How Are Fabric Face Masks Best Washed?

How Are Fabric Face Masks Best Washed?

Many health organizations around the world recommend that people wear masks outside at all times. Studies show that these do not offer much protection against airborne COVID-19 particles, but they are better than nothing. Also, we don’t need a lot of masks since we don’t have to leave our safe houses except for essential shopping and getting some air (by staying away from other people, of course). But we will probably need to reuse the masks we have. That’s why we need to purify them after each use. But beware; These methods are only effective in killing viruses and bacteria on masks made of fabric such as cotton or polypropylene. If you have surgical masks on hand and you are trying to reuse them, you have to stop there. Rachel Noble, professor of microbiology at the University of North Carolina, says: “Surgery masks are made of a fabric that is very soft and slightly stronger than a paper napkin. The ingredients in this mask can be severely damaged by some household cleaners.” Applying any of the following methods to surgical masks will definitely reduce the effectiveness of the masks or render them completely ineffective against particles that can carry COVID-19. But if you apply them correctly, your cloth masks will be properly cleaned; at least, it should be, given what we know about the novel coronavirus.  


An easy way to cleanse your face masks is to soak them in boiling water for five minutes. It’s that easy. However, there is a downside to the job: Depending on the material your fabric mask is made of, the mask may be damaged or air permeability may be affected after boiling it several times. “Fabric face masks have a lifespan; “They deteriorate in the same way as your bedspreads fall apart after wash after wash,” says Noble. To make sure your mask is functioning after boiling, examine it closely; hold the mask up to a light source and look for thin areas. A small hole may form in these areas. Viruses are only 60 nanometers wide; that is, they can pass through loosely woven or damaged fabrics. Noble recommends boiling your mask no more than 10 times to ensure work.

Hot water and bleach solution

If you don’t have enough clothes to put in the washing machine or you don’t want to wait for the water to boil; Noble recommends soaking your face masks in a bleach solution for five minutes. Put a teaspoon of laundry in each liter of hot water. The temperature doesn’t matter much; The main job is doing the bleach. But the hot water provides extra security. But you have to be careful; using a higher concentration of bleach or this abrasive chemical remaining on the fabric after soaking; may damage your mask. Also, since your face mask will go directly to your nose and mouth, you want it to be free of bleach when you wear it. Breathing the gases left over from bleach can damage your airways or worsen a respiratory health condition. To get rid of any leftover bleach, remove the mask from the solution and rinse it under the tap for 10 to 15 seconds at any temperature. After that, soak in clean water for another five minutes. You can hang your mask to dry or put it in a high temperature dryer for extra purification.


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