A pollution mask is designed to protect you against harmful pollutants present in the air. You can use the mask outside or inside when indoor air quality is poor. It is good to note that pollution mask performs differently from other masks. It is efficient enough to eliminate contaminants as small as PM2.5.
When you invest in a disposable or a reusable mask, it is good to pay attention to hygiene. Failure to do this, you can encounter consequences on your skin, especially if you will wear it continuously for many hours. Because of this, it would be best if you learn how to clean pollution mask.
Before we dive into tips for cleaning a mask, you’ll probably want to know when you need to wash it. A reusable mask needs to be washed daily because of moisture build-up, which can cause bacteria and germs, making the pollution mask ineffective.
Here is How to Clean Pollution Mask
1. Use a washing machine
The pollution mask is likely to get contaminated with bacteria, dust, and germs. Thus, if you fail to clean it properly, it may lose effectiveness since the contamination gets more over time.
Also, it can cause skin issues such as an outbreak of spots and pimples caused by blocked pores from the contaminants. That’s why it is advisable to wash the reusable mask using a washing machine.
A washing machine is more efficient because of the long wash cycle and the hot water temperatures, which kill germs and bacteria.
Also read: How to wash pollution mask
2. Use your hands
If you don’t own a washing machine at your home or commercial institution, you can use your hands to clean the pollution mask. This involves soaking the pollution mask in cold water with 0.5% chlorine for about 35-45 minutes.
Also, you can use any laundry detergent or soap to remove impurities. Remember to rinse the mask with clean water to remove detergents because they can cause an itchy rash or redness of the skin. Besides, the detergents can make you sneeze, cough, or have an itchy nose.
Also read: How to protect rivers from pollution
3. Dry the pollution mask
A moist pollution mask is considered ineffective. When the mask is wet, air will not pass through effectively. But do you know that drying the mask in the highest heat setting can maintain its efficiency?
Bacteria, viruses, and germs don’t like high temperatures. Thus, using a drier or sunlight can help to sanitize the mask.
Also read: Ways to measure air pollution
FAQs on Pollution Masks
Can you use a surgical mask to protect yourself against pollution?
Air pollution can have a negative effect on the lungs, brain, and heart. Research shows that outdoor air pollution causes approximately 3 million deaths each year. Because of this, some cities have introduced policies to reduce pollution in urban areas.
But because it may take time for people to implement the policies, many people are choosing to wear a mask. But the biggest question is, can surgical a mask protect against air pollution?
Surgical masks are designed to offer protection against large particles. But they do not filter inhaled fumes or vapors. But the pollution mask can filter even the smallest particles. But having a pollution mask doesn’t mean that it will protect you from contaminants.
The cleanliness of a mask matter. Wearing an unclean mask is not healthy because it can cause issues such as skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, and pimples. In this case, you need to implement safety precautions for washing a pollution mask.
How often should you clean the pollution mask?
Pollution masks get contaminated with dust, bacteria, viruses, and fumes. And failing to clean them regularly can cause health issues.
Remember that the pollution mask lies on the skin, nose, and mouth. Thus, viral particles from the mask can get into the respiratory system, causing infections.
In this case, it is advisable to wash your pollution mask after every use. It is best to invest in several pollution masks so that you’ll always have a mask to wear even after you clean the rest.
What are the benefits of wearing a pollution mask?
Anyone is susceptible to the effects of air pollution. And because contaminants in the air are becoming a global health crisis, it is good to protect yourself. Wearing a pollution mask is a great way to ensure a better life. It prevents the effects of air pollution on the body.
For instance, a high-end pollution mask will prevent you from inhaling air pollution which impacts lung diseases and airborne allergies. Besides, a mask with activated carbon filters can protect you against fungus and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory disorders.
Is it advisable to spray the pollution mask with sanitizer instead of washing it?
A sanitizer helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria in busy environments. In other words, it kills microorganisms and reduces bacteria count on a surface. But spraying the sanitizer on your mask can be toxic to your health. Sanitizers contain chemicals.
And because the mask will come into contact with your skin, a pollution mask sprayed with sanitizer can cause irritation and a burning sensation in severe cases. Because of this, it is good to consider cleaning the mask using a washing machine or hands and letting it dry.
What will happen if don’t clean my pollution mask?
Pollutants are everywhere in the air. Hence, your pollution mask can be filled with dirt, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. And if you wear the contaminated mask, the pollutants are likely to enter your nose and mouth and down to the respiratory system, which can cause health issues.
That’s why it is best to purchase several pollution masks to ensure that you wear a clean one each day.
As you are aware, a pollution mask will protect you from environmental contaminants. You can use a disposable or fabric mask to ensure your safety.
But the disposable masks might be expensive and challenging to find. In this case, you can consider the fabric mask, which is reusable. All you need is to ensure that you wash it daily.
By implementing the tips on how to clean pollution mask, you will inhale pure air and enhance the efficiency of your mask.