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Friday, August 14, 2020

You Can Use Your Instant Pot to Decontaminate Your Face Mask, Researchers Say

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 12:05 PM

YOUTUBE / UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
  • YouTube / University of Illinois
Sometimes it feels like everyone in authority positions has abandoned us during this pandemic and left us on our own to figure out how to stay safe. 

But that is just not true. Scientists in St. Louis and across the country have been working hard to find ways to fight this thing — and just over the state line, some researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have come up with a great way for the average person to decontaminate their precious N95 face masks using everyone’s favorite kitchen gadget.



Indeed, according to research published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, you can just toss your mask right into your Instant Pot like you’re making some dang queso. 

In a news release, the university announced that its researchers had found “50 minutes of dry heat in an electric cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, decontaminated N95 respirators inside and out while maintaining their filtration and fit.” 

“We built a chamber in my aerosol-testing lab specifically to look at the filtration of the N95 respirators, and measured particles going through it,” researcher Vishal Verma said. “The respirators maintained their filtration capacity of more than 95% and kept their fit, still properly seated on the wearer’s face, even after 20 cycles of decontamination in the electric cooker.” 

This method also does not leave any chemical residue and is a great way to take a break from using your Instant Pot to fill your face like you’ve been doing ever since you’ve been stuck in lockdown. 

For instructions and specifics, watch the video from the researchers below. 
This story first appeared in the Riverfront Times, an affiliated publication.

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More by Jaime Lees, Riverfront Times

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