How to Clean a 3M Respirator

A reusable 3M respirator mask can help keep you from getting dirt, dust, chemicals and other harmful substances into your lungs while you work on a building, cleaning or outdoor project.
A resuable respirator can also save you money, since you will not have to put on a new mask each day. To keep your respirator working properly, you will need to clean it after each use.

Step 1

Remove the filter cartridge from the 3M respirator mask.

Step 2

Wipe the mask down with a respirator cleaning wipe. The 3M company manufactures prepackaged wipes designed specifically for use with respirator masks.

Step 3

Combine two gallons of water with one ounce of household bleach. Soak the facepiece in this solution for five minutes to disinfect it. Remove the facepiece from the solution and rinse it thoroughly with warm water. The bleach solution is used in addition to the 3M respirator cleaning wipes--the wipes clean, but they do not disinfect.

The bleach solution is also effective for cleaning hardened dirt and other contaminants. If there is difficult dirt on your respirator, leave it in the bleach solution for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. You can then use a clean bottlebrush to remove the residue. A bottlebrush allows you to clean hard-to-reach areas of your mask without damaging it.

Step 4

Let the respirator dry. Once it is thoroughly dry, store it in a sealable container, such as a plastic bag, until you are ready to use it again. Do not reinsert the same cartridge filter before storing the mask. You will insert a new filter the next time you use the mask.

Step 5

Store the bag containing the respirator mask in a clean area at room temperature. If possible, store the mask with your tools, so you will not need to look for it the next time you need it.

Things You Will Need

  • 3M respirator mask wipes
  • Household bleach
  • Water
  • Bottlebrush

About the Author

Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.