Many people begin to rely on cloth face coverings or reusable masks while reserving medical masks like N95 respirators for medical workers since the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended them for the general public. People must wash their reusable masks to use them properly even though they have ways of properly wearing and removing these reusable masks in general. People need to know how they can properly clean their reusable face masks, and here is what experts and the CDC have to say.
How People Should Wash Their Reusable Masks
As the review points out, people can clean their masks with water and soap. The same detergent and warm water people have been using before at home will work great. They can hand wash their masks or put them in the washer, and the CDC recommends the latter to be ideal for proper cleaning. They can also put it in the dryer on the hot setting or let it air dry to kill any potentially remaining particles.
According to some experts, people should wash their reusable masks with hot water in the washing machine and let it dry on high heat. They must hand-wash more delicate items for about 20 seconds with hot or warm water before going into the dryer. They can also iron reusable masks on the linen or cotton setting for peace of mind.
How Often Should People Wash Their Reusable Masks
According to the CDC, people can routinely wash their reusable masks based on use frequency. But that calls for some interpretations. Experts recommend washing masks daily, and that makes hand washing the preferred method. Other professionals recommend that people should wash their masks every day. If they are using it and running errands outside, they risk having droplets collect on the mask surface. People must take extra precautions if they feel they may have been exposed to any virus.
People should peel off their masks into a plastic bag when they arrive at their destinations if someone sneezes on them out on the subway. There is a higher likelihood that the mask could have been contaminated, and it is not ideal to wait until the end of the day before they wash it. It is vital to know that they will have to replace their masks if they become frayed or worn.
What About filters?
There are filters in some reusable masks that people need to wash, too. According to the Chicago Tribune report, specific filters, like HVACs, can be worn two or three times before they require washing. However, people decide to wash them as frequently as they wash their face masks. For the most part, filters are still meant for one-time use. It is essential to replace them as people often replace their reusable masks because of that. They also need to know that they will reduce the effectiveness of filters with every wash. People should hand-wash filters instead of using the washing machine to wash them because they are more delicate than masks.