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Have a reusable face mask? Here's how to wash it the right way

Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Health & Fitness

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended cloth face coverings for the general public, many have relied on those while reserving medical masks, such as N95 respirators, for medical workers.

While there are ways to properly wear and remove face masks in general (washing your hands is one step), cloth masks must be washed in order to be properly reused.

Here's what the CDC and experts say about how to properly clean reusable face masks.

What should I use to wash my cloth mask?

Soap and water will get masks clean, according to Reviewed.

"Warm water and any detergent you're used to using at home should work great," Dr. Gabriela Andujar Vazquez, an infectious disease physician and associate hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, told the website.

 

You can hand wash or put the mask in the washer, the latter of which the CDC says should suffice to properly clean it. Then, you can let it air dry or put it in the dryer on the hot setting to help kill any potentially remaining particles.

Still, Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, suggests all face masks be washed with hot water in the washing machine and dried on high heat, according to Good Housekeeping.

More delicate items, the magazine said, needed to be hand-washed for at least 20 seconds with warm or hot water before going into the dryer. It also notes that masks can be ironed on the cotton or linen setting for peace of mind.

How often should I wash my cloth mask?

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