How To Keep Your Face Shields Clean In Your Dental Practice
It is a necessity for dental practitioners and healthcare workers to use face shields when they’re at work. These face shields are most likely going to be reused a few times, so it’s important to know how to clean and disinfect this personal protective equipment (PPE). In these difficult times, everybody should know the correct way of cleaning face shields because this is something that can protect you from the virus.
The material of the face shield is plastic, but take note that this is not just any plastic. It includes polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate or known as PET or polyester. Some shields are more rigid than others and there are also shields that are more scratch-resistant, depending on the materials used.
Face shields should not be scratched in any way to retain its optical clarity. To avoid these scratches, you can submerge the face shield in warm water to dislodge particulate matter. Then add a small amount of liquid dish soap to reduce surface tension and to allow the soapy water to evenly disperse across the surface. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean the shield. After doing this, you can rinse the shield thoroughly in clear water and dry with a soft cotton towel or a microfiber cloth.
In addition to the process of cleaning the shield, avoid using household cleaners that contain ammonia or products formulated to clean glass surfaces as these have the potential to damage plastic surfaces that could create a cloudy surface permanently. Commercial cleaners containing any type of grit are not advised, including toothpaste. Also, avoid using paper towels as it can create microscopic scratches.
It is important to run a compatibility test for your chosen cleaner. Apply a small amount of the product in an inconspicuous place on the shield, preferably the edge. This would allow you to see whether you can use it on your shield.
Other dental health care workers wear additional protection aside from face shields, such as protective eyewear or goggles. This can also be cleaned and disinfected in the same way as shields. It is also suggested to store them in individual zip lock bags to reduce contact.