Sanitize a Face Mask with a Wolf Appliance

Topics:

  • Can a Wolf Microwave be used to sanitize items and objects?
  • Use a Wolf appliance for face mask cleaning
  • How to sanitize a face mask in a Wolf appliance

Answer:

Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker

A Multi-Function Cooker that has a Sous Vide Mode may be used to sanitize N95 respirators and Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR). This method is NOT intended for cloth or other facemasks.

Instructions for Best Practices to Decontaminate Previously Worn N95 Respirators and FFRS Using Moist Heat

  • These instructions are from the Department of Homeland Security website.
  • Click Here for video instructions, a link to the above instructions, and a FAQ sheet.

To set the Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker to Sous Vide:

  1. Turn the selector bezel to SOUS VIDE
  2. The LCD screen will show the flashing probe icon and default probe temperature of 155°F
  3. Turn the knob to adjust the set temperature.
  4. Press the START/STOP button to start the mode.

AHAM Statement on Multi-Function Cookers for Face Mask Cleaning

The Science and Technology (S&T) division of the US Department of Homeland Security published a DIY Method to Decontaminate Face Mask Using a Multicooker. To be clear, this guidance is related only to N95 respirators/Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs)—it is not targeted at sanitizing cloth or other facemasks.  Recognizing that FFRs may not be readily available, S&T developed what they call “an easy and affordable way to safely decontaminate masks by using moist heat from programmable multi-cookers.” 

Using the method, moist heat decontamination is achieved by treating masks with 149°F steam for 30 minutes. Key steps include placing the mask(s) in a paper bag, filling the multicooker with a half inch of water and setting the bag on a rack inside of it. S&T verified these conditions inactivate the virus below detectable limits in culture media and simulated saliva, while the masks still meet performance specifications after five treatments.

S&T provides full instructions, video, fact sheets and FAQ, as well as a list of tested appliances. The list is not inclusive and is only to provide examples of the capabilities needed to achieve the desired results.  AHAM staff previously circulated this to the Portable Appliance Division Government Relations Council and the Legal Operations Advisory Committee and sought feedback on a potential AHAM response.

Microwaves

Do not use microwaves to sanitize items, including personal protection equipment. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has released the following statement regarding the use of microwaves to sanitize face masks.

AHAM Statement on Microwave Ovens for Face Mask Cleaning

In response to questions about using household microwave ovens to clean face masks to kill coronavirus, AHAM offers the following statement:

  • Microwave ovens should be used only as intended to thaw, cook, and reheat food and beverages as described in the use and care manual that accompanies each unit. AHAM does not recommend using household microwave ovens to sanitize face masks. AHAM does not have any research to support claims that household microwave ovens are effective at sanitizing face masks.
  • Further, there is a concern that microwave ovens could degrade the cloth fibers and plastics in face masks. Some masks also contain staples or metal to secure straps. It is hazardous to put metal in the microwave, as it can cause arcing or sparks.
  • For information on how to clean your face mask and other tips, please consult the following link provided by the CDC.
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/DIY-cloth-face-covering-instructions.pdf

The CDC recommendations state that washing a cloth face mask in a washing machine is the preferred way to clean and sanitize a cloth face mask.

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