How to Disinfect Your DIY Face Mask
The CDC recommends washing DIY face masks at least once a day. Here are three methods to effectively disinfect your DIY face masks.
Disinfecting your DIY face mask
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended all Americans wear a protective cloth face covering when leaving their home, especially in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain—places such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Additionally, the CDC clarified that “the cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.” Instead, you can make your own DIY face mask.
There are numerous ways to make your own mask for these types of situations. However, a crucial step to avoiding Covid-19 is making sure you effectively disinfect your DIY face mask after each use. Below are three expert-approved methods for disinfecting your DIY face masks.
Cleaning your DIY face mask in the washing machine
If you have a washer and dryer available, the CDC says a regular washing machine should do the job of sanitizing your masks. Be sure to wash your DIY face mask after each use in a delicates bag to protect the elastic from becoming disheveled. Wash your face mask with laundry detergent and on a hot water or a sanitizing setting. Next, dry your mask in your dryer on a high-temperature setting. This same method would also work for other cloth face coverings such as bandanas or scarves. Be mindful of your detergent to avoid eye problems from face masks.
Cleaning your DIY face mask in the sink
If you lack access to a washing machine, you can also sanitize your DIY cloth mask in your kitchen sink. Fill your sink with really hot water and dish soap. Let your face mask soak in the hot soapy water for at least five minutes. Be sure to let it completely dry before you use it again.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission"