Hi, I hope this post finds you all well. I'm not sure I'd call myself a prepper but I'm a pretty methodic person and a huge germaphobe so I've been doing my best to prepare for a huge epidemic. Hopefully this won't come to pass in the Americas but one has to be ready for the worst.
Anyway, I'm planning to move to a more rural area than I am in right now and have a few dozen disposable n95 masks for the family. And my dad has a reusable 3m mask that he used for fumigating once (I bought it for him) and several spare filters. So I was wondering if reusable masks can be used during an epidemic.
The reason I'm asking is the disposable ones you can just throw away after each use. Say you go to buy food supplies, you come back home and throw it in the trash. But with the reusable ones, you need to wash them each time you get home from the outdoors, don't you? And what about the cartridges, since they're usually longer lasting, about 40 hours continuous use on them, are we supposed to throw them out after each trip or do we place them in a bag while the facepiece is being cleaned? I'm just worried that the virus could get smared all over the cartridge if it's placed in a bag. Or maybe I'm being paranoid.
Anyways, what is the cleaning protocol for using this more complex type of mask during an epidemic? I'm sure it's a little bit different than what we'd do if we just used the mask for painting since paint will not multiply or infect you if it's not cleaned and stored to perfection.
Thanks so much for any advice!