How To Wash Your Respirator

A respirator is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is designed to protect the wearer against a variety of harmful airborne contaminants. Washing your respirator correctly will make it last longer and provide a better seal when using it. In this video, we walk you through the correct way to wash your respirator along with some helpful tips on maintaining it in good condition.


Hey, Josie here with best in the West Safety. Today we are here to show you how to maintain your face pieces - just your routine maintenance for your respirator masks.

We do want to first protect our hands, so I’ll glove my hands. We have two face pieces here, one is assembled and one is already disassembled. So when you wash your face piece you of course want to remove the filters.

And what I'd like to do is remove the exhalation valve cover. I'm going to put it in a warm soapy solution. Here we have two buckets – one with our warm soapy solution and one with our rinse water.

Then we have an inhalation valve and we have an exhalation valve we're going to remove those valves.

This will give you a very thorough cleaning of your face piece. And don't worry about mixing up the valves because they're pretty standardized. You won't have to worry if you've got the inhalation valve and the exhalation valve mixed up.

Here you have a bare face piece. We're just going to throw everything in the rinse water. I've got a soft microfiber cloth here. You just want to make sure you clean the inside of the face piece and of course the outside of the face piece.

It is getting warm in Las Vegas so you’ll probably will be sweating a lot (all that sweat and dirt gets stuck in your respirator). You just want to make sure you thoroughly clean everything and kind of swish it around in the soapy water and then you can place it in your rinse water.

I have exhalation valve one, exhalation valve two and inhalation valve three - so we have three of them here. Dip those in the rinse water.

And you also want to make sure you thoroughly wash your head harness, and I'm just doing this very quickly. You do want to leave them in the warm soapy solution for about 15-20 minutes. Then them in our rinse water. And you can just rub your gloved hand on the inside make sure you get all the soap residue off.

Next, take it out and put it on a dry paper towel or a dry cloth. Same thing with your head harness and your exhalation valves. Now if you need it for quick use and you have an extra head harness, we can dry these [exhalation valves] off for quick use [using a paper towel]. You just want to pat dry the exhalation valves and then you can just reassemble your face piece. And we're going to show you that in the next video, so stay tuned.


Hi again I just want to recap our cleaning process. So in the soapy solution, you want to make sure you use a mild detergent.

The water should be at 120 degrees - both the rinse water and the warm soapy solution water. And they should both be filled with potable water.

Make sure that you air dry your face piece or you dry it with a clean cotton cloth or microfiber cloth.

You also want to make sure that you don't ever store your face piece a hot car or somewhere hot because it will cause degradation and drying out the other parts.

You always want to store your face piece in a clean plastic bag free from dirt and debris.

Always refer to your manufacturer's instructions for use. Every respirator comes with an insert for instructions for use.

In that insert are also parts so you can order spare parts for your respirator or safety gear.

Some manufacturers will allow regular old household bleach as a disinfectant for your faces. Once again refer to the instructions for use.

This has been your Best in the West Safety minute.