To save the effectiveness of your mask or tendency to protect you from the coronavirus, there are certain measures you need to take care of. Like washing it properly, maintenance and etc. so below are some of the major points to need to take care of regarding your mask.
1. How To Properly Use Your Mask
Cloth masks do not have a “very long lifespan. They lose their protective power when wet, due to breathing or sweating. The maximum wearing time thus varies in between 30 minutes and 4 hours, to avoid the propagation of the Covid-19.
Before putting on or taking off, wash your hands thoroughly. During the entire time you have it on your face, you should not touch it, otherwise it will be contaminated.
2. How to wash your cloth mask?
Before washing your mask, remember to rinse your washing machine with bleach or run it empty at 60 ºC or 95 ºC without spinning. Then place the mask in the drum, without clothes. When the washing is finished, remember to clean the filters on the machine and wash your hands again. If you cannot wash your used masks immediately, put them in an airtight container. It will then need to be disinfected. Avoid boiling your barrier mask to clean it as it can damage the tissue. The mask must be completely dry two hours after being washed, therefore, put it in the dryer, or use a hairdryer.
3. Should you disinfect your cloth mask?
Can you disinfect your cloth mask with alcohol or bleach? The answer is no. Disinfecting your mask with alcohol or bleach will damage the fibers of the fabric and degrade its filtration capabilities. Not to mention that bleach vapors, even after several rinses, and not only irritate the skin but also the respiratory tract.
Can you disinfect your cloth mask in the oven or in the microwave? According to some studies, it is possible to heat your mask in the oven at 70 ºC for 30 minutes. But this practice can be dangerous and cause domestic accidents since some masks have metallic elements in it.
4. Can you use an iron or steam to maintain your cloth mask?
It is possible to use an iron or steam iron to maintain or remove any wrinkles after washing, says Afnor. However, be careful not to damage the mask, especially the elastic flanges that could melt under the iron. Anyway, this operation does not replace machine washing, necessary after each use.
5. Does the freezer kill the virus?
It is not recommended to put your masks, or even your clothes, in the freezer. “Viruses have endured hundreds of thousands of years after being frozen. So unless you want to keep the virus for future generations, you should definitely not put your clothes on.
6. How many masks should we provide per day?
It is recommended for you to use a mask for a maximum of 4 hours. Each person who works, outside his home, can, therefore, plan 3 per day: 1 for the morning, 1 for the afternoon, and 1 possibly for help.
7. When to throw away your cloth mask?
According to doctors’ recommendations, a tissue mask can be used between 20 and 30 times, then it should be changed. In addition, you must imperatively check that it is not damaged before wearing it. The slightest wear, the slightest hole, even a tiny one, makes it ineffective.
In any case, masks are useless without respecting other barrier gestures: respect 1-meter distance with others, cough or sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands frequently, do not kiss, etc.