In view of the virulence of the variants that make us fear the worst, more and more of us are equipping ourselves with FFP2 masks. If these masks were reserved for caregivers at the beginning of the epidemic. Nowadays it is possible to buy them online at many websites for a reasonable price.
However, these somewhat more expensive masks than surgical ones are also said to be disposable. The QUE CHOISIR UFC therefore carried out a small exercise of washing tests on certain FFP2 masks … To prove that the FFP2 masks maintain a sufficient filtration rate and breathability even after 10 washes.
The test was carried out
In November 2020, UFC Que Choisir conducted the same study on surgical masks. And came to the same conclusions. Surgical masks and FFP2 could therefore be washed and reused … Great news for every consumer’s wallet … And not so good news for manufacturers in the industry who rely on single use!
To conduct this laboratory test, 3 FFP2 masks (NF EN149) and one KN95 mask (the Chinese equivalent, standard GB2626) were subjected to breathability tests. First new, then after 10 washes at 60 ° and drying. Since the standards are strictly the same for all models of FFP2 masks, the UFC Que Choisir believes that most masks are reusable after washing. As long as it is the NF EN149 or KN95 or GB2626 standard.
In terms of breathability, they are all quite uncomfortable, but the goal is to protect better than a surgical one, everything is normal. Of the masks tested, NewPharma is the only one that meets the breathability requirements for the general public. In terms of filtration… The four models tested maintain the same filtration percentage (99.9%) for particles larger than 3 µm after 10 washes / drys.
We wash our masks … disposable! Photo credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov
Even if their prices have dropped significantly in recent months, FFP2 remain more expensive than surgical instruments, but also more efficient due to their design. Unless the filtration capacities are reduced by washing, some elements are not all washable, such as: B. rubber bands or the nose bar. Please note that these data only apply to the “general public” who now use the FFP2 in public transport or in shops. The tests do not affect the nursing staff in any way.
We wash our masks … disposable!
On a personal basis, we wash our FFP2 and surgical masks … And even if we cannot check the filtration capacities, we can confirm that we can reuse them by washing the masks in a washing net. A welcome savings as we know that the mask is now mandatory in all public places …