how often should you wash your face mask

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How Often Should You Wash Your Face Mask?

It’s probably a lot more often than you think
how often should you wash your face mask

AJ_Watt/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

You may know how to properly wear a face mask to help stop the spread of coronavirus, but do you know how often you should be washing it? If you own a reusable cloth covering for your nose and mouth, the CDC says it should be washed after each use.

Coronavirus Etiquette: Face Masks, Working From Home and More

OK, but how? You can include your mask in your regular laundry using regular detergent and the warmest appropriate setting for the cloth used to make the mask, but since people don’t exactly do a full load of laundry every day, there are other options.

According to the CDC, when washing by hand, use bleach, but check the label to make sure it’s intended for disinfection and contains 5.25% to 8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use the product if the percentage is not in that range or isn’t specified. Also, don’t use it if it’s expired.

Before you mix your solution, make sure you have adequate ventilation. Open a window, door or go outside if necessary. Next, prepare the solution by adding 5 tablespoons (or ⅓ cup) of bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of room temperature water.

Soak the mask in the mixture for five minutes and then discard the bleach solution down the drain and rinse the mask thoroughly with cool or room temperature water. Make sure to let it completely dry before you use it again. To do this, you could throw it in the dryer using the highest heat setting or lay flat to air dry in direct sunlight if possible.

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If you don’t have the resources to wash your cloth face mask every day, make sure to at least wash it regularly. And don’t forget about your sheets, which should be cleaned every week. If you didn’t know that, wait until you find out how often you should be washing your jeans and everything else in your life.