Are Clorox Wipes Effective For Decontaminating Surgical Masks?

When it comes to surgical masks, it is important that you know how to properly use it. The product is not one that can get used over and over again and it does not provide the same level of protection as the N95 masks and N95 respirators. 

With that, this article aims to provide the right kind of information for the individual to properly use surgical masks and the ways to disinfect it. Specifically, people are asking whether or not clorox wipes are effective in decontaminating surgical masks.

Knowing Surgical Masks

If you are a big surgical mask user, it is important for you to know more about the surgical masks and what makes it one of the best products that you may find. 

What Are Surgical Masks?

Surgical masks are basically loose fitting cloth masks that are meant for single use and are designed to provide the right protection against individual large droplets and sprays of bodily fluids. Those who want to stay protected against airborne particles must always have a face covering and surgical masks are the ones that are used for it. 

While surgical masks are good, these types of masks experience and have leakages around the edges so it is not as reliable as the tight fitting N95 mask and N95 respirator. The only good thing about it is the fact that surgical masks are intended to get used by infected individuals who want to help society and decrease their risk of transmitting the disease to others who come in close contact with them. The surgical masks are not a substitute for a respirator mask and their primary function is not to protect the wearer of the mask but the individuals around him. 

Guidelines From The Experts

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recently issued a few guidelines that aim to provide some help on how individuals should use surgical masks and face masks. 

The following are the information available on the guidelines:

  • Households may create and use homemade layered cloth face coverings. If one household does not have access to surgical masks and other respiratory masks, it is important for them to still have an initial barrier to aerosolized droplets and that is through the surgical masks. The primary mode of transport for SARS-CoV-2 is respiratory air. Hence, if you want to protect yourself, you should keep in mind that wearing a face covering is important.
  • The use of a face mask is not just for respiratory protection but it also acts as a deterrent to touching one’s face which is another way to get viral infection. 

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also issued some guidance that aims to help individuals provide the best information about their surgical masks. The individual organization recognized the importance of the use of cloth face coverings. The guidelines emphasized that individuals should use the right  surgical masks but they should never be used in place of proper hand hygiene and social distancing guidelines which are part of the health protocols.

Decontaminating The Surgical Masks

The CDC, as well as other healthcare experts recommend the following ways to decontaminate surgical masks such as:

  • Laundering homemade face masks regularly depending on use;
  • Using soap and other liquid detergents to inactivate all kinds of viruses; and
  • Use liquid detergent particularly for those who have a long exposure time through the use of a standard laundry machine washing and rinsing cycle. It has been found that when the surgical masks are immersed in liquid disinfectants and detergents, they can get decontaminated but this needs to be quick and done with the proper tools?

Are Clorox Wipes Effective For Decontaminating Surgical Masks?

Clorox wipes may be effective in decontaminating surgical masks. There are a lot of ways for individuals to get to clean their surgical masks but the truth of the matter is that these surgical masks can be cleaned by any liquid detergent so clorox wipes are probably effective for decontaminating. 

To maximize the use of clorox wipes, the individual should follow the right steps and they are the following:

  • Let the surgical masks hang or leave them for 72 hours before handling. Before handling the surgical masks that have been exposed outside, you should make sure that you always have some time between the use and the cleaning. There must be a period between you cleaning your surgical mask and your last use. Make sure that you make every single hour count so the virus, if any, will have been deactivated at the time that you do clean your surgical masks.
  • Use gloves when wiping the surgical masks. Gloves are important when you clean your surgical masks for very obvious reasons.
  • Make sure that another 72 hour pass before reusing the surgical masks. To get rid of the chlorine smell, you should make sure that you let 72 hours pass first.

Your Protection Is Up To You

Keep in mind that your protection is up to you. It is always your responsibility to make sure that you will have the best experience and the best level of protection against anything in life. Surgical masks are important and individuals should always make themselves ready with the right information and everything else in between. Your level of protection is always up to you so you should make sure that you make every single surgical mask count.

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