A mask full of contamination can be injurious to your health. It is precisely what the New England Journal of Medicine study mentions. As per the study, the COVID-19 virus stems from the SARS-CoV-2 can live on various surfaces for up to 72 hours. What is shocking is that the same virus can be present on fabric for just as long. In these circumstances, one needs as much protection as possible, so wear a mask and wash it more often. Because on the other hand, the mask itself could go contaminated, and that could surface challenges for the next decades. We dedicate this article to everyone out there that wears or handles the reusable cloth face mask.
Must-Follow Guidelines for Effective Mask Care:
Every time you wear or remove your mask, you should comply with the following guidelines.
When Machine-Washing My Cloth Mask
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend running your contaminated mask through a washing machine. This means you can launder your used face mask using warm or hot water. Today’s washing machines offer a sanitizing cycle option to their users, and well, that goes in your best interest. Otherwise, using regular laundry detergent could be an effective way to clean your mask, but experts pointed out those detergents that cause residue on the fabric. This would lead the person to develop skin issues, and honestly, nobody wants to invite more trouble these days.
Instead, a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent can be put to work but do your research to make sure.
When Hand-Washing My Cloth Face Mask
Sustainable cloth coverings such as our Reusable Cloth Face Mask in the USA are cleanable through hand washing.
A successful way to hand-wash includes hot water and laundry detergent. There are endless ways to hand-wash your mask, but the science goes into following a procedure correctly. Anyways, once your mask is clean, place it over the top of your dryer, setting the heat at the highest. As bacteria die from a higher temperature, this would be best. However, this is no hard and fast rule as you can air-dry the mask in the absence of a dryer.
Number of Times You Should Clean a Cloth Face Mask
As a rule, one should wash the cloth face mask after every application. Besides, if you notice that your mask is moist due to mucous or other body fluid, it is better to discard it. The reason is any fluid compromises the face mask’s usability, harming the filter, irritating your skin, and much more. Keep in mind that wearing a wet mask is certainly is not ideal.
Removing and Caring for a Dirty Face Mask
It goes without question that every time individuals handle the mask, they should thoroughly wash their hands (before and after use). Here is what you need to do:
Wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds to the minimum.Hold the mask from the ear straps, making sure you do not touch the mask’s front.
If you are outside, put your mask in the bag or any container until you can wash it. However, if you happen to be at home, then wash it right away. No matter where you are if you are using a bag to store your mask, make sure you wash it and wash your hands.
Decontaminating a Cloth Mask
Depending on your convenience, you can hand or machine-wash your face mask. The only thing to keep in mind is the mask should be rinsed with fabric detergent and water.
To be completely safe, wash your mask in 140°F water that is a perfect temperature recorded ever to kill bacteria. Simultaneously, washing with detergent or bleach is equally essential. This is crucial, as SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus where the virus particles are wrapped in an outer coat made from the cell’s plasma membrane. Using the soap will have it firmly stick to the virus particles, and when you rinse, the soap and the virus particles will be washed away.
The Best Way to Store a Mask
People are regularly encouraged to store masks in places where they remain unexposed to contaminants. We have figured out a spot that plays a massive role in the spread of the virus. This is because when you hang a mask on the rear view mirror in the presence of an air conditioner, the contaminants start to elope and circulate the environment. This would increase the chance of containing the virus. Hence, you need to be extra cautious when you need to store your mask in the short-term.
It is already known that the outer side of the mask is most likely contaminated. Therefore, the most recommended route to remove the mask is from the ear loops. After removing, you can fold it, keeping the inner parts intact. With this, people also must wash or sanitize their hands immediately after handling the mask.
Our apologies for taking enough time because if you mishandle your mask at the end of the day, it will lead to a bad situation. It is avoidable but only if you handle the mask the way we have described throughout the article. After all, we have to save each other’s lives.