Cleaning: How to properly clean and sanitise your reusable face mask

Cleaning has never been more important than in the past few months. With new policies being introduced whereby the public must adhere to guidelines and wear a face mask or covering in certain situations, a cleaning expert has shared their best tips on how to clean a reusable face mask to make sure it stays hygienic and germ free.

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Laundry expert Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap has shared his top tips on cleaning a reusable face mask with the Express.co.uk.

If you’re venturing out into public, whether it’s to the supermarket, work or on public transport, then you’ll need to wear a face mask.

There’s been a surge in fashion retailers offering reusable fabric face masks, and people are even making their own cloth face masks at home from socks or bandanas.

As you’ll be wearing your mask out and about, it’s important that your face mask is clean every time you wear it to avoid contamination.

Wash it every time you use it

Deyan says: “If you buy or make your own cloth face mask, it’s wise to clean it regularly. Even though the face mask’s purpose is to protect others from yourself, your fabric face mask still needs washing.

“If you don’t wash it, you risk germs and bacteria harbouring on the face mask, which could cause you to become ill or cause blemishes on areas where your mask rests on your face.”

Sweat can build up under a face mask which can cause spots to build up underneath if not cleaned properly.

The best way to wash it

The laundry expert explained: “The best way to wash your face mask is to pop it in the washing machine and add some fabric-safe disinfectant to the rinse compartment of your washing machine.

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“You should do this every time you wear it, just to keep safe. It’s fine to throw it in with other similar colours, so don’t worry about washing it on its own.”

It should also be washed on a hot wash to get rid of germs.

Deyan explains that it is a wise idea to have more than one mask so while one is in the wash, you can have another one at hand.

You can also hand wash it

Deyan says: “If you don’t have the time for a machine wash in the evening, then you can easily handwash your mask. Fill up a clean basin with hot water and some detergent and begin to scrub the mask.

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“Have the water as hot as you can and be sure to scrub the mask well for 5 minutes. Then rinse the mask with cold water and leave to dry completely.”

The water needs to be as hot as it can possibly be to ensure the germs and bacteria have all disappeared.

Some may suggest that washing it in the washing machine is the best option.

Store it properly when you’re not using it

The expert says: “If you take your mask off for whatever reason, make sure to store it properly until you get home to wash it. Leaving your mask loosely in your handbag could transfer germs to other items in your handbag and vice versa.

“Keep a small disposable bag inside your bag or pocket that you can keep the mask in until it’s time to wash it. If you take your mask off, don’t put it back on until after you’ve washed it.”

Make sure to dispose of the bag after using it as this could risk more germs being transferred.

Have more than two masks

Deyan says: “Having two face masks means that you will always have one spare when the other’s in the wash, so it’s worth investing in a two-pack. Many fashion retailers now sell non-surgical masks so you can easily pick some up.”

Reusable face masks are not only better for the environment but are also more economical as you won’t have to keep buying a new one.

Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport and you should also try to take the face covering off while on public transport to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

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