Is surgical mask washable? Know about reusing it

Wondering if you can reuse surgical masks? Read here to know more.

Face masks have helped in reducing the chances of contracting coronavirus and hence people have a lot of questions about them. There are many types of face masks that people have started to use while heading out in public spaces. There is a lot of discussion around the use of surgical masks and how common people can use it for their protection.

Source- Issaquah Reporter

One of the most common questions asked is whether it is reusable or not. If you have the same question, here is what to know about washing and reusing surgical masks.

Reusing surgical masks

Normally, surgical masks are meant for one-time use and should be disposed of right after but when the pandemic hit the world, WHO changed its guidelines and allowed people and doctors to reuse masks after treating it with UV light and subjecting them to high temperatures. Scientists also recommend keeping the used masks away for 7 days as no significant microbial growth was observed after this period.

Source- Cidrap

Many healthcare workers switch between two surgical masks instead of reusing them to treat different patients.

Can you wash the masks?

It is not advisable to wash the surgical masks in a washing machine as it affects its efficiency. Washing them can also contaminate it and make it useless.

Since there is now a variety of masks, it is best to use surgical masks one time and throw them away after a single-use. You can also use N-95 masks as they are known to be most effective and can be reused after proper sanitization.