Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has recommended that face masks should be worn compulsory in public places to avoid the transmission of COVID-19. And it is very important to know how to wash, dry, and disinfect the masks. Masks when not properly disinfected or washed, are carriers for both bacteria, including E. coli, and viruses — norovirus and coronavirus. Pathogens like bacteria and viruses can live on cloth fabric for up to 8-12 hours. So it is advised to wash the face masks after use.
How to clean, disinfect and dry your reusable mask
According to experts, a reusable mask should be washed daily after each use as this healthy habit is essential to prevent germ transmission. However, washing it daily may be time-consuming. So it is better to have a few extra face masks on hand so that they can be rotated.
Since reusable masks, made from cotton material, they stand up best to washing by hand or machine. These reusable masks are easiest to clean and dry properly.
Launder masks by completing these steps:
If your mask has detachable parts like interior filters or elastic ear bands, then remove them before washing it
- Use a mesh laundry so that the mask doesn't get entangled with other clothes in the washing machine
- You can set the machine water temperature to high or you can use water that is 140° Fahrenheit or higher
- Add a detergent that contains disinfectant or bleach so that it kills as many germs as possible. (Adding chlorine bleach to colored face masks will discolor and weaken the fabric of the face mask. Read instruction before using bleach).
- While using the dryer, keep the highest dryer setting or use direct sunlight to dry masks. If using the dryer, you can also add disinfectant to it
Washing by hand:
- Prepare a bleach solution, add five tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water\
- Soak the masks for at least five minutes, and rinse thoroughly
- Dry the masks in the sun for an hour or two.
How to wash Eco Airmask?
A simple wash at your sink with normal soap and cold water will keep the Airmask clean. Indoor drying helps in longer durability of the product. Do not bleach. Do not iron.
Note: It is best to allow masks to be exposed to the sun and heat for an entire day, giving that you flip on over mid-day.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with hand wash before and after handling soiled masks.
Face mask hygiene etiquette:
- Always sanitize or wash your hands before you put on your mask
- Make sure your mask is facing the right direction, so your face is not touching the exterior of the mask
- Wear your mask snuggly over both your mouth and nose
- Avoid touching the mask while you’re wearing it
- When you are removing the mask, touch only the attached strings or elastic bands
- After removing the mask, place it on a sanitized surface if you have to wear it again, or simply throw it directly into the washing machine. Then wash your hands again
Know more about washable and reusable Eco AirMask here.