How to Sanitize a Face Mask in Your Instant Pot

Your kitchen's pressure cooker does a whole lot more than cook delicious meals. Here's how to sanitize a face mask with an Instant Pot.

To help slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus, mask mandates are being implemented all over the nation. In fact, many stores are requiring customers to wear masks. But it’s easy to forget that these face coverings need to be cleaned regularly to avoid the accumulation and spread of germs. What’s the best way to go about cleaning your N95 masks? Here’s how to sanitize a face mask using a popular kitchen tool—the Instant Pot.

Editor’s Note: This method works for N95 masks. For cloth masks, hand-wash or use the washing machine.

How to Sanitize a Face Mask in Your Instant Pot

The Department of Homeland Security published a video on YouTube to explain the process.

Step 1: Bag the Masks

First, put on a pair of disposable gloves so you don’t contaminate your hands.

Wrap up to three used N95 masks in a paper bag. Then, remove the gloves. (Be sure to throw the gloves away as soon as you’re finished.)

Step 2: Pull Out the Instant Pot

Add some water to your Instant Pot. Insert the rack or a hard-boiled egg rack. Then, gently set the paper bag on top of the rack, without allowing the bag to touch the water.

Step 3: Heat It Up

Set the Instant Pot temperature to 149° F, and set the timer to 30 minutes.

Step 4: Let Dry

When you’re done, let the masks dry for about an hour. Remove from the Instant Pot with clean hands. Your face mask is now sanitized and ready to wear again.

It’s important to stay cool in the summer heat, especially while wearing a face mask that covers your nose and mouth. Here are helpful tips for wearing a face mask in hot weather.

How Often Should I Clean My Face Mask?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend washing your face mask routinely, depending on the frequency of use. Dr. Daniel Griffin, a member of the Division of Infectious Diseases and an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University, explains that we should think of face masks like underwear, and that masks should be washed after every wear.

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Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.