How Do You Clean Face Shields? A Walkthrough on How to Maintain Your Face Shields
As the pandemic reaches another peak and new variant cases on the rise, the nation is still tackling shortages on PPE.
Each and every one of us is finding ways to optimize and stretch our supplies to last until at least the next available PPE is on sale. That is also a cause for some people to find way to prolong their face mask and face shield usage.
What is a Face Shield?
According to Wiki, A face shield is an item of personal protective equipment (PPE), that aims to protect the wearer's entire face (or part of it) from hazards such as flying objects and road debris, chemical splashes (in laboratories or in industry), or potentially infectious materials (in medical and laboratory environments).
Face shields have been present around multiple industries and disciplines. They are widely used in the Medical, Manufacturing, Food and Beverage, Construction, and Oil and Gas industries. Users are usually involved in laboratories or emergency and surgery departments of hospitals, paint and corrosive chemicals manufacturing, Restaurant and Catering Kitchens, Construction and Welding sites, and in Oil fields.
Purpose of a Face Shield
Face shields are valuable in protecting the wearer from inhalation of aerosol droplets that may be carrying the virus. While they offer some level of source control, since particles emitted through coughing and sneezing would be somewhat contained, they are less effective than masks when it comes to preventing the wearer from transmitting viral droplets outwards.
The main purpose of face shields is to protect the wearer. Their effectiveness in this regard is enhanced because they are more likely than masks to be worn properly, and to be kept on for long periods of time. They are particularly useful, therefore, for those who are likely to have a lot of contact with the public. This is especially the case for those in jobs where nonverbal communication using facial expressions is important, such as teaching young children.
In addition to wearing masks, Face shields have been suggested by some governments and experts as an added protection to help in preventing the spread and contraction of COVID-19. These are used to prevent or “shield” users from splashes and aerosols from getting onto your face and eyes. It is even suggested as a better option for people who interact with deaf or hearing-impaired.
How to Clean Face Shields
According to the CDC, it is strongly suggested that you follow manufacturer’s instruction on cleaning your face shields. However, in cases where instructions are absent, you can consider doing the following instructions:
- While wearing a clean pair of gloves, carefully wipe the inside, followed by the outside of the face shield or goggles using a clean cloth saturated with neutral detergent solution or cleaner wipe.
- Carefully wipe the outside of the face shield or goggles using a wipe or clean cloth saturated with EPA-registered external icon hospital disinfectant solution.
- Wipe the outside of face shield or goggles with clean water or alcohol to remove residue.
- Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels).
- Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene.
- Cleaned and disinfected eye protection can be stored onsite, in a designated clean area within the facility.
It is also important to note that you should clean your face shields as often as possible, especially after contact with patients, customers, or people you encounter while outdoors. If your shield is soiled, clean with soap and water then disinfect. If fog is starting to build up and it’s hard to see, you may clean it using soap and hot water.
Face Shields can be used for as long as they are intact and are in shape. We strongly suggest that you replace it as soon as you notice damages on the shield/film itself. Damages will affect its performance overall and will not be as effective in blocking aerosols and harmful splashes.
In closing, we recommend that people protect themselves thoroughly by doubling up on masks and use face shields when performing your duties at work, or even when in public. Continue to follow social distancing measures, avoid being in crowded places, and avoid going outside as much as possible.
Ending the pandemic’s menace is still in every one’s hands. Keeping ourselves protected is a duty and obligation. At the same time, we’re doing others a favor by keeping them safe from the virus, and that’s what’s important at the end of the day, keeping each other safe.