How to Clean and Maintain Your Face Masks

by B. Ready Wellness Editor

Dec
2020

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Explore tips for storage, handling, and cleaning your reusable face coverings

“I have enough cool face masks for my trip; now how do I keep them clean and disinfected?” you consider while unboxing the B. Ready Premium Wellness Kit  and admiring the pretty reversible cloth face coverings and several other curated personal wellness items. As the 2020 driven safety precautions, like mask wearing and social distancing evolve into everyday habits, we seek ways to make prevention and precaution simple. Incorporating easy, streamlined, and effective techniques to clean and maintain our face mask and budding cloth face covering collection is a next step to simplified and safe living.

 

Storage ideas for keeping face coverings clean

When considering where to store face masks, a convenient way to keep them readily available is to have multiple storage locations. Hooks are ideal for hanging masks by a doorway at home or work. Using a visible and convenient location means one less thing to search for when leaving the house, and hanging clean masks prevents them from touching a potentially contaminated surface.

When storing clean face masks in a car, purse, or other enclosed location, it is important to prevent cross-contamination which might occur for example if a mask was put in a purse or bag that also held keys, phones, or other items that may come in contact with germs. An effective solution is to first place the mask in a container such as a small cloth or paper bag. Avoid mildew growth by ensuring the bag is breathable. Popular silicone carrying cases are another good option as they can be easily cleaned and disinfected.

Keep a stash of disposable masks for use in a pinch. These can be stored in a car glovebox or center console, backpack, purse, or laptop carrying case. When planning for travel safety many savvy travelers pack masks in multiple locations, such as weekender bag, purse and glovebox. This way there is a fresh face covering available at all times.

 

how to care for cloth face masks

Handling and storing used face coverings and masks

An important aspect of prevention and wellness includes not only wearing a face mask, but also properly handling and storing a used mask. If while wearing your mask it is still clean but needs to be removed—like for eating or drinking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after taking the mask off, as well as before and after putting the mask back on.

Note: Store your used, but clean mask in a secure place such as a paper, cloth, or silicone bag. Single-use masks should be safely disposed of immediately after use. 

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When should I replace or change my mask?

    • Whenever it becomes wet or dirty from saliva, makeup, sweat, or any other liquid (airborne debris may stick to wet masks causing the wearer to inhale the debris that is meant to be avoided)
    • It has been worn for the day
    • The face covering may have become contaminated

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Cleaning your reusable face mask

Face masks should be washed frequently and soon after wearing. Experts suggest that to properly clean and disinfect a reusable cloths mask in the washing machine you use regular laundry detergent and set the laundry cycle on the hottest setting.

For disinfecting a face mask by hand: 

    • Use your laundry detergent or a good quality natural soap like castile
    • Wash in hot water
    • Rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds
    • Let soak for an additional 5 minutes
    • Rinse with cold water

Once washed, reusable masks can be dried using a warm or hot dryer setting or placed in direct sun.

 

Keeping masks clean while you are on the move

While consistent washing, safe storage, and convenient availability of masks are important part of virus protection, keeping your mask clean while being worn is crucial as well. Best prevention and protection practices for mask wearing: Wash or sanitize hands every time before and after touching or adjusting your mask. Touch only the straps or ear loops to put on and remove a mask; avoid touching the cloth portion. Avoid “storing” a mask on your chin, forehead, neck, or dangling from an ear. This is ineffective at preventing the spread of Covid-19 and may contribute to cross-contamination.


how to properly clean cloth face coverings

Is it okay to share clean cloth face masks with family? 

There are several reasons why keeping a common pile of freshly cleaned face masks within a household is not a good idea. “I think of masks like underwear—they are not things you want to share with people,” Krutika Kuppalli, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina and Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security shared in a recent POPSUGAR article. Dr. Kuppalli goes on to explain that it is not only Covid-19 you want to avoid sharing, but bacteria and other organisms may be found even on a clean mask. Also, it is important that a mask fits the wearer well, the nose clip is shaped correctly, and the fabric is not stretched out by another person using it. To avoid running out of masks and having to borrow one, plan for each individual to have a supply of their own masks large enough to get through a week.

 

B. Ready for wellness and fun when traveling and at home

Wearing a mask may be the norm for the foreseeable future, so why not have a little fun and choose one that is both fashionable and functional? Even better, choose wellness with a B. Ready travel safety kit that includes a stylish and high functioning mask along with mindfully crafted wellness items like moisturizing antibacterial hand gel, surface-and-skin-safe sanitizing wipes and spray, and ecofriendly biodegradable disposable gloves. Explore our many options like the Travel Light Pack, Premium Wellness Pack, Child Travel Safety Pack, or the Voyager Travel Safety Pack and discover the perfect B. Ready Wellness pack for your needs. Cool masks to protect from viruses; at B. Ready they're part of the pack!

 

 

Check out our curated travel safety packs now!