I have recently received a request for info about washing masks for fire fighters breathing apparatus. So I have sent the enquirer the info that The Miele Company, manufacture a large dishwasher type machine in the laboratory/instrument washing department with a quick explanation of the points to consider and what is involved in doing the job. This machine comes with special inserts in the wash baskets that will hold the breathing masks and direct the flow of water and detergent into the crevices of the masks, which means they can be cleaned and disinfected at the same time to a high level of cleanliness if not sterile, but to destroy all harmful bacteria.
This high pressure jet of water and detergent is the mechanical action part of the wash process as described in the sinners diagram. As the water starts off cold or just warm and the temperature is increased as the main wash cycle proceeds as the wash temperature approaches 60°C the detergent is released or injected into the wash to start dissolving the the grease and organic elements of the soiling; this is the chemical and temperature portions of the sinners diagram of the wash program.
This delay is to stop the machine from building up foam which would hamper the washing action during the early stages of the wash cycle Most these factors of the wash process and the explanation of the sinners diagram can be studied in more detail on my main Laundry and dish-washing info website there are links at the bottom of page.
These masks can be thermally disinfected in the wash and the final rinse up to 95°C with the temperature held for up to 10 minutes. This would kill all the bacteria and pathogenic organisms and most viruses. There are machines available for most pieces that may need washing on a regular basis, such as the rubber clogs that are worn by surgical staff, or printed circuit boards after soldering to remove flux. surgical instruments and laboratory glass ware. I am also aware that there are washing machines large enough to wash aeroplanes and railway carriages as well as hospital beds etc. ,
BUT they all use the same methods of mechanical action, chemical action, temperature, and time, to produce the cleanliness outcome desired by the customer. If you have any stories to tell us on the subject please go to our readers tips page and submit your copy and pictures if you have any to my website at Laundry and dishwasher information.
Author Brian Gable website Laundry and Dishwasher Information