Gas mask tend to get dirty and collect tons of dust, even when they don’t get used for long periods of time. Proper storage is the key to minimizing the effort after, although there are some significantly effective ways on how to clean a gas mask properly.
Cleaning your gas mask might seem like a not-fun-at-all way to spend your time, especially when you have acquired an affordable respirator model for home usage, such as the Leeko Anti-dust Spray Chemical Gas Mask, because frankly you might not really care about the well-being of such a low cost item.
On the other hand, the proper maintenance and cleaning of your gas mask becomes (and has to become) a priority, when you purchase a high quality gas mask model, like for instance the Elite Gas Mask For Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare, for your workplace or activities in contaminated places that demand maximum safety.
Being able to clean your gas mask on your own, will allow you to prevent fatal mistakes that might lead to compromising your health to harmful fumes or particles that exist in the environment.
How to clean a gas mask
Like every protective head gear, gas masks work better if you pay a certain amount of attention on them, maintaining them in a highly working condition. There are plenty of ways to wash or clean a respirator mask. Below, we have created a step by step guide on how to apply them properly, in order to achieve the best results possible:
1 – Prepare the supplies you need
First of all you need to make sure that you have all the necessary supplies you need in order to start cleaning the gas mask. No matter the type of gas mask or respirator you have, the following list of supplies will be more than sufficient for the job:
- Rubbing alcohol (Mountain Falls 91% Isopropyl Alcohol)
- Clean wipe cloth (AmazonBasics Thick Microfiber Cleaning Cloths)
- Wipes (Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Wipes)
- Q-Tips (Q-tips Cotton Swabs, Club Pack 625 ct)
These are all very basic things that most homes have, usually located in the bathroom. In order to follow the steps of our process, you are going to need the complete list in order to clean your gas mask.
2 – Prepare the room
Next, you need to set up the room. That may seem an unnecessary step, although I advise you to prepare the room properly in order to avoid accidents, such as spilling the rubbing alcohol onto the furniture of your living room for example.
If you plan on cleaning your gas mask inside your house, make sure that you cover the entire section that you are going to use for cleaning your head gear, with a waterproof furniture cover for painting such as the E-Gtong 4 Mil Thicken Plastic Drop Cloth.
After you take care of that, gather all the things of the list near you and put them on a table or stand where you can reach them effortlessly. Being able to do so, will minimize the risk of accidental drops and will make the cleaning process much faster.
3 – Disassemble the gas mask
This part is crucial if you want to clean your gas mask in depth. You have to take apart all the different parts of the mask, and clean them separately in order to reach every little recess of the mask. Just remember how you took apart every piece of the mask, so you can put them together later properly.
Firstly, you need to start with the filter cartridges, which are located on the low front part of your respirator. Most cartridges are designed to be removed for replacement by twisting them several times towards a certain location, either left or right.
The second thing you need to remove from the exterior part of the mask, is the part where the cartridges used to lock on. These will either be two or one small pieces, depending on the gas mask models you have. After the gaskets are removed, make a case of twisting and removing the rubber part that covers the mouth of the respirator.
The straps come next. You need to be especially cautious when it comes to removing the straps, because they are an essential part of the gas mask, and they can break pretty easily if they are pressed too hard. Put a decent amount of pressure, without making any sudden moves, until they get apart.
The final step of disassembling your gas mask, is to remove the last two rubber pieces which are placed in the inside of the mask. They are pretty easy to unlock, although you might need to twist them slightly until they fall off their position.
4 – The cleaning process
The last step is the cleaning process, which is also our main goal. We have every part of our gas mask, so it is going to be easy for us clean them properly without damaging the mask.
To begin with, pouring some of the rubbing alcohol onto one or two cotton pads should be your first move. Use them to rub and clean the bigger part of your respirator, such as the lens, the rubber or plastic surface of the mask and the place where the cartridges lock.
Moving on, dip one or two Q-Tips into the rubbing alcohol. Use the Q-Tips to clean properly every single recess and hole of the gas mask. Essentially, because of the smaller size of the Q-Tips, you are able to clean every part of the gas mask that the cotton pads cannot approach.
Use the cotton pads to clean every part of the respirator that was removed from the main part of the gas mask. When you are done, take the wipes and apply them softly on every surface on which you used rubbing alcohol to absorb the excess.
Finally, use the dry cloth to wipe every part of the gas mask gently. This way, you are going to clean the mask even better, and absorb any rubbing alcohol that is left after using the wipes, because of the thicker material of the cloth.
After the cleaning process, make sure that you start assembling the gas mask to reinstate it in its initial form. Proper preparations and having the right supplies will help you complete the process faster, without any accidents.
Having a properly maintained gas mask will ensure safety and will guarantee the protection of your breathing during usage. Take care of your gas mask!