Cleaning and Disinfection
Disclaimer and Introduction
No decontamination method is proven to be 100% effective at deactivating all pathogens that might be on the surface of any respirator, Airgami included. Air99 LLC does not warrant that the methods described herein will destroy all pathogens that might be trapped on or in Airgami as a result of typical usage and wear.
Nevertheless, following are recommendations for how to heat Airgami without damaging its filter or structure. In the literature, heat is considered an effective method for destroying or deactivating viral, bacterial, and spore contamination of respirators assuming the respirator can take the heat. Airgami can.
RISK OF MELTING: DO NOT PLACE AIRGAMI ON A MICROWAVABLE SURFACE OR NEAR AN OVEN HEATING ELEMENT THAT EXCEEDS 194°F (90°C).
DISCARD AND DO NOT REUSE YOUR AIRGAMI IF IT SHOWS ANY SIGNS OF MELTING DURING DISINFECTION. PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH firstname.lastname@example.org.
EXPLANATION: Every Airgami is disinfected in a dry heat oven for 30 minutes at 176°F (80°C) before being hermetically sealed in a poly-bag and packaged for shipment.
However, everyone's home cooking equipment is different. Air99 does not warrant against damage of the Airgami by following any of the instructions herein. As a rule of thumb, if it's hotter than steam, it'll be hot enough to melt Airgami.
We do not recommend ultraviolet germicidal irradiation as UV has a detrimental effect on the polypropylene-based filter.
Please handle your Airgami mainly by the harness or harness lobes. DO NOT CRUSH. DO NOT PUNCTURE.
Airgami is made of durable, waterproof materials that can last a month or more of daily use, include rinsing, drying, and heat disinfection.
Freshen the Airgami mask between uses by rinsing it in clean tap water and then air-drying on a clean surface or paper towel.
Microwave-oven Disinfection Method 1
Airgami can be rinsed and microwaved:
- Rinse the mask inside and outside and rinse the harness straps under cool tap water.
- Shake off excess water and place onto a paper towel on a cold microwaveable plate.
- Place the mask and plate onto the microwave turntable. The microwave oven's power rating should be between 1,100W and 1,500W. Turn oven on high for 3 minutes. The mask may appear to soften very slightly.
WARNING: NOT ALL MICROWAVES ARE THE SAME. STOP IMMEDIATELY IF THE RESPIRATOR DEFORMS OR BEGINS TO MELT. Do not microwave on a surface that is already hot to the touch -- it could get a lot hotter and melt Airgami. Put a thick towel between the wet Airgami and the microwave turntable.
It has been suggested to put a small bowl of water in the microwave oven along with the wet Airgami in order to absorb more of the microwave energy to so that things in proximity to Airgami don't overheat.
Airgami itself is made of microwave-transparent materials. It is the boiling water on the wet surface of Airgami that provides the disinfecting action.
Microwave-oven Disinfection 2
Fill a 6.5" x 6.5" (17cm x 17cm) glass container with around 60ml of distilled water. Cover container with polypropylene mesh from a produce bag and secure in place with a rubber band. Place mask on top of mesh and place container on microwave oven (1,100W to 1,500W) turntable. Run oven on high power for 3 minutes. The source of this approach is a set of experiments documented here.
Instant Pot Cooker - Dry Heat Method
This is a super simple method and largely foolproof and what I, yours truly, use at home. If you own an Instant Pot cooker, preferably reserved for this purpose:
- Place the mask inside the stainless-steel inner container on top of the wire platform.
- Place the top onto the Instant Pot.
- Select the Slow Cook program.
- Program the cooker for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the Keep Warm function.
The Instant Pot Slow Cook Low Heat function heats at 180°F - 190°F (82°C - 87.8°C).
Instant Pot Cooker - Steam Heat Method
This method works but the filter degrades slightly faster under steam heat than dry heat.
- Add 1/2 cup clean water in the Instant Pot inner container.
- Put the wire platform in the container.
- Loosen the harness and fan out the side bellows.
- Put the Airgami mask on top of the wire platform inside the Instant Pot.
- Make sure the elastic harness isn't in the water or against the side of the stainless container.
- Close the Instant Pot lid.
- Press the Steam button and adjust the time to 5 minutes and the pressure to low.
- Wait until the Instant Pot finishes then remove the mask and set out to dry on a clean surface or paper towel.
Oven - Dry Heat Method 2
Place mask in a pre-heated oven at 176°F (80°C) for 30 minutes. WARNING: Keep the mask away from the oven's heating elements as there is a heightened risk of melting the mask if the oven is warming up or cycles on and off. Only put mask in a pre-heated, temperature-calibrated oven.
Decontamination of surgical face masks and N95 respirators by dry heat pasteurization for one hour at 70°C, published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) concludes that surgical face masks and N95 respirators can be disinfected in dry heat.
Microwave-Generated Steam Decontamination of N95 Respirators Utilizing Universally Accessible Materials, decontaminates an N95 mask by microwave steaming it for 3 minutes over a bowl of water. The microwave oven should be between 1,100W to 1,500W.
Inactivation of coronaviruses by heat, destroys a long list of different coronaviruses with 176°F (80°C) heat, including SARS, MERS, and MHV strains.