The culture of wearing face masks was preserved for doctors and other medical experts standing high infection risks. It’s until last year the general public started interacting with these pieces of clothing. Thus, it’s understandable if most people are still ignorant of these masks’ basic maintenance requirements.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends wearing masks as one of the measures of preventing the Coronavirus. It says that these masks have protective barriers that catch respiratory droplets people release by talking, coughing, or sneezing. It also says that these droplets transmit the virus between persons. A healthy person will most likely contract the disease by inhaling droplets from an infected individual.
Further, a healthy person is most likely to contract the virus if they touch an infected mask and then touch their nose or mouth before washing their hands. Therefore, it’s critical to clean and sanitize masks regularly to reduce infection risks.
So, how can you safely store, clean, and disinfect your face mask? This post delves into the full details surrounding these three maintenance areas. This information will enable you to maintain masks and protect yourself from the Coronavirus. Keep reading to learn more and get the most out of face masks.
Table Of Contents
Safe Removal and Storage
Safe removal and storage are critical to how much you can benefit from face masks. It’s recommended that you wear your mask until you finish your trips, errands, or work shifts. It’s safer for you and others to remove it when you’re away from crowds. But how do you safely remove your face mask before storing it? Here are tips for safe mask removal.
- Wash or sanitize your hands using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
- Avoid touching the mask’s front or your face;
- Grasp the ear loops or untie the ties. If the mask has a pair of ties, unfasten the bottom ties before the top ones;
- Fold the mask and place it in the laundry, a disposable bin, or a washable bag for washing.
- Afterward, clean your hands.
Regarding storage, you can store your masks in plastic bags. If they are wet, keep them in sealed polythene bags before washing them. It’s advisable to wash dirty masks immediately to stop them from accumulating mold.
You also need to pay attention to how you store dry or clean face masks. It’s still safe to store masks for reuse. Ensure you follow all the safe removal guidelines discussed earlier before safely storing them. Store all such masks in dry and breathable bags to keep them clean before reusing them.
It’s also prudent to keep your masks in a safe and dry place like your pocket when removing them before drinking or eating outside the home. Don’t forget to wash or sanitize your hands after removing the mask, then join your buddies for a meal or drink. Put back your mask with the same side facing outside after finishing your meals. Remember to sanitize or wash your hands after putting on your mask.
Washing and Disinfecting
Washing and disinfecting your masks are critical if you want to benefit from them. The following tips will help you clean and dry your masks.
- You can wash many masks in your regular laundry using hot water. Those made of fabrics like cotton are easily washable in this manner.
- Don’t launder disposable, blue surgical masks. Instead, throw them away when they are visibly dirty or damaged.
- Tumble dry your fabric masks in the dryer on a high setting after washing them.
- You may use non-scented laundry detergents if you are allergic to perfumes so that it’s easier to wear them.
- You may also hand wash your masks using hot, soapy water by scrubbing them for at least 20 seconds and then drying them in the dryer.
- You can also dry your masks in direct sunlight. Alternatively, you may hang or lay them flat to allow them to dry well.
How Often Should You Clean Face Masks?
So, how often should you clean or disinfect your face mask? No rigid rules exist to dictate when you must disinfect or clean your masks. Disinfecting or cleaning frequency depends on different factors. For example, your usage frequency or how much the masks are exposed to dirt determine how frequently you need to clean them.
But if you want to be extra careful or think someone near you is affected, wash the masks immediately after use. You may also wash or disinfect face masks after every use if someone sneezes or coughs near you.
There you have it. This post offered all the facts you need to store, disinfect, and wash your masks. Use these insights to get the best of masks.