What To Use To Clean A Respirator
A respirator is often used daily to protect the user from any harmful particulates or chemicals while on the job. This means that the mask is coming into contact with a lot of dirt and various matter on a regular basis while also coming into contact with your skin.
Unfortunately, many cleaning/sanitization products can cause damage to your respirator; whether it dries out the visor and causes cracking or creates a film over the filter itself preventing adequate filtration. It’s important to know what products are appropriate for use when cleaning your investment.
Since we get asked on a regular basis what cleaning products to use on the respirators to keep them fully sanitized and safe, we thought it was best to provide the best cleaning solutions here:
For Disposable Masks:
All disposable masks are intended to be disposed of after each use or recommended timeline (for the Filterspec line). There has been a lot of discussion amongst users as to how the life of these filters can be extended in current conditions. Unfortunately, due to the fibrous nature of the mask, cleaning or disinfection of the mask is difficult. There is no cleaning process available for disposable masks that will not affect filtration performance and fit of mask without also leaving residue and killing the virus. We do not recommend cleaning or disinfecting the filtration part of the mask.
For the Filterspec line, you may use a disinfectant wipe such as Clinell or Lysol on the frame and eyewear portions.
For Resuable Masks:
Resuable masks like our Force 8 line have been developed with cleaning as part of the design specification. The best ways to clean these types of masks are:
- Wipes: Clinell/Lysol and Isopropyl Alcohol – leaving the filters in place on the masks and cleaning all surfaces with wipes. Allow mask to air dry.
- Immersion: A solution of 30% Hydrogen Peroxide (maximum 3%) + 60% water – remove the filters from the mask and immerse in solution. Remove and rinse under clean water to ensure all traces of solution are removed. Allow mask to air dry.
*Tristel wipes may also be used
For some visual reference, JSP Safety recently released two videos on how to clean a reusable mask like the Force 8:
Reusable Powered Air Devices
Powered respirators include a number of textile and electrical components. This means that any sort of immersion disinfection is not possible. Using wipes such as Lysol, Tristel or Clinell, or alternatively a cloth moistened with 3% hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean all surfaces except for the visors. Please note that for visors, like on the Powercap Active, a MILD soapy water solution is all that should be used. Let the visor and all components air dry after properly cleaning.
It is important to maintain your respirator components at all times, regardless of what type of respirator you use. Do not use any strong cleaning agents or solvents as they can cause damage to the respirator and filters. After properly cleaning, be sure to store your respirator in its original packaging or in a dust bag to avoid any dust from collecting on the unit or moisture from coming into contact with it. Keeping your respirator in a cool and dry place is highly suggested.
By following the recommended cleaning guidelines above, you can ensure that you are safe to come into contact with your respirator each time that you need it while maintaining its condition for the long run. Remember, your health is the best thing you can invest in by investing in a quality respirator.
Stay safe out there.