Wearing a face mask is a new experience for many of us. We’ve had to learn how to properly wear one for the first time in our lives, but now after mastering wearing one, the question is – how do I care for my face mask now? Here are some tips!
When you are finished wearing your face mask, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you first fold the mask so that the outside of the mask is folded inward and against itself, then place in a clean paper bag. We’ve all seen the masks hanging from rear view mirrors in cars recently (a replacement to the fuzzy dice from back in the day) but this is actually not encouraged as a used masked could be spreading contaminates into the air of the car. In fact, it’s actually illegal to hang your mask from your rear view mirror in many states in the United States.
The disposable, surgical-type masks that are often blue in colour are just that, disposable. They are not reusable and therefore should not be washed, but rather thrown in the garbage after each use.
For reusable masks, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicates masks should be washed after every use. You can wash these in your regular laundry using hot water, and then drying them on high heat in your dryer. You can also hand wash your masks, using hot, soapy water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. To dry your masks you can put them on high heat in the dryer or you could air dry with laying out in direct sunlight being optimal.
And of course, before and after handling your mask you should always clean your hands by washing with soap for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer.