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Can you wash your face mask?

Yes and here's how to do it

How often should I wash a face mask?

Best practice is to wash your face mask at the end of every day. 

While viruses cannot live on fabric forever, early research suggests covid-19 can live on fabric for anywhere from several hours up to a full day.

If you were to leave the mask on a surface after you’ve worn it, there is a chance it could transfer the virus to that surface.

Rather than take any risks,  wash the mask as soon as you’ve finished wearing it for the day. 

Also, when you go to wash your mask, try not to touch your face.

What’s the best way to wash my mask?

Hand Washing

Some masks are hand–wash only, while other masks are machine washable. You’ll want to check with the supplier of your mask for their recommendations.

Washing a cloth face mask by hand is really easy. You can wash it in a sink using warm, but not scalding hot, water. Just add a bit of either soap or detergent—enough that there is definite bubbling and frothing happening throughout the mask as you lather it. If your mask has a removable filter, like ours does, you should remove this and wash it along with your mask. 

A minute or two is a good safe amount of time to spend washing the mask. That’s it.

Machine Washing

Some masks, including ours, are machine washable, but we still prefer to wash them in the sink. It’s a big waste of water to run a mask though a washable machine if it’s not going through with a full load. If you do plan to wash your mask in a washing machine, wash on cold or medium heat. 

Drying

Air drying is the way to go. Set the damp mask on a towel overnight and it’ll be ready to wear again in the morning. Don’t dry your mask in the dryer, as this can irreparably damage it. 

Quick Fixes

If you’re in a jam and don’t have access to a sink or some way to wash your mask, what’s the best thing to do? We suggest taking a disinfectant wipe to all surfaces of your mask. Less thorough than washing with soap, but certainly better than doing nothing.

A few extra tips:

  • Never share your face mask. Each mask is intended for one user and it comes in such close contact with your mouth and nose that it is very risky to use another person’s face mask, even if they seem symptom–free.
  • Stop using a mask if you notice any odd smells or unknown stains on it. 
  • If your mask has a filter, check how many times the supplier says it can be washed. For instance, ours can be washed 20 times before the filter begins to lose its effectiveness. 

For a brief video on face mask care, please got to https://www.scdhec.gov/covid-19-proper-face-mask-usage

Newspaper

Mailing Address:
     PO Box 9 Lexington
     SC 29071
Street Address:
     131 Swartz Rd.
     Lexington SC 29072
Phone: 803-359-7633
Fax: 803-359-2936