Mask Care...it doesn't have to be a dirty little secret
Another blog today! This one is from my wife and fellow co-founder of commUNITY Darby Burger. We have received many requests for advice on how to care for masks. So we wanted to give you some tips to help make mask care and organization simple and easy.
“If you’re reusing a mask over and over again without caring for it in between, then it becomes just as dirty as you touching something dirty and then putting it back on your face,” Jade Flinn-- nurse educator for the Biocontainment Unit at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
How do I wash my mask?
As a mother of a teen, I end up doing laundry every day, and I mean every day. How we have so much laundry is beyond me. I opt to toss our masks in the washing machine. My sister is a mother of a sweet toddler. For now, she doesn’t need to run their washing machine every day. So she washes their masks by hand.
- Include your mask with your regular laundry
- We like to put them in a mesh bag
- Use regular laundry detergent
- We prefer to hang ours to dry, but throwing them in the dryer is perfectly fine
- Using hot, soapy water scrub the mask for at least 20 seconds, rinse then hang to dry
Mask Hack for Hand Washing:
- Use a household Salad Spinner as a mini washing machine
A salad spinner can speed up the process. Sounds odd but it works. It's the perfect mini washtub. Use hot water and detergent and agitate. Then rinse mask, and spin. Hang to dry. Take a look at this video to find out how to use a salad spinner to up your mask care game.
How often should I wash my mask?
Cloth masks should be cleaned after each use. A supply of masks will help you manage the cleaning process, so you always have one on hand. We like to say one to wash one to wear, but practically it’s probably more like 3 to wash 3 to wear!
We take our masks on and off many times throughout the day. How do I make sure it stays clean and is keeping me safe?
Remember the mask may be contaminated, so don’t touch the front of it when taking it off. Instead, use the loops or ties to take it off, then store it in a mask holder or zip lock bag until it is ready to be washed. Leaving your mask loose in your handbag, gym bag or car console can contaminate the other items. You can use our mask holders to help. They have helpful graphics to remind you which mask is clean and which needs to be washed. As always, ensure you wash your hands after handling your mask in general.
I hope this helps you with your daily mask care. This pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. Our endurance is being tested and one thing that I know for sure is that we need each other to get through it.