Washing your COVID-19 mask

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Along with at least six feet of social distancing, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the wearing of a mask or face covering whenever out in public or around others as a measure aimed to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Months into the pandemic, with mask usage now commonplace, questions are being raised about proper cleaning instructions for cloth masks. (Note that soiled clinical masks cannot be washed and re-used. They should be discarded.)

The CDC has provided its recommended guidelines for thoroughly and properly cleaning cloth masks.

Washing

…by machine

Include in your regular laundry with your regular detergent on the warmest water setting appropriate for the cloth.

…by hand

Prepare a bleach solution (1/3 cup of disinfecting bleach per gallon of room temperature water), soak the mask for five minutes and rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

Drying

…by machine

Use the highest heat setting, and the mask can be included with regular laundry.

…by air drying

Lay flat and in direct sunlight if possible, and allow for enough time to completely dry.

Masks should be completely dry before using again.

 

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COVID-19

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