These days, wearing face shields is another excellent way to minimise the risk of contracting viruses, especially if you’re in public spaces. While face shields are still new to many people, healthcare professionals are familiar with them. In medical settings, they usually wear it to prevent any chances of hazardous substances or bodily fluids from getting into their eyes, mouth or nose.
However, just like disposable facemask, face shields can wear out over time.
Face shields are entirely made of various types of plastics. And even the most durable products can still become prone to scratches or haze over time because of ineffective cleaning methods.
So, here are a few things that you need to learn regarding how to care for your face shield. These tips can help you get the most out of your face shield by maintaining its quality.
Essential Steps to Help You Clean Your Face Shield
Submerge It in Warm, Soapy Water
If you ever plan to get a face shield for personal use, you should know how to clean it each time you use it. One way to do so is by submerging the protective panel in warm water mixed with soap. Immersing it in a soapy water solution will effectively eliminate surface contaminants as you gently clean the surface with a cloth or a soft sponge. Also, don’t forget to wear gloves when cleaning your face shield.
Choose a Proper Cleaning Solution
If you’re going to submerge your face shield in a cleaning solution, it’s best to avoid using cleaners with ammonia or products made to clean glass surfaces. These cleaners can potentially damage your face shield, causing it to have a permanent cloudy surface. You should also avoid using paper towels, which can cause microscopic scratches.
Use a Wet Wipe
The next step you need to take to clean your face shield is by using antibacterial wipes. These are easily accessible disposable cleaning sheets that you can purchase anywhere. However, be careful when using these wipes to avoid having any residue. You can also use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes to sanitise your face shield.
Wipe All Surfaces and Corners
As you put on your gloves to clean your face shield, it’s essential to wipe the interior part of the shield, followed by cleaning the outside of the face shield. Using a clean cloth or a disposable wet wipe saturated with a cleaning solution is necessary.
Let It Dry
Once you’re done wiping your face mask, let it fully dry to remove all the cleaning solution. You can either let it air dry or utilise a clean absorbent towel to remove all the excess water. Doing so will prevent any dust or harmful pathogens from sticking to its surface.
Remove the Gloves
After it’s fully dry, you can finally remove your gloves and store your face shield inside the cabinet. Afterwards, wash your hands to ensure that you won’t get contaminated by any harmful pathogens.
Store It Properly
Face shields from Australia can become worn over time. So, to avoid your face shield from getting damaged easily, it’s highly advisable to store it on a flat and clean surface when not in use. You can also consider laying it over a towel to prevent further scratching. Also, avoid putting it in damp or hot places so that it won’t warp.
Replace if Damaged
If you notice that your face shield shows signs of damage, then it’s best to discard it properly and get a replacement. Using a damaged PPE will no longer be effective in protecting you from harmful pathogens and chemicals.
How to Properly Wear a Face Shield
Most face shields use plastic, which curves around the facial area for protection. It also uses an adjustable strap or elastic band to hold the plastic panel.
To maximise its protection, you need to ensure that your face shield’s panel covers past the chin and curves around the side areas of your face. Your face shield should also protect the space between your forehead and your shield’s headpiece.
Once the protective face shield is on your face, you need to always have it down. Remember not to push your shield up so that you can cover your entire face. If you feel that your face shield is loose, you can adjust the elastic by tightening it on the side.
It’s recommended to dispose of face shields after using them correctly. However, you can still use it repeatedly if it doesn’t show any signs of damage, such as cracks or any warps. Face shields are affordable and easy to replace. So, don’t hesitate to dispose of it if ever it gets damaged.
Remember that you should touch the front of the face shield at no time. Once you’re done using it, you need to take off the other PPE that you’re wearing first before taking off the face shield. You can start by tilting your head forward slightly and then grabbing the strap at the temple before pulling it along on top of your head.
If your face shield isn’t reusable, you need to dispose of it inside a bag or container, which will get transferred to a facility where it’ll get disinfected. Wash your hands afterwards to prevent any contamination.
These are only a few things that you need to remember when it comes to maintaining your face shield. Properly cleaning your face shield can effectively extend its life and guarantee maximum protection.
It’s crucial to learn how to maintain your face shields, especially if you’re a healthcare worker or often work outdoors. Not only does it keep you from harmful pathogens, chemicals and other contaminants, but it also reduces landfill waste while helping you stay protected at the same time.