FACE MASKS CLEANLINESS
Face masks are the latest necessity that we absolutely cannot do without nowadays, ever since Coronavirus has come into our lives. Masks have become an important precautionary measure to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and must be worn especially when going to the grocery store, pharmacy or any where social distancing may be hard to follow.
In fact they are turning into quite the fashion statement. But just like our clothes, we have to wash them regularly and keep them germ free as well. Especially in India where the summer is super hot and sweaty. Now that you have got a wide range of masks in your favourite colours and prints, how do you care for them?
What to Do With Your Mask?
The first thing to know is that a mask should be washed after every use. So it’s good to stock up on a few. Wear them correctly covering the nose and mouth, not your chin or neck, and remove them carefully. Do not leave them lying around on unclean surfaces when you go out. Try not to touch another person’s used mask, or give yours to them.
Remember, when taking off the mask:
- First, wash your hands with soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch the front of the mask or your face.
- Remove your mask by taking off the ear loops. For masks with ties, untie the bottom ones first, then the top ones.
- Wash or sanitize your hands again after removing the mask
Disposable, blue surgical masks cannot be laundered or cleaned and should be thrown away when visibly dirty, torn, or saturated with moisture.
There are plenty of guidelines and reminders everywhere about WHY you must wear masks, and where you should definitely wear them. But there are no clear cut instructions to clean this new accessory. A contaminated mask may potentially spread the coronavirus. Medical experts do recommend that cloth face masks be washed after each use.
Here is Koparo’s take on how to clean, disinfect and dry your cloth mask. And, hey, turns out they are quite simple!
Washing your mask
Luckily, cloth masks are really low-maintenance. All you need is hot water, a mild, preferably non-chemical soap or detergent, and the diligence to BE REGULAR with the washing.
If you have a washing machine, you can throw them in along with the rest of your load. Keep the warmest appropriate water setting. If you’re using a dryer, select the highest heat setting and leave the masks in until completely dry.
If it isn’t laundry day, and you find you don’t have any clean masks left, washing them by hand is easy too. Just soak the masks in warm soapy water for a few minutes, scrub them for at least 20 seconds, just like you wash your hands, rinse out the soap thoroughly, and lay them out flat to air dry completely. If possible, place them in direct sunlight. And you are done!
We recommend using a non-toxic, chemical-free, plant based soap. Lastly, wash your hands before you handle your clean masks and store them in a clean, dry place when not using them.
If you are using a filter with your homemade face mask, know they are intended for single use and must be disposed off safely after use. Replace them with a new filter after cleaning your cloth mask using one of the methods above.
That’s it! Keep your masks clean and close, never leave the house without wearing one and always sanitise or wash your hands before you wear them and before and after taking them off.