Do you wash your mask after every use? You should.

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Samuel Cook

Ais Cook properly washing their mask with dish soap and water”

ELISE AMARAL, Staff Writer

When you’re running out of the house in a rush and you grab your mask, you’re probably not thinking about how clean it is.  But after nearly seven months of mask wearing, it may be time to ask “when is the last time I washed my mask?”  

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you wear a facial mask in any outdoor setting to help prevent spreading the virus. Many states in the U.S. require facial coverings when entering public places such as schools, restaurants, and grocery stores.

Dr. Ravina Kullar, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist said “It’s definitely recommended to wash that mask every day.” According to Kullar, the point of wearing a mask is to help protect and prevent others from receiving the virus. If you are wearing a mask that could potentially have virus particles, then the purpose is defeated.

According to the CDC’s website: “Masks should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.” 

Cloth masks can be washed in a regular washing machine or by hand. If you are washing it through the machine, the CDC recommends using regular detergent, and to use the warmest appropriate water temperature for the cloth used to make the mask. 

If you are washing your cloth masks by hand it is recommended to prepare a bleach solution and to soak the mask in it for five minutes and then rinse it in cool or room temperature water.

If you are using a surgical mask, the only option is to throw it away after use. 

To ensure mask fabric is not deteriorating in the wash, you should know that according to Patric Richardson, the self proclaimed Laundry Evangelist,  a cloth mask can last through one hundred washes without a run through a dryer, and can last fifty washes going through the dryer. 

Richardson also said that the elastic parts are more likely to wear out before the cloth. It is also recommended by Richardson to wear cotton masks to help with sensitivity of the skin.

To help make sure your mask is one hundred percent effective, you need to make sure it’s washed, while also making sure the quality is good as well. 

To test your masks credibility you can try blowing out a candle, if you can blow it out it’s time for a new mask. If you can’t blow it out then your mask is perfectly fine.

To help contain the spread the virus, wear your mask, wash it, and wash your hands.