Wearing a facemask has become a new norm in these odd times that we live in. The usage of facemask is now an integral part of our lives in order to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Disposable masks have become more and more common in stores worldwide. These masks are usually used one time and then it’s off to the trash.
But what if there was a solution for this? What if you wanted to wear the mask again?
Now, it’s possible for N95 facemasks to be reused with the help of the humble rice cooker. According to a team of American researchers, electric rice cookers can be used to disinfect N95 masks very effectively. Researchers from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign proposed that these ultra-practical kitchen appliances, like rice cookers or Instant Pots, can be repurposed for cleaning certain types of masks.
They conducted the test on N95 using dry-heat cooking cycles that maintain the contents of the cooker at 100 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes and allows for decontamination of the masks inside and out. The detailed explanation regarding the results of the test is explained in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.
“The respirators maintained their filtration capacity of more than 95 per cent and kept their fit, still properly seated on the wearer’s face, even after 20 cycles of decontamination in the electric cooker,” explained Vishal Verma, a professor in civil and environmental engineering who co-led the study as reported by technology.inquirer.net
If you’re planning to try this out, here are a few steps that you can follow:
- Make sure the rice cooker is dry. Be sure that the minimum temperature during the process is 100 degrees Celcius.
- Put a try towel or cloth under the mask.
- Multiple masks can be disinfected at once.
Disclaimer: These steps only apply to N95 face masks & has not been approved by the Ministry of Health.
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