Englewood Community Hospital shares the following information on cloth face masks, their proper handling and how to clean them after use.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies,) especially in areas of significant community-based COVID-19 transmission. Here are some tips about wearing a cloth face covering.
Cloth face coverings should—
• fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
• be secured with ties or ear loops
• include multiple layers of fabric
• allow for breathing without restriction
• be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings
CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. 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.
Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
A washing machine on the hottest temperature level should properly wash a face covering. There are no hard recommendations on how often you should clean your face covering. However, you should wash your face covering often, at least every week if not visibly soiled. However, if you come in contact with someone symptomatic or sick, wash your face covering immediately.
How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering by touching the back of the ties or side loops ONLY and wash hands immediately after removing.
Reference: Center for Disease Control.