Yes, you read it right, the 7-in-1 'Instant Pot' used mostly for pressure and slow cooking, rice, and steaming can now be used to disinfect and sterilize an N95 mask killing the Novel coronavirus in less than 50 minutes, experts share.

Daily Mail reports that researchers from the University of Illinois found that this kitchen equipment is useful in the kitchen and for other unconventional uses, most notably is its usage for sterilizing an N95 mask.

The Instant Pot can disinfect and sterilize a mask, or more, using its standard cook function that runs for 50 minutes. This cook function produces 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) that is said to be enough in killing the virus. Instant Pot uses "dry heat," making it ideal for disinfecting the mask, inside and out.

N95 masks use materials including stretchable or garterized materials that lose their flexibility in the span of its use. Researchers list this as one of the concerns of the medical community that frowns on reusing said masks. The effectivity of the mask's filtration significantly reduces if components have reduced performance or functions compared to when it is brand new.

This process enables users to safely reuse the mask, unlike the CDC's recommendation of using it for just an extended period. Researchers added that this process is more effective than using an ultraviolet light in sanitation.

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Instant Pot and the Coronavirus

This home remedy uses the "Instant Pot" that adds a new feature on its long list of functions, including pressure cooking, steaming, rice cooking, slow cooking, sauteing, yogurt making, and warming. Its unique and latest feature, sterilizing the deadly pandemic virus, COVID-19.

The University of Illinois researchers exhibited the proper sterilization process in a YouTube video to help the medical community and even people who use the N95 masks for protection against the pandemic.

Researchers advise people to put a towel on the Instant Pot's surface to avoid direct heat or contact on the body. The masks only need the heat to go "through and through" to effectively kill any virus, especially COVID-19, that occur the mask's surface and its filters inside.

"Any sanitation method would need to decontaminate all surfaces of the respirator, but equally important is maintaining the filtration efficacy and the fit of the respirator to the face of the wearer," Vishal Verma, a researcher of the Insta Pot from the University of Illinois said.

The team then tested the mask's fit and deemed that the Instant Pot method helps preserve it. This process helps in decontaminating the mask, maintain its component's integrity to ensure proper fit to the wearer's face, and overall sanitize the product.

N95 Masks

Mask Sales Not Enough To Keep 3M From Having Disappointing Quarter
(Photo : (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images))
SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 28: 3M brand N95 particulate respirators are displayed on a table on July 28, 2020 in San Anselmo, California. 3M reported second quarter earnings that fell short of analyst expectations and showed overall sales falling 12.2 percent to $7.18 billion despite a ramp-up in sales of N95 face masks due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The N95 mask is said to be the most effective in filtration and protection against harmful particles found in the air. The mask is used globally against the coronavirus and is designed to completely seal-off the nose and mouth area from contamination. N95s are what most medical personnel and professionals use but is currently lacking in stock due to the global crisis.

"A cloth mask or surgical mask protects others from droplets the wearer might expel, but a respirator mask protects the wearer by filtering out smaller particles that might carry the virus" Civil and environmental engineering professor Thanh 'Helen' Nguyen said to Daily Mail.

FDA, however, frowns on public use of the mask, saying that cloth masks that have functional layers of protection are enough for the shortage of N95s directly affect the medical community mostly.

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Written by Isaiah Alonzo

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