We all know that replacing respirator's filters is essential for their effectiveness, however, not many people know how to properly clean their respirators. In this tutorial, we will be showing you the best and most thorough method for keeping your half mask clean.
How Often Should I Clean My Respirator?
The answer to this question will vary from person to person depending on how often you use your mask and what you use it for.
A dependable general rule is to clean it whenever it looks dirty. Regularly check the inside of your mask for any grime which may come from sneezing or coughing in your mask; condensation from your breath; or typical use.
However, if you're still not entirely sure, we suggest you should clean it every month or so.
Step 1: Taking Apart Your Respirator
You should start by removing your filters. There are many varieties of half masks with different types of filters, but usually, these will just come off with a twist.
Next, take apart the strap from the front guard.
Respirators will typically have an exhalation valve in the centre of the front guard, and two inhalation valves at the sides, which attach to the filters. Remove and inspect these valves for any damage or wear. If the valves are broken or warped, you should replace them before using the mask again. Different masks use different valves, so you should make a note of which valves you need before purchasing.
Step 2: Cleaning the Components of Your Respirator
The strap can just be cleaned with a damp cloth, making sure to get any spots. As the strap isn't near your nose and mouth, it is less of a health concern and more about hygiene.
In warm water and a small amount of dish soap, soak your front guard and valves.
Using a sponge or brush, scrub the inside of the front guard to remove any dirt, making sure to get the inside corners and around the valve areas. You should then rinse off any excess soap with water.
If there is any stubborn residue on the valves, scrub until they have been removed and rinse them off with water.
Step 3: Drying Your Respirator
You can let the parts of your respirator air dry, or you can gently wipe them down with a paper towel. When drying the front guard, you should remove the plastic insert from the rubber so the water won't get trapped between them and cause problems later on.
You can now reassemble your respirator.
Your respirator should now clean and safe to use. However, you may want to do a quick fit check before use.
This easy process should be repeated whenever you see fit to maintain the hygiene of your mask