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A question on treating a mask with heat

by Tom Costello, Technical Director
June 25, 2020

We received a question via our website from ML asking, “If I expose my surgical mask after wearing it to heat of 104 degrees, will that kill the virus on the outside of the mask so that I can wear it again?”

Short answer is: no.

All studies demonstrate a minimum of 133˚F held for 15 minutes is required to deactivate most viruses. In treatments taking place inside a regular structure such as an office building, a room of a house, a hotel room, an airplane, or a medical facility, we recommend 140˚F of convected heat maintained for 1 hour. You’ll want to measure the temperature at the hardest-to-heat location and start the clock once you’ve hit the target temperature. Convected heat is much more efficient and effective at ensuring the entire item reaches temperature more consistently than radiant heat like you would find in a typical kitchen oven.

You can find a more complete discussion on heat and microbes in our white paper.

There are several things to consider when looking to heat treat a mask. The major concern is the construction of the mask: are there any fibers or glues which are heat-sensitive below 150˚F? Will any of the fabrics or filter materials be changed and less effective after exposure to this kind of heat?

More than likely, the answer to these concerns will be no. A better solution than placing masks into an oven is to look into the temperature your dryer uses when set on high heat. As long as it can achieve 133˚F and you keep the cycle going for 15 minutes or more, a mask should be thoroughly heated.

If you heat treat your mask, know that time and duration are key to achieving heating throughout the item. And, please don’t put your mask on right out of the heat treatment! Temperatures above 133˚F are hot enough to burn skin!

Happy heating!


The GreenTech Heat solution

From cars and closets all the way up to office buildings and medical facilities, GreenTech Heat Solutions has the equipment to allow you to self-treat with heat.

GreenTech Heat technology is 100% effective for bed bugs, cockroaches, and other insects. As recently advocated by Ford, heat kills microbes, viruses, and bacteria. GreenTech Heat equipment allows you to self-treat with heat on your schedule and as your needs demand. Our certified training lets you do it right and do it safely the first time. Heat safely kills insects and microbes everywhere they may be found in a single one-day treatment. Call us at 888-699-3944. We have bed bug heaters for sale to get started with heat today.


What People Say

I just wanted to call and let you to know we fired your machine up for the first time today and I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the quality of the equipment you sent me. And I really appreciate the fact that you are there. We will certainly be doing business with you. I will certainly be sending anybody I can to you. I am extremely impressed with the equipment. I just wanted to pass that along. You have cut our treatment time down. We are already up to heat and we have only been running about an hour. I just wanted to give you a heads up. This is a great product you are putting out there.

Norfork Redevelopment & Housing Authority


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