Facemasks are there to protect the wearer and the people around you. When worn properly, it protects against allergens like pollen, other airborne particles like sawdust, and most importantly, germs. If someone is sick, wearing a face mask helps reduce the spread of germs expelled during talking, coughing or sneezing.
Proper cleaning of your cloth facemask is vital. We’re going to take you through some simple steps to ensure your facemask is safe.
Before You Begin
Before you put on your facemask, wash your hands and try not to touch it again until you remove it. To get the most protection from your mask, it should be worn tightly on the face and cover both your mouth and your nose. Make sure you always use the inside of the mask as the inside and never swop the sides around.
When you take your mask off, do not grab the front of the mask. Put your mask in the washing basket or sink, and if you don’t plan on washing it right away, put it in a paper bag. Remember to wash your hands after you take your mask off.
Washing your facemask
Whether it’s a bandana or a cloth facemask, you really should be washing your facemask after every use. It’s always better to have a few on hand so you have a clean one ready whenever you need it.
You can wash your facemask with a load of laundry in your washing machine, or soak it in a bucket with hot water and detergent. Remove any rubber bands or filters before washing and dispose of them.
If you’re handwashing your facemask, make sure you keep the mask away from your face at all times and wash your hands after washing your mask.
Use hot water at all times with your regular detergent. If someone around you is sick or not feeling well, adding a disinfectant to your water is recommended.
Pop your masks in a mesh laundry bag to keep them together and wash them with hot water. If you don’t wash your clothes with hot water, opt for the handwashing way instead.
You can pop masks into the tumble dryer to ensure the high-heat kills any lingering bacteria, hang them out to dry and iron afterwards.
Once your masks are clean, keep them in a sealed box like a shoebox or plastic container until you use them again.