Coronavirus Questions Answered: Can You Reuse Masks?
Updated on April 7, 2020 at 3 p.m.
This post is about surgical and N95 mask home sterilization. Soap and water is recommended for washing and re-using homemade face masks.
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A lot of you want to know if you can disinfect masks and reuse them.
Robert from Broadview Heights said he’s tried to microwave a surgical mask, and asked if this is an effective sterilization method.
Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist Dr. Nikita Desai doesn’t recommend this method, or any attempts to sterilize masks at home.
“Just because it looks OK, doesn’t mean it’s safe to use," Desai said. "We’re not at all recommending home sterilization of any kind when it comes to personal protective equipment.”
She said you should only reuse masks based on manufacturer guidelines.
"It's the same reason that a Band-aid on day one is not the same as a Band-aid on day five," she said.
And public health officials say masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and those who are sick because there are limited supplies.