It has recently been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all Americans wear a protective cloth face covering when out and about especially in public settings where social distancing measures are recommended.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, a chemical formulator, chemist, pharmacist, or any other licensed health professional. This is not medical advice and if you choose to use this information, you do so at your own risk.
I spent the past few days making cloth face masks for my family and myself.
I wanted to be everyone has their own plus some extras and even though we intend to be very careful and only wear our individual masks it’s still going to be extremely important to disinfect our face masks and to wash them properly after each use.
Here are the two simplest and most convenient ways to clean and disinfect cloth face masks and coverings.
How To Clean Cloth Face Masks in the Washer
Wash your face mask in hot water with laundry detergent. Use the sanitize setting on your washing machine if you have one. If not, no worries.
Now that you’ve washed your face mask it’s time to dry it. Use the high heat setting just as you would use for kitchen or bathroom towels.
How To Clean Cloth Face Maks in a Sink
If access to a washer and dryer is not available or limited, you can wash your DIY cloth face mask in your kitchen sink.
Fill your sink with the hottest water possible. Add dish soap as the sink is filling so that the water is sudsy.
Let the mask soak in the hot and soapy water for at least five minutes. Set a timer to remind yourself. I use my Alexa for this and everything else timer related and no touching required.
Swish your mask around a little in the suds. Make sure every part of it is fully saturated and exposed to the soapy water. Rub it between your hands if so desired for a little extra scrubbing power.
Let the water drain and rinse out the mask well. Give your mask a good squeeze (I like to roll and squeeze to minimize wrinkles) and hang to dry.
How To Put on a Mask Properly
Before putting your mask on wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Your mask should fit snugly over your nose and mouth.
Avoid touching the mask while you’re wearing it. If you do, repeat the hand sanitizing process again.
How To Remove a Used Cloth Face Mask Safely
Proper removal of your mask is important as well. It’s something you may not consider but it’s all part of this new way of living (at least for now).
Wash your hands first. If soap and water is not available use hand sanitizer FIRST before removing your mask. If you can’t find hand sanitizer, you can make your own using this simple recipe.
Once your hands have been sanitized now it is safe to remove your mask. Be careful to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Remove mask. Put it in a bag or somewhere that you won’t have to touch it again until it’s time to clean.
Remember to WASH your hands (or sanitize) again once your mask has been removed. Also, wash your hands when you touch any masks to place them in the washer or sink.