Stanford Researchers Offer Home-Based Mask Cleaning Tips For N-95 Masks

Stanford researchers are suggesting ways to make you N-95 mask last longer.

At Stanford University researchers are looking into the best ways to make the most of the N-95 masks people often use to ward off the spread of COVID-19. Based on the testing they've done, the researchers have come up with some do's and don'ts for cleaning the masks at home, so they can be reused, especially considering the supply shortage right now.

They're not made to be used more than once, but the Stanford team has found that you can hold onto about 97-percent of a mask's effectiveness by essentially baking it in your oven. Use a low heat setting of about 158-degrees for 30-minutes. Another method that's proven effective in killing germs is placing a mask in the steam from a pot of boiling water for about ten-minutes. That process tends to retain about 95-percent of it's virus-filtering ability.

What's not recommended is the use of alcohol or bleach, since both will break down the fibers that make up the mask. And whatever you do, the researcher warn agains putting you N-95 mask in the microwave. It'll just melt.