Caring for your Masks

There’s just something about the smell of fresh air and sunshine that comes with the old-fashioned way of drying a load of laundry.

Particularly when a piece of that laundry is affixed right up to your nose a good bit of the day.

Now that medical officials have recommended cloth masks as an important way of helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s also important to know the best way to keep them clean. And whether you decide to hang them out to dry or toss them in your electric dryer, here are a few tips we learned from a little research on the Centers for Disease Control website:

• You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.

• Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.

• If washing by hand, prepare a bleach solution by mixing 1/3 cup household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water.

• Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

• Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

• Dry your mask on the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry, or air dry in direct sunlight.

Be sure to follow other guidelines for maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others in public and frequently washing your hands