Photo: Roanoke Fire-EMS

Area fire departments want to get the word out: do not put a face mask into a microwave in hopes of decontaminating it that way. Officials say for starters, it is not reliable — and it could start a fire. The CDC says masks “should be routinely washed depending on frequency of use”, and “a washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.”

ROANOKE CITY FIRE-EMS NEWS RELEASE: Social media can produce mass misinformation when it comes to the truth, and that is no different during this pandemic. That being said, there has been a message going around stating that you can microwave your cloth mask to disinfect it, which is NOT true. This method is not recommended for proper decontamination and it may also cause a fire.  While we have not had an instance here in the valley where we have been called out to, residents may still be doing this at home.