How to Wash and Disinfect A Reusable Mask? Several departments of health insist on the importance of a clean and sterilized face mask. Hopefully, you already have your reusable mask or made one if you are DIY savvy. Depending on how often you use your cover, it is advisable to wash it after every use, or every night.
After exposure, your mask needs disinfection as you risk coming to contact with microorganisms. And let’s face it, a germaphobe or not, using a contaminated face mask is an ultimate cringe-worthy moment.
Cleaning your face mask requires more than water and soap. The more intense the disinfection is, the safer you are. Just because the cover is reusable, it does not mean you can use it multiple times without taking measures. With the ongoing pandemic, you ought to take caution and avoid abusing your face mask. Even though the chances are minimal that you might contract a virus from an unwashed face mask, better safe than sorry.
Additionally, disinfecting the cover ensures an infected individual minimizes the risk of infection to those around them.
In recent times, a face mask has become a must-have item for people worldwide. So, how do you maintain and wash your face mask? And do you follow the right steps when disinfecting your mask?
A cloth or reusable covering is easier to clean as compared to more complex masks. You can either machine-wash or hand-wash your mask. Subsequently, you have to dry and disinfect your mask in addition to the regular wash. The methods listed below are only for reusable face masks, and not foam, surgical, or N95 covers.
The first thing you need to do is gather everything you need to decontaminate your face covering. In this case, you require hot water and detergent or soap, and an iron box (optional). The heat is responsible for killing the microbes, whereas the soap is an antibacterial element.
As it suggests, your washing machine will do most of the work. All that is on your to-do list is setting the right temperature. You can wash your face coverings with the other laundry if you want to save on time and detergent/soap. Next, utilize the hottest setting on your machine, which, without a doubt, eradicates all germs. Note that you do not require special or antibacterial soap- ordinary soap works perfectly.
Use a hot-water cycle, the hottest setting you have, and wait for the magic. A washing machine saves your time and energy, and the flexible heat and drying settings are a plus.
There are several reasons why hand-washing is a suitable option. To begin with, the dyes from another laundry will not affect your face covering. Also, this method needs little preparation and is more straightforward. Start by adding soap to warm or hot water. Wash your mask thoroughly for at least one-and-a-half minutes.
This cleaning step is necessary to get all the dirt and germs out. It is also an advantage to add disinfectant soap or liquid for further cleanliness. A helpful tip is to boil your reusable face mask in water once a week for disinfecting benefits.
It would be such a pity to wash and disinfect your mask properly but dry it wrongly. When this step is concerned, heat is also a key factor. Therefore, dry your face mask in direct sunlight for at least an hour or use the hot setting on your dryer. Afterward, iron your cover to ensure full heat treatment.
After multiple uses, a face cover might reduce efficiency, and instead of cleaning, you should discard it. First off, a mask that does not entirely cover your mouth and nose is useless. Subsequently, get rid of a face covering that has loose straps, or has stretched out with time.
If your mask cannot stay on your face, throw it away or adjust it (for DIY reusable masks). Finally, holes and tears are another sign that your cover has outlived its purpose.
Not all masks are reusable, and you should not reuse those intended for a single-use. Otherwise, you can damage the face mask. Always remember to wash your hands and sanitize before and after using your face cover.