How to keep your cloth mask clean


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — By now, a lot of us are in the habit of wearing face coverings when we’re out and about.

The CDC recommends people wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you choose a cloth mask, there are some steps you should be taking to keep it clean.

Courtney Ehlers is the Director of Inpatient Nursing and PPE Coordinator at Avera McKennan Hospital.

She says a cloth mask should be washed every day.

“Ideally, it would be washed with your regular clothes in a washing machine with a hot cycle either in the water or in the dryer setting,” Courtney Ehlers said.

It’s also important to know what the mask is made of and how it’s made, so you wash it properly.

Hang drying is an option, but that means you’ll want to use a hot wash cycle.

Be sure to inspect the mask after you wash and dry it to make sure it’s still in tact and not frayed.

When it comes to taking off your mask and putting it back on, make sure you wash your hands beforehand.

Avoid touching the front of your mask.

If you need to remove your mask for a short time, there are some storage options.

“If you have a clean pouch or bag that you’re going to keep that mask in, you can keep that mask in there. Otherwise, we would suggest if you’re sitting at a table make sure the surface is clean. Take a clean disposable paper towel and set the front of the mask down on that paper towel,” Ehlers said.

Also, avoid putting a mask that could be partially wet in a sealed bag.

“I’m thinking of kids going back to school and moms and dads washing their masks and then throwing them into a bag to put them into their backpack. You want ensure those masks are completely dry before you store them. If they’re completely dry and you store them in a Ziploc bag that they’re going to keep in their bag that they know that one’s a clean mask, you just need to ensure that that’s completely dry,” Ehlers said.

Ehlers says don’t put a used mask in a sealed plastic bag for any long period of time other than the ride home.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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