The Right Way to Clean Cloth Face Masks


Along with social distancing, wearing a face mask is one of the best tools we have for fighting COVID-19. Because of the low supply of medical-grade masks, many people have turned to cloth masks that can be purchased at a reasonable price or homemade. 

To make sure you’re getting the best protection as well as protecting others, you need to make sure your fabric mask is clean. Otherwise, the mask itself can become a contaminated surface that’s potentially hazardous to anyone who handles it.

Here’s how often you should wash your mask as well as how to do so.

If using a washing machine:
  1. Include your mask in the regular laundry
  2. Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth
  3. Lay flat and let dry completely, or dry on the highest heat setting
  4. Store clean masks in a clean place when you are not using them.
If washing by hand:
  1. Deeper hand-laundering can be done by diluting liquid or powder detergent in hot water
  2. Scrub the mask for at least 20 seconds 
  3. When hand-washing masks, be careful not to overuse detergent, and to rinse very well, so there’s no detergent residue that could cause skin irritation
  4. Lay flat and let dry completely, or dry on the highest heat setting
How Often You Should Clean Face Masks:

There aren’t any hard and fast rules regarding how often you should wash face masks because it’s really depending on the frequency of use. If you want to be extra cautious or think there may be a possibility that someone is symptomatic, or has sneezed or coughed within close proximity, clean your face mask after each use.

* All content published is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.