All Massachusetts residents have been advised to wear masks as protective gear during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The medical-grade masks are the best, but there are many tutorials for how to make your own masks by sewing or tying cloths. There are also many instructions on how to properly store and wash these coveted items. However, some of these masks, even the professional ones, contain metal. Some of these “helpful tips” prove to be dangerous when this fact is not taken into consideration.

A recent Facebook post serves as a warning. “The Wareham Fire Department would like to advise everyone that the suggestion of ‘microwaving their masks will kill germs’ is false,” said the department on Facebook on Saturday, April 11. “Why? Many people forget that there is a metal nose wire in the masks and metal is not supposed to go in the microwave. If you do microwave a mask, your microwave could catch fire. This may also cause surrounding items in your kitchen to also catch fire and spread creating a mandatory visitation of your local fire department!”

The department posted a photo of a Wareham resident’s home after the fire claimed a good portion of the kitchen. According to WFD, there is a safer way to disinfect a mask that won’t involve a call to the fire department or a home repair team. “Be sure to wash or boil your masks in hot water only or follow any manufacturer recommendations for cleaning the masks.”

I know waiting for the water to boil might seem like it will take forever, but we literally have nothing but time on our hands, so it’s worth taking the time to do it right.

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