Wearing face masks raises several questions, the most notable of which are: how do you clean a facemask? How often should facemask be washed? How do you start wearing a face mask properly? Your reusable face mask must be working at optimum effectiveness, so it will help if you follow a few simple steps.
Whether your mask is a DIY creation or a cloth mask with a face mask lanyard bought online, the following are the best practices to care for your reusable masks so they will be safe, clean, and long-lasting.
Machine Washing Reusable Face Masks
Remove any detachable parts like filters, bands, and face mask lanyard. To be on the safe side, you should wash your mask while wearing disposable gloves. Utilize a laundry bag made of mesh to minimize the chances of entanglement with other items in your laundry machine, such as other clothes.
Set the temperature of the water to high or higher than 140°F. Utilize your washing machine’s sanitize option if it has one. Use a cleaner with disinfectant or bleaching properties to make sure you’re getting rid of as many germs as possible. Allow your facemask to dry on the maximum dryer setting or put them out under direct sunlight.
Washing your reusable face masks by hand
If you have DIY masks, these will be more fragile than commercial masks. Thus, handwashing is the best option. You should wash your reusable facemask in hot or warm water and scrub it thoroughly for up to 30 seconds. Rinse and air dry after.
Applying more in-depth hand washing can be done by mixing liquid or powder cleaner with hot water, submerging the mask in the mixture, then scrubbing it for up to 60 seconds to get rid of dirt and soils before allowing it to soak further for 20 minutes. Afterward, rinse the mask thoroughly and let it dry. When hand washing the mask, be cautious not to apply too much detergent. Ensure you rinse it very well to get rid of detergent build-up that can result in skin irritation.
Drying a facemask
If you have a dryer, make sure to set it to the highest heating setting possible and put the mask inside the machine until it is totally dry. If you are washing and drying your mask by hand, flatten it until it is totally dry. To speed up the drying process, it is advisable to put your reusable mask under direct sunlight. You can also utilize a hairdryer but make sure it is 6 to 8 inches away from the facemask.
Storing face masks properly
If you have made the effort of sanitizing your mask between uses, make sure that you don’t waste your efforts by storing your mask incorrectly. Putting your mask loosely in your bag or car can transmit germs to other items and vice versa. The best option is to place your facemask in a covered container or sealed bag until you are ready to put them on.
After cleaning the mask, make sure that it is totally dry before storing them to prevent mold growth. Carefully fold your mask in half so that the side touches the mouth area on the inside. After you place the mask in its storage, it is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly.
Nowadays, a face mask is an indispensable accessory. Since medical-grade masks are for medical personnel in direct contact with the COVID virus, the general public turned to other options such as store-bought reusable face masks and DIY masks.
The great thing about these facemasks is that they are a good defense against COVID and other airborne diseases. Even experts have validated the usability and effectiveness of reusable masks. In these times, it will help you if you follow hygiene practices with your mask.