As we are all slowly allowed out of our homes there has been a surge of people wearing reusable face masks but to retain their effectiveness they need to be kept clean.
As lockdown procedures are starting to ease, the need forcloth face masks is increasing. While you can make these reusable masks from fabric around the home or even buy them online, cleaning them regularly is also extremely important. Luckily, cleaning your reusable face mask is much easier than you think.
Caring for your face mask.
While you can use your mask time and time again you actually need to wash it after each use.
While some may say that you need to soak your mask in boiling water or use a special antibacterial soap, these recommendations are simply unnecessary. You can actually wash your cloth masks alongside your clothes in the washing machine.
A machine wash may seem excessive if you need to use a mask every day and for situations like this, a handwash is completely fine too. Dr Raymond Fong, the chief and senior consultant at Changi General Hospital's Infectious Diseases department gives details on an effective handwash:
Wash your mask with warm, soapy water for at least one minute and dry it, preferably in the sun. Regular cleaning, especially after a day’s use or when the mask is visibly soiled or moist is most important.
Dr Fog also strongly recommends drying your mask in direct sunlight:
One study suggested that the duration of sun exposure required to reduce contamination of some viruses by 90 per cent is over an hour of direct exposure to midday sun.
Things to remember.
Just remember, when taking off your mask make sure you don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth and make sure to wash your hands after touching a dirty mask.
Also, if you can't wash your mask straight away then make sure you store it in a separate area where you won't get it confused for a clean mask.