Heat is very effective in disinfecting objects from the coronavirus. That’s what researchers have discovered both here in the U.S. and abroad. Experiments done in China on the coronavirus SARS-CoV, which is similar to the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, found that coronavirus was completely deactivated—essentially sterilized—within 30 minutes when heated to 167 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to ConsumerLab.com, it took 60 minutes at 153 degrees and 90 minutes at 132 degrees to deactivate the virus. At 99 degrees or lower, the virus remained quite infectious for two hours, Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com and a nationally recognized researcher, tells Newsmax.
“This suggests that, for example, if you purchase takeout food and wish to disinfect the container as well as keep your food warm, you can simply place the container in a warm 150-degree oven or warming drawer for an hour to disinfect it,” Cooperman says. “Just make sure it is not directly exposed to a heating element so as not to pose a fire hazard.”
Cooperman warns that the worst thing you can do is place a recently purchased food container directly into a refrigerator and you should not “quarantine” a recently received package in a cold cellar or cold garage, as this will preserve the coronavirus and keep it infectious for days.
Heating a face mask in a conventional oven can also disinfect it. According to The Stanford Daily, a team of Stanford researchers found that a 30-minute exposure to 167 degree Fahrenheit temperatures could be used to disinfect N95 respirators, without a loss of efficiency and deformation, up to 20 times.
Engineering professor Yi Cui, who led the research, says that these findings could be “game changing for both hospitals and individuals due to the method’s ease of use.”
“It’s easy to generate heat with a reasonable uniformity, whether it’s in a convection oven or something else,” Cui said. Note that since many face masks contain metal, do not use a microwave oven to sterilize them.
Fox News reports that face masks can also be sanitized in your washing machine. According to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “masks should be routinely washed depending on frequency of use.”
And, just for the record, blasting hot air in your face won’t kill the virus, according to The New York Times
. A viral video showing a woman blowing hot air up her nose with a hair dryer to kill the coronavirus is not recommended. According to the World Health Organization, the virus cannot be killed by hand dryers, and it can survive both in hot and cold temperatures.
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