Face masks aren’t going anywhere soon.
If you are wearing a fabric variety mask, it’s imperative to keep it clean. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends reusable cloth face masks and coverings be routinely washed.
Many masks can be tossed into the washing machine in warm/hot water. Project Runway winner and Houston fashion designer Chloe Dao recommends hand washing to keep them long-lasting. She recently posted a how-to video on Instagram. She said researched the best techniques to clean masks without damaging the style of the masks and uses dishwashing detergent.
Noreen Khan-Mayberry, a toxicologist and medical scientist, recommends that masks be cleaned or sanitized after every use.
“Every time you wear a mask you introduce a combination of droplets, chemicals and germs onto the fabric. You don’t want to keep reusing a mask that has been contaminated with that combination,” she said.
When you wash your mask, she said, make sure you scrub both sides to clean your own droplets, along with the contaminated air that you were exposed to.
And if you don’t have time to clean the mask, Khan-Mayberrry said you can spray both sides with a disinfectant, like Lysol or alcohol, and let it dry for at least an hour. Hand sanitizer also can be used.