Cleaning Your Face Masks

May 7, 2020
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The CDC and WHO recommend everyone wear a face mask while in public places. But as we are finding out, they get dirty. So once you take your mask off, what do you do with it? That depends on what type of mask you’re wearing. You can launder DIY cloth masks or bandanas in the washing machine, but some experts suggest washing them separate from your other garments. Opt for the hottest setting on both your washer and dryer, and use regular laundry detergent according to the instructions. If you were able to secure a N-95 respirators or surgical mask, you can re-use them as you need to, but don’t throw them in the laundry. Instead, time is the best way to sanitize a mask you want to reuse. Hang the mask to dry or leave it in a paper bag for 72 hours before wearing it again. Use a paper bag, which is a breathable material, instead of a plastic one as it can be an incubator for whatever fluid was inside of the mask. You can use the bag trick several times (with clean bags) to re-wear one mask, but keep an eye on the integrity of the mask to make sure it’s still going to block out airborne particles. A few signs that your mask—surgical, N-95, or cloth—is ready to toss: If it’s visibly soiled, if there’s obvious wear on fibers, or if any part of it is damaged, including the ear loops.

SOURCE: Apartment Therapy

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