According to a new study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers have found a new way to disinfect N95 masks using common household appliances,media reported. The study found that the N95 mask into a rice cooker or multi-functional pressure cooker and other cooking utensils, produce dry heat for 50 minutes, can be disinfected inside and outside the mask. At the same time, this disinfection method also maintains the filter and fit of the mask.
The researchers say the disinfection method allows wearers to safely reuse the limited-supply masks, which were originally disposable items. N95 masks are precious during the new crown pandemic. Not only does it protect others from the droplets from the wearer, but it also protects the wearer by filtering out smaller particles that may carry the virus.
These masks have been in short supply since the new crown pandemic began. The researchers say there are many different ways to disinfect things, but most methods can undermine the filtering and fit of N95 masks. The team had hypothesized that dry heat might be a way to disinfect the mask while maintaining filtration and fit without special preparation or chemical residue.
The researchers also have a goal of finding a way that people can use widely at home. The researchers verified that their test model had a cooking preset to disinfect the mask in a single cycle. This setting maintains the contents of the rice cooker at about 100 degrees Celsius and can disinfect the mask inside and outside within 50 minutes. This method is effective against four different types of viruses, including coronaviruses, and has been found to be more effective than ULTRAviolet light.
After the disinfection method, the team tested the mask and found that the mask’s filtration capacity remained above 95% and its fit was maintained. After 20 cycles of purification in the rice cooker, the mask can be used normally.