WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- A popular household appliance can now be used to fight COVID-19.
Researchers with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate came up with a way to decontaminate personal protective equipment (PPE) using a multicooker, like an Instant Pot.
Because PPE is hard to find, scientists came up with a way to allow masks to safely be reused.
Moist heat decontamination is achieved by treating masks with 149°F steam for 30 minutes. Key steps include placing the mask(s) in a paper bag, filling the multicooker with a half inch of water and setting the bag on a rack inside of it. S&T verified these conditions inactivate the virus below detectable limits in culture media and simulated saliva, while the masks still meet performance specifications after five treatments. Further research will determine if the virus is also inactivated in lung fluid, and whether this process is effective for additional treatments.
Full instructions, a video, fact sheet and FAQ about the process are available on the S&T website.