Tips for Cleaning a Cotton Face Mask
To slow down the spread of COVID-19, it is important you were a face mask to protect yourself and others. This becomes more pertinent in schools, movie theaters, and while shopping at grocery stores where it’s impossible to maintain social distancing. Everyone needs to wear masks except those under 2 years old and those with breathing issues.
While disposable masks are very effective, there is the issue of hygienic discarding after each use. This situation doesn’t arise with cotton face masks which can be reused a number of times. With cotton being a natural fiber which can decompose easily in nature without affecting the environment negatively, cotton face masks are definitely a better option. Why go for man-made materials that harm the environment which is already over-burdened by pollution from artificially-produced materials including plastics. Here’s a look at some features that an ideal face mask should possess:
• Multiple layers of fabric
• Ties or ear loops to keep them secure
• Fit snugly around the sides of the face
• Allows for easy breathing
• Can be washed multiple times without damage
Masks should be made from multiple layers of 100% woven cotton materials, and not knit fabrics which can stretch and create gaps or holes in the fabric. For cotton masks to be more effective, a non-woven interface such as HVAC or coffee filters can also be included to block out tiny particles.
How to Wash Face Masks?
To stay healthy and safe, it’s recommended you wash your cotton face mask regularly and here are some guidelines:
Machine Wash – Run the machine on regular wash with your normal detergent. You can dry it on the highest heat setting available or lay it on a flat surface to sun-dry.
Hand Wash – Soak the mask in 5.25-8.25% bleach solution before washing normally with your regular soap and water and sun-drying. While there are a number of other odd ways to clean masks floating on the internet, regular cleaning with soap and water is the best.
How Often Should You Clean Masks?
It all depends on how frequently and for how long you use your cotton mask. It should ideally be washed every day after use, more so after likelihood of exposure to a symptomatic person.