Facemasks have been made mandatory, to reduce spread of the coronavirus. In response, people across the country have started wearing both medical and cloth masks. However, it’s become expensive to keep buying disposable masks, so if you have a cloth one that you keep reusing, there are certain steps you have to follow to keep it clean, in order to maximize its effectiveness.
“Since we need to wear face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, residents have taken it as a normal part of life, but there are just a handful, who know how to keep them clean,” Damodaran Sivakumar, Head of Production at 5àsec UAE, a leading laundry operator in Dubai says to Gulf News.
“Using the same cloth mask daily without cleaning it will not shield you from the virus and may actually have the opposite effect.”
1. How often do you need to wash your facemask?
Your facemask should be washed at least once a day. We cannot stress on that enough. The virus may stay active on fabric for a long period of time, which makes it necessary to wash your mask after any of your day trips. If you suspect that someone you have been in close contact with is infected, you should put the mask in the wash immediately and use a fresh one. Apart from the virus, the masks also tend to collect any sweat, oil or makeup from skin, which may also affect your health.
2. What fabric is suitable for a facemask?
Cotton fabric is the perfect material for a facemask. With an ideal thread count of about 200 with up to three layers of fabric, this material is effective in filtering out the virus as well as blocking any pathogens from entering. With the strict protocol of wearing the facemask while on the move, it is essential to be comfortable with your face mask and the cotton fabric provides the right amount of breathability. It is also recommended to use white color masks that can be washed in higher temperatures.
3. How should you handle your facemask after use?
Upon returning home, we recommend that the first thing you do is take off your mask carefully and place it in the laundry bin until you can wash it. You may opt to leave it in the bin for 24 hours or more in quarantine, which is known to allow the virus to decay. Do not let the mask come into contact with any other family member.