Cleaning Your Respirator

Keeping your respirator clean and well maintained will help ensure the highest level of protection as well as extend the useful life of your respiratory protection equipment.

Cleaning Half-Mask & Full Face Respirator Masks

Cleaning your respirator mask is recommended after each use. Here is the recommended method for cleaning a reusable respirator masks.

  1. Remove the cartridges and/or filters attached to the mask
  2. Clean the respirator face piece (excluding the cartridges and filters) with either a pre-packaged respirator cleaning wipe or by immersing in warm cleaning solution, water temperature not to exceed 120° F, and scrub with soft brush until clean. Add neutral detergent if necessary. Do not use cleaners containing lanolin or other oils.
  3. Disinfect face piece by soaking in a solution of quaternary ammonia disinfectant or sodium hypochlorite (1 oz. [30 ML] household bleach in 2 gallons [7.5 L] of water), or other disinfectant.
  4. Rinse in fresh, warm water and air dry in non-contaminated atmosphere.
  5. Store respirator mask in a respirator storage bag away from contaminated areas when not in use.

Cleaning Dust Masks & Disposable Particulate Respirators

Disposable dust masks and particulate respirators are not designed to be washed or cleaned. Because of their cloth-like construction disposable respirator masks should be disposed of if they become wet and/or damaged.

However, oftentimes users dispose of these types of respirators prematurely when the outer shell becomes slightly soiled with figure prints or work area contaminants. As long as the inside of the respirator mask is clean, not visibly damaged and breathing has not become more difficult workers can continue to wear these masks as long as they are stored outside the contaminated area.

Do not attempt to clean disposable respirator masks with compressed air or detergents of any kind as they will damage the integrity of the masks.