Introduction: Covid-19 Soapy Air Trap, Air Handlers and Soapy Bag Filters
This instructable is pretty straight forward on how to go about cleaning the air in your home of dust and contangents, specifically Coronavirus strains taking advantage of the one and only shout..."Soap"!
This issue of regular soap is kind of two-fold. I have seen that it is believed to break the bond between the virus and its surface to be washed away with water or that soap breaks down the virus so it falls apart like a house of cards. Personally, I tend to lean towards the latter of the two, but both effects on Covid-19 is likely.
I will walk you through what simple steps I have taken with our living room air purifier to trap and kill cotangents from the air. With so many struggling against Covid-19 in their areas and homes, the simple tricks that can cover many possibilities at once will likely be the most beneficial in the end. I hope this is one of those.
I have been very happy with how this little trick has played out in our home and it makes the air quite enjoyable when running. Enjoy.
First, get to your stock air filters and remove them.
Behind the filters with this brand and model are a stiff, mesh material as well and after pulling them out we get down to the important part. The blower wheel, squirrel cage or fan.
At this point you need to consider and examine just how strong the air draw is going to be and take the necessary steps to ensure that your soapy bag will not be drawn into the blower if you decide to place the bag ahead of the blower as I have chosen to do with ours. As you can see the blower is already designed to prevent things like a bag from getting caught into it, however I have chosen to add some wire grate for extra measure.
I took some old garden fencing I had and cut two pieces for the top and bottom inlets to the blower. To set the wire in place I just used some foam weather stripping tape. Now it's ready for the bag.
Since the effectiveness of the air purifier is based solely on soapy water it is not really important what material you use is. You should consider that you want a mesh like fabric that causes particles to twist, turn and snare as it passes through the material. You also want the material to be a little stiff and not to floppy. It really depends on what you have and what you want.
The picture above (only for demonstration) is felt with cotton batting approximately 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick. I would suggest around a 1/2 inch thick for most cases.
As you can see here the filter I have at the moment is pretty sloppy done. It's my second bag that I wanted to try made simply of some cotton tees I had laying around sandwiched between some felt sheets. it's a little floppy but works just fine for hours.
You need to know that the soapy solution I mix is about 3 tablespoons of laundry detergent to about 2 gallons of water. Refresh your solution as required, but unlike bleach you don't have to have a new batch everyday. I have also played around with adding salt to the solution for a saline, ocean breeze effect. I've found that about 2% salt creates a nice saline atmosphere and helps to open up the sinuses, however considering how the coastal areas are fairing against the coronavirus you may want to forgo that idea for awhile. I don't really think it has anything to do with the outbreak, but you never know. It's a personal call.
Simply keep your bag in the soapy water solution, wring out and run in the air handler until dry. Should you or anyone suffer discomfort or any kind of ill effect, discontinue.
Hope you enjoy!
P.S. Soapy water traps and any kind of safe trapping, sanitation/disinfection method for air handling systems should be possible with a little thought and engineering. Residential and/or Commercial. Think before you make it airborne though. Smarts!