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What you need to know about cloth face coverings

Cloth face coverings play an essential part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day precautions including social distancing in public settings. It’s not enough to be careful when you are wearing one, you must also know how to keep it sanitary for continual use.

Make sure you remove your face covering correctly by un-tying it or removing the loops from your ears. Avoid touching the front of the mask when removing it. Store the face covering in a paper bag, envelope, or something that does not retain moisture if you will be wearing it again during the day. When you are finished for the day with a face covering, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides the best methods for cleaning a cloth face covering:

Washing machine

  • Wash with a regular load of laundry
  • Do not use bleach
  • Use regular laundry detergent and warmest water possible

Washing by hand

  • Per gallon of water: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water
  • Per quart of water: 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Make sure the bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, those for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Check the 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.

Completely dry cloth face covering

Dryer – Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry

Air dry – Lay flat and allow to completely dry (direct sunlight is recommended)

Understanding the basics about cloth face coverings keep us all safer. Together, we can face anything!

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