Due to shortages of personal protective equipment, the fight against coronavirus might seem difficult at times, but there is a kitchen appliance that can help.
The Department of Homeland Security has said that a multicooker, or an Instant Pot, can be used to decontaminate an N95 mask if you need to resue it. They have even released a video on how you can easily do this at home.
Here is what you need to sanitize an N95 mask at home with a multicooker:
- Multicooker with a sous vide function or equivalent setting
- Rack to place in the multicooker
- Disposable or reusable gloves
- Measuring cup
- Distilled or bottled water (for a 6QT cooker: 2-⅛ cups, for an 8QT cooker: 3 cups)
- Paper bag
- Stapler or paper clip
And here are instructions on how the process is done in a multicooker:
1. Fill the bottom of your multicooker with the pre-measured water, making sure the entire bottom is covered
2. Place the rack at the bottom, ensuring the rack sits above the water, keeping the mask and bag dry
3. With gloves on, place the mask in the paper bag (three masks can be sanitized at a time in one bag). Next, fold over the top of the bag and close it with a staple or paper clip
4. Place the bag on the rack and secure the top. Select the "sous vide" function on the multicooker and set the temperature to 149 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes and start the cycle
5. When the cycle has ended, release the top as per manufacturer instructions (since you used the sous vide function, there is no need to worry about releasing pressure) and remove
6. Dry the masks on a clean surface for 1 hour
7. Examine the mask before using again looking for any damage near the straps and nose sealing -- if the mask is damaged, do not use and discard
The Department of Homeland Security notes an N95 mask can be sanitized and reused up to 5 times. For step-by-step instructions, check out the video above. Plus, get more useful tips, advice, and segments on how you can fight and deal with COVID-19 from The Doctors.