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Covid-19 cloth mask: How to clean and sanitise

August 7, 2020

The use of face masks is mandatory for people going outside their homes in Singapore. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health specify instructions on how and when to wear masks in public. While it has become a lifestyle habit to wear masks outdoors, there are a variety of them available in the market of which the cloth masks are more popular for it can be reused; they also make for a fashion statement. But, reusable cloth masks need appropriate care. You should clean and sanitise Covid-19 cloth mask properly.

Wearing a mask helps prevent the transmission of Covid-19. It acts as a barrier to the virus from entering your body through the mouth, nose, and eyes if you come across an infected person - the most common way to catch Covid-19. Droplets of an infected person could land on your mask and contaminate it. So, if you don’t take proper care of your mask and wash it after use, you will infect yourself or transmit the virus to others around you.

How to choose the right fabric for your mask?

Choosing the right fabric for your cloth mask is important. Since you will use them multiple times, the fabric must be of high quality that is durable and protects you from virus infection even after repeated use. Inferior quality fabric will wear out after frequent washing.

Safety is more important than fashion. So, choose masks made of fabric that are breathable and safe for reuse. Fabrics with tighter weave structure prevents small particles from passing through. Pure cotton, denim, and neck gaiters used by athletes are highly recommended for daily use. Silk and other similar materials are too delicate for regular use and sanitisation, and they do not provide enough protection.

When to clean your Covid-19 cloth mask?

Health experts recommend cleaning your cloth mask after each use or when it is visibly dirty, wet or moist from saliva or other particles. You should have enough supplies to alternate between masks every day. 

Never touch the front of the mask with your hand, use the loop or ties to take it off. Wash your mask immediately after use or put it aside safe and separate from other clothes until you wash it. Also, wash your hands - follow the 20-second rule - after removing the mask.

How to clean your cloth mask?

Cleaning your cloth mask is easy and straightforward. You can either machine wash or hand wash them as a normal laundry routine. If you machine wash, use a mild detergent and wash it in the washing machine at 60 C as you would normally wash your other clothes. Washing clothes at a warm temperature can kill the coronavirus. However, we advise you to wash face masks separately. Get a mesh laundry bag to keep the masks from tangling if you are washing them with other clothes. 

If you choose to hand wash the masks, soak them in warm water mixed with a detergent of your choice, hand wash them after a while and rinse it off. Washing by hand is as safe as using a washing machine. When you hand wash, use hand gloves before touching the masks and during the washing process. Also, remember to wash your hands thoroughly after each washing cycle, and do not touch your face.

How to disinfect or sanitise your cloth mask?

Normal detergents and soaps are still the best bets to disinfect your cloth masks. Do not use bleach or other chemicals on delicate fabric that is worn to cover your face. Inhaling these chemicals may lead to severe health problems in future. Regular machine wash or hand wash is all that is required to kill the coronavirus.

It is important to dry the masks completely before the next use. You can either dry it in the machine or lay flat or hang them to air-dry. Drying in the sun is a traditional and but also an effective way to kill most of the germs.

Do I require a professional laundry service provider?

You do not need to hire a professional laundry service provider to wash Covid-19 cloth mask. You can do it yourself daily. However, for heavy towels, curtains and clothes that need professional washing and dry cleaning, Sendhelper provides the best laundry solutions at attractive prices. Download the Sendhelper app to book laundry service in Singapore.

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