Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, it is now being advised that face masks should be worn as a way to protect ourselves and others from contracting the virus. However, these face masks are now in short supply as suppliers as struggling to keep up with the influx in demand for them, causing prices to spike.
This is because these masks are generally advised to be worn once and thrown away, and even then, they can only be worn for a few hours at a time. This means that for some, especially healthcare workers, they might go through several masks a day. However, Taiwan’s FDA is now suggesting that it is possible that these masks can be disinfected and reused, and all you need is a rice cooker.
Taiwan’s FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung recently made a PSA and a video in which they showed that by using a rice cooker, you can potentially disinfect the mask. Basically how it works is that it uses the rice cooker’s steamer function where after about 10 minutes, the masks should be good enough to be reused.
This will require that the masks are not soiled or torn, and that water should not be placed in the rice cooker during the process. We can’t say for sure if this method works so we can’t advise you to follow this technique. However, if you are in a pinch, it could be worth looking into, although you should probably do a bit more research to make sure that it really works.