. But due to this epidemic, there is a shortage of masks and the entire world is reeling from lack of masks. This blog will let you know how to dispose of face mask and reuse of face mask.

This blog is not only for telling the importance of masks, but we also have to take care of cleanliness. We have to take care of the cleanliness of our hands and also sanitize them from time to time. Immediately after use, place the tissue in the dustbin. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap for about 20 seconds. Do not touch your nose, eyes and mouth as much as possible. Apply your mask well on your face, make sure you don’t get loose anywhere. Your nose and mouth should be well covered.

Mostly 3 types of masks are being used at this time. Three layer surgical mask, cloth mask and N95 respirator.

In this blog, we will tell you how to dispose of these masks and how to reuse them, but before that we know about these masks and how they work. There are three types of mask which are commonly used. 

Cloth mask

The cloth mask which is made of normal cotton cloth is worn over the mouth and nose. This cloth mask is recommended by the public health agencies to avoid the virus. Cloth mask which is not as effective as N95 and surgical mask, but it can protect the virus to a great extent. If HEPA filter is used with it, then the effectiveness increases, but doing so causes difficulty in breathing. High-efficiency  particulate air (HEPA) means the filter, which is capable of removing particles of 0.3 microns diameter.

Surgical mask 

Surgical masks are worn by health professionals when they are engaged in a healthcare procedure. The Surgical mask is made from polypropylene material. It blocks the particles droplets which contain germs.

N-95 mask

The N-95 mask  is not designed for the general public. It is also made of polypropylene material. This mask can also filter out particles up to 0.3 microns.

These masks are used by healthcare workers who are treating patients who have diseases like cough or cold. If someone is a corona patient, then this mask is also used while treating him.

How to Dispose of a Used Mask?

Once the mask is used we should throw it away. But never throw the mask in a public place because the virus which is on the mask can survive for a few hours to several days. So the risk of spreading the virus remains high. Never throw your used mask in public places such as parks, elevators and workplaces. Because many times people pick the mask and try to use it again. Due to which the risk of spreading the disease increases further. Wash your hands thoroughly before applying your mask and after using.

We have explained below how to dispose of the used mask.

Cloth mask-

The cloth mask should be thoroughly washed after use and left to air dry.

Surgical mask-

Surgical mask should be carefully removed. Be careful not to touch the front portion of the mask. After removing the mask, fold it in such a way that the mouth and nose droplets are not exposed in the air.

After folding it properly, put the mask in a tissue paper or a polythene bag and put it in the trash.

N-95 mask-

When you remove the mask, always hold it with the edge of the mask. Do not touch the inside part of the mask. Wash hands after use. Like a surgical mask, it has to be folded and inserted into a disposable bag and put in a garbage box or biomedical waste disposal.

How to Reuse the Used Mask?

Most masks are disposable. Can we use  the mask again? most people have the same question in their mind. You must have noticed that at this time the demand for masks is high and supply is low because of which people want to reuse the mask. Is it safe to reuse the face mask? If kept properly, you can use  it again.

With the help of some instructions, you can use your mask again.

  1. Keep in mind that when you remove your mask, both your hands are clean at that time.
  2. Place your used mask in a container with good ventilation, such as a paper bag that allows the mask to air out.
  3. Leave it for at least one  or two days
  4. Never disinfect your mask with any chemical because by doing so the fabric of the mask will absorb the chemical. You may have trouble breathing when you wear the mask.

Apart from this, there are some conditions in which you should use the face mask only once.

  1. If you or someone you are meeting is coughing or sneezing or having a fever.
  2. Moving to a crowded place where you could not create distance with people.
  3. If the mask is dirty or torn

We have explained below how to reuse the used mask:

Cloth mask-

If you wash and disinfect the cloth mask well and dry it properly, then the cloth mask can be reused. It is very important to wash the cloth mask after every use. Just washing does not work. You also need a detergent that cleans the mask thoroughly.

Surgical mask-

If the mask is still dry and its layer is still intact and not torn anywhere, then we can use the surgical mask again. If all these things are okay, then you can put the mask inside a pouch with desiccated gel. The desiccated gel does not allow moisturizing inside the pouch which keeps the mask dry. 

N-95 mask-

N-95 mask should be kept in an open atmosphere for 3 to 4 days, so they dry well. The N-95 mask is made of polypropylene material and it contains zero moisture. If the mask is dried for 3 or 4 hours, the virus will not be able to survive.

Conclusion

An epidemic like corona can be easily defeated if people take proper precautions. Wearing masks and washing hands periodically will keep away from diseases. In this blog we have learned how to dispose of face mask and how to reuse face masks. Hopefully, you have understood the information given by us.

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