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How to Store and Wash Masks

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The following is from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As our numbers of COVID-19 continue to increase across the area, state and nation and mask mandates continue, caring for your mask is important.

            Store your cloth mask properly and wash it regularly to keep it clean. Consider having more than one mask on hand so that you can easily replace a dirty mask with a clean one. Make sure to remove your mask correctly and wash your hands after touching a used mask. When removing your mask:

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place mask in the washing machine
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

 

Store your mask

            Store wet or dirty masks in a plastic bag. If your mask is wet or dirty from sweat, saliva, make-up or other liquids or substances, keep it in a sealed plastic bag until you can wash it. Wash wet or dirty masks as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming moldy. Wet masks can be hard to breathe through and are less effective than dry masks.

Store masks that are not wet or dirty in a paper bag. You can store your mask temporarily to reuse later. Remove your mask correctly and wash your hands after touching a used mask. Keep it in a dry, breathable bag (like a paper or mesh bag) to keep it clean between uses. When reusing your mask, keep the same side facing out.

 

Wash your mask

            Wash your cloth mask whenever it gets dirty or at least daily. If you have a disposable face mask, throw it away after wearing it once.

Using a washing machine

  • Include your mask with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the appropriate setting according to the fabric label.

By hand

  • Wash your mask with tap water and laundry detergent or soap.
  • Rise thoroughly with clean water to remove detergent or soap.

Dry your mask

Dryer

  • Dry your mask completely in a warm or hot dryer

Air dry

  • Hang your mask in direct sunlight to dry completely. If you cannot hang it in direct sunlight, hang or lay it flat and let it dry completely.

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