New Mexico has new rules: face coverings are mandatory for many outdoor activities and establishments. The government is encouraging people to start using masks just like some years ago when seatbelt use was massively advertised to save lives.
One of the things you have to know is how to wash your reusable mask. The main reason is that an unclean face mask can be infected with germs and viruses that caught outside, and using it that way is a risk for your health. That’s why we wrote this 101 guide for cleaning face masks and clarify all your doubts.
Machine wash vs washing by hand
There are many home videos or amateur tutorials out there that showcase various cleaning methods for face coverings that aren’t effective enough. Avoid using your microwave or dishwasher, for example. Your washing machine with everyday soap and perhaps warm water will do the trick. Or, if you’re using a handmade face mask, wash by hand to protect the tissue from unraveling or tearing apart.
Also, search for the official washing indications for every kind of tissue to decide if you wash by hand or machine. Sometimes, you would also have to avoid dryer because your mask will shrink. If you’re washing by hand, scrub your covering gently for about 20 seconds, and you will be good to go. Use the sun whenever you can to dry it.
Filter or no filter?
Most of the internet tutorials for making your own face coverings recommend using a coffee filter or any other disposable filter. The same way you toss your used coffee is the same way to have to get rid of your mask’s filter. It won’t be effective after one or two good uses and could get contaminated if you keep using it for a long time. However, there are filters made by nonwoven interfaces to wash it along with the rest of your covering.
The Center for Disease Control does not stipulate an official washing frequency for face coverings. How often you should wash your masks will depend on your criteria. Please consider washing your covering every time you came back home after a long and crowded trip to the grocery store, or whenever you stay near people for an extended lapse of time. Another important example is when you are taking care of a symptomatic person; in this situation, it’s better always to use a cleaned face mask.
When to replace a face covering?
Although washable, face coverings don’t last long, especially when used daily. The useful life of a mask will depend on the number of times you wash it and the type of tissue it’s made of. Intense scrubbing can deteriorate it faster, that’s why it’s better to do it gently. If you want to know when a face mask is ready to be toss, check if you can see holes in it. Also, some fabrics shrink or get deformed, and this generally means they don’t fit properly on your face. Time to get a new one!
We hope this information was useful for you. Stay safe and use your face covering the right way! Remember that Green Sweep is providing professional cleaning and disinfecting home services to prevent COVID-19. Book our services on our website.