How to Wash a Reusable Cloth Face Mask
Since the economy has begun to reopen, the government is requiring the wearing of face masks while in public to help slow the spread of the novel corona virus. So, the most cost-efficient method is to wear a reusable cloth face mask rather than the disposable face masks. Therefore the need to Wash Your Reusable Cloth Face Mask.
Now that we must wear masks to protect ourselves when in public. Reusable cloth masks have become the new normal. So, here is how to best wash your reusable cloth face mask.
How Often Should You Wash Your Reusable Cloth Face Mask?
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a cloth face mask should be washed after each use. If you’re wearing a face mask every day, it’s a good to have a few in rotation, so you’ll always have a clean one available for your next wear.
What to Use for Washing Your Reusable Cloth Face Mask?
Regular Soap or laundry detergent. Soap and water will get masks clean. To clarify, warm water and any detergent you’re used to using at home should work great.
What about Bleach?
Wondering if you can use bleach to wash your reusable cloth face mask? Well, you can also use bleach to hand wash your mask. However, you will want to find a bleach that is safe for coloured clothing and is also intended for disinfection, so read the bleach label carefully! Try the ratio of 4 teaspoons of that bleach per 1 000 ml (1L) of room temperature water. Soak your mask in the bleach and water solution for about five minutes, then rinse it in cool or room temperature water.
To Machine Wash or To Hand Wash?
The simplest way to clean your reusable cloth face mask would be adding it into your washing machine along with your other laundry. However, for handmade masks, which might be more delicate than the store-bought kind, hand washing is the best way to go. I vote for hand washing, all day every day. This will also ensure that your contaminated mask does not interact with other things while waiting for wash day. Hand washing can be done immediately after use. Which is also safer.
How to Wash Your Reusable Cloth Face Mask
Hand Washing for Your More Delicate Masks
- 1st Step: Rinse/wet mask with running warm to hot water.
- 2nd Step: Lather mask with soap and scrub/rub for at least 30 seconds with the warm to hot water.
- 3rd Step: Leave mask to soak for a few minutes (5 -10 min) in the soap water.
- 4th Step: Rinse and pat out excess water with a clean towel
- 5th Step: Hang your mask up or lay it flat in direct sunlight to dry.
For your peace of mind, also iron mask on the cotton or linen setting to kill any remaining germs.
Machine Washing for Store-Bought Robust Masks
- 1st Step: Put mask in washing machine, with your regular detergent using the warmest water setting for the specific cloth of your mask.
- 2nd Step: If you have a dryer, place the mask inside on the highest heat setting. Otherwise, also just hang your mask up or lay it flat in direct sunlight to dry.
Again, for your peace of mind, also iron mask on the cotton or linen setting to kill any remaining germs.
How to Store Your Clean Cloth Face Mask
The best way is to store your clean face masks in a covered container until you’re ready to use them, but make sure they’re completely dry before putting them away, to prevent mould/fungus growth. I use a cute gift box to store my clean masks, while they are individually in a small sandwich zip-lock bag.
According to WHO, you should never wash or reuse a disposable medical face mask, these should be thrown away safely after use. Only wash and disinfect face masks that are meant for repeated use, i.e. those made from cloth.
Please Note: As more information about the corona virus pandemic is developing, some of the information in this blog may have changed since it was last updated. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the online resources provided by the CDC, and the World Health Organization.
Please Stay Safe, Wear Your Mask Correctly and Wash Your Hands Frequently.
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