How to Safely Remove a N95 Mask

You have protected yourself from breathing in contaminants by correctly fitting and wearing your N95 mask, now you need to make sure your don’t spread contamination when you remove your mask.

Here is how to remove your N95 Surgical Mask respirator.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water before touching or taking off the mask.
  2. Important. Do not touch the front part of the mask, it may be contaminated. Only touch the elastic bands.

3a. For face masks with elastic bands securing the mask, lift the bottom strap over your head first and then pull the top strap over your head to remove the mask in a motion away from you so the front of the mask doesn’t touch anywhere.

3b. For face masks with ties, remove the bottom tie first and then the top tie

3c. For face masks with straps over the ears, hold the straps, take each side off one by one and then remove the mask away from you, again not letting the front of the mask touch anything.

  1. If you are going to re-use your mask, hang it up somewhere by the bands so the front of the mask isn’t touching anything.
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and water again.

Once you have your mask off make sure to practice good cleanliness practices. Wash your hands with soap as soon as you enter your house, before eating, after going to the washroom etc. Also refrain from touching your mouth, nose, eyes if your hands haven’t been properly cleaned first.

Properly removing your mask isn’t difficult, but it is very important. The main thing to remember is to assume that the front of the mask is contaminated. Don’t touch it with your hands or let the front of the mask touch anything while you are removing it.