People are more concerned about the dangers of viruses and germs than ever before, and rightly so in a world that’s only just starting to recover from the covid-19 pandemic. Along with fabric face masks, more and more people are opting to wear plastic face shields, whether working in the medical profession, facing customers, or simply going about their day.
But are they really reusable? How long do they last? Can you clean a face shield? We’ve put together this guide to explain the best way to clean a plastic face shield, along with giving some more context on the subject as a whole.
Can You Reuse a Face Shield?
One of the primary benefits of using a face shield either as an alternative to or in conjunction with a face mask is that it can be used time and time again, even indefinitely if well-maintained. Unlike those disposable blue medical masks that you’ve probably seen way too much of, a face shield is more investment, but it’s vital to know how to clean face shields at home if you want to get maximum use out of them.
But you may be wondering “how do I clean my plastic face shield?” and that’s a reasonable question, as with just one use you can assume that your shield will have picked up plenty of germs from both you and the outside world.
How to Clean Face Shields
According to this graphic from the Cleveland Trinity Health Clinic, there are six steps to cleaning your face shield properly.
- Put on clean gloves and get a disinfectant wipe: There’s no use taking a disinfectant wipe with soiled hands, as you’ll still be spreading any germs on them onto your shield.
- Wipe down the front (patient/customer facing) side: Make sure that at this stage you’re using a non-bleach-based, EPA-approved disinfectant wipe, and allow some time for it to sink into the shield and take effect.
- Wipe down the inside and other areas of the shield: Once again, allow some dwell time for the disinfectant to work its magic on the shield. Also. make sure to avoid the padded foam area.
- Wipe away any streaks/cloudiness: After wiping with disinfectant there might be some residue, but it can easily be wiped away using a clean and damp cloth, or an alcohol pad.
- Allow time for air drying: Your face shield has to be totally dry before you try to use it again.
- Check for any damage or compromised areas: It’s all well and good knowing how to clean face shields, but if there’s damage, you’ll still need to replace it, so be vigilant in this step.
How to Clean Face Shields: Final Thoughts
Now you should know how to clean a plastic face shield properly so you can use it over and over again, but remember that if it’s starting to deform, bend, or display any signs of damage, there are other options on the market. You can find refills of the plastic visors, or alternatively, you can purchase a sturdier model for the sake of longevity.
Either way, the most effective way to use them is still with a face mask underneath, so whatever you do with your face shield, make sure that you always feel as secure and comfortable as possible. Now get out there, and stay safe!