How to Sanitize a Cloth Face Mask Properly

The CDC is recommending all Americans wear face masks when out in public because of COVID-19. If you have started wearing a cloth mask, make sure it’s protecting you and others by washing it after each time you wear it.

The Minnesota Department of Health said you should also wash your hands before and after removing the mask from your face, and only take the mask off by the straps around your ears.

Then, put the mask directly in the washing machine, with laundry detergent, on the hottest water setting the mask and any other clothes in the wash can tolerate.

“The nice thing about a washing machine is that agitation cycle with the detergent, with the laundry detergent in it, really, does a really good job in just getting rid of all the little things that are there in the mask,” Ellen Hill, an epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health, explains. “And then when you put them through the dryer, that also, that heat from the dryer also helps as well.”

If you do not have access to a washer and dryer in your home, you should hand wash your mask with soap in warm to hot water, making sure you scrub it well.


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