Need to keep your face mask clean and sanitized? Check out these expert tips.

By now you probably have a favorite mask. Lots of us are turning to reusable cloth masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, but washing those masks can raise a lot of questions.

Thankfully, the experts at McLaren Greater Lansing are here to help.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends washing your cloth mask after each use. You can do it by hand or in the washing machine, but it’s important to follow the right steps to make sure it’s disinfected and ready to use the next time you leave your home.

If you’re washing by hand, start by prepping a bleach solution by mixing 1/3 cup of disinfecting bleach per gallon of room temperature water. Next, just let the mask soak for five minutes and rinse it thoroughly in cool water.

For a washing machine, it’s fine to toss your mask in with the rest of your laundry but be sure to use the warmest water that’s appropriate for the material of your cloth mask.

When it comes to drying, you can either toss it in the dryer along with your regular laundry on the warmest heat setting for your mask material or just lay it flat to air dry. If you can, set the mask in direct sunlight while it dries.

No matter which route you take, make sure your mask is totally dry before you use it again.

Whichever type of mask you choose to wear, medical experts say it’s important to put one on when you head out to help keep others safe.

We all have the responsibility of protecting one another, which is exactly what a mask or face covering provides for ourselves, families and communities,” said McLaren Greater Lansing Chief Medical Officer Linda Mercado Peterson, MD, FAPA, FAPM. “We’re all in this together.”