How to Sanitize or Sterilize a Face Mask or Face Covering
Now that we are all wearing face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect ourselves, you should also know how to sanitize or sterilize your face mask.
Wearing a face mask at this time is not only to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it is also to protect you and your family from infection. The problem with this is that few know that you should not wear a face mask for longer than 4 hours and that a face mask should be sanitized or sterilized every time you remove it or before you put it back on.
Face masks are in short supply and with the requirement that everyone wear a face mask when leaving their home, what are you to do if you are unable to buy face masks. What every entrepreneur around the world is doing is making their own masks, either for themselves, to donate to people who need, or to bring in extra money when times are tough. Fabric face masks are a perfect for occasional use and you can make a simple face covering by using a scarf, cutting up an old t-shirt, or wrapping your face in a bandana, and so on. But it is important to keep in mind that you should only wear a face mask or covering for no more than 4 hours at a time, after which it needs to be sterilized before being worn again.
How to Sterilize a Face Mask
This instruction is for a fabric or textile face mask that has no metal reinforcing or nose guard. If your face mask has any metal components, such as conventional dust masks, remove these before sterilizing. The microwave should be 800 Watts or more for this method to be effective, or keep in the microwave for a longer period of time.
Tests have been performed with HIV and Hepatitis-B to ascertain the effectiveness of this method and the results were conclusive, as long as an 800W or more microwave is used and the time period not less than 2 minutes. A similar test was also conducted with RNA virus, with similar results.
1. Slightly dampen the face mask with a 70% alcohol sanitizer. You don't want to make it wet, just damp enough for the moisture to heat up to high temperature. DO NOT place dry items in the microwave, as this could result in fire.
2. Make sure all metal components are removed before placing the face mask in a microwave. Only do this for  face mask at a time.
3. On HIGH power (≥ 800W), let the microwave run for 2 minutes. Carefully remove the hot face mask and allow it to cool.
This process will kill off any bacteria and ensures that the face mask is sterilized and ready to wear again.