It’s not economical to constantly discard your cloth-based face masks after every use. The COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by hysteria and panic buying of personal protective equipment, including masks.
With supply short, it’s best to preserve your masks. Though, you shouldn’t worry about the risks associated with this. If you’re cleaning your mask properly, it’s as safe as a new mask.
According to Mayo Clinic, you should wash your face mask every day after it’s been used. Whether you’re briefly stepping out to get groceries or spending all day at work, this is a safe rule to follow. Before actually washing the mask, be sure to wash your hands with soap or use a hand sanitizer.
You can wash your mask either with your hands or a washing machine. If you opt for the latter, you should make sure your laundry is sorted and use the appropriate washing cycle for your mask.
If you decide to wash by hand, you’ll need bleach. Either make a bleach solution or use some bleach that’s intended for disinfection. Leave your mask in the solution for around 5 minutes, then rinse it. Alternatively, you could use a laundry detergent to wash by hand. They tend to be as effective at disinfecting as bleach, but do not contain bleach.
After you’ve rinsed your mask, it’s imperative that you dry it properly, especially if you’ve used bleach. If you have a washing machine, use its dryer at the maximum heat setting. This will be quicker than leaving your mask out in the sun and letting it dry. In either case, make sure the mask is fully dry. If you wear the mask without properly drying it, some remaining bleach may touch your mouth, nose, and skin.
Bleach is an extremely corrosive material. If it does come into contact with your skin, it can cause significant irritation. Consequently, your mask can severely harm your face if not dried properly.
Once you’ve cleaned and dried your mask, you should properly store it for its next use.
Firstly, place the mask in a clean, disinfected area.
Secondly, make sure the outside remains folded in. This is the side that stops infected droplets from contacting your nose or mouth. While you have just disinfected your mask, you can never be too safe.
Lastly, leave your mask in some clean closable bag. This makes sure that if your clean environment does get exposed to the virus, your mask remains clean.
If you don’t have the facilities to wash your mask, don’t worry. NY Organic Dry Cleaners cares about your health. We’re an affordable dry-cleaning service stationed in Queens, NY, and we’ll make sure your mask is clean before your next trip outside your home.
If you’re in Rego Park, we also offer pick-up and delivery services to help maintain social distancing norms. Schedule a pick-up, and we’ll help keep you safe.