Caring for your cloth face mask

Sep 21, 2020


Thanks to COVID-19, most of us have gotten used to wearing a mask when we’re out and about. Along with social distancing, handwashing and other safety measures, masking up is one of the best things we can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Just like any other wearable item, your cloth face mask will need to be washed on a regular basis. According to the CDC, you can effectively wash your mask in a washing machine or by hand. here are two options:

Washing your mask in the washing machine

Toss your mask in with the rest of your clothes when you run a load of laundry. You may want to place the mask in a mesh bag intended for delicates to keep the straps and ear loops from getting tangled up with other items.

Use the same detergent you use to wash your clothes. If you know the type of cloth the mask is made from, use the warmest water setting that’s appropriate for that material.

When drying the mask, use the highest temperature setting on your dryer.

Washing your mask by hand

First, prepare a diluted bleach solution (such as 1/3 cup of disinfecting bleach to a gallon of room-temperature water). Make sure the bleach contains 5.25% to 8.25% sodium hypochlorite. (Note that even a diluted bleach solution may cause some fading in the fabric.)

Allow the mask to soak in the bleach solution for five minutes. After five minutes, rinse the mask with water.

You can toss the cleaned mask in the dryer or you can air dry it, ideally in direct sunlight.

Whichever cleaning method you use, make sure the mask is completely dry before you put it on.