How to Sanitize Your Cloth Face Mask

(HealthyAccess)- Many people might be surprised to learn that simply wearing a mask isn’t enough to stay safe and healthy. Single-use disposable masks get thrown away after the first use. But cloth masks should be washed on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to help keep cloth masks clean–and people protected.


Cloth masks can be machine washed or hand washed, depending on preference. Disposable masks, however, should be thrown away after the first use. Cloth masks can be washed with regular laundry loads and normal detergent. Check the fabric label for any special washing instructions.

If washing a mask by hand, use warm tap water and laundry detergent or soap. Be sure to rinse the mask thoroughly to wash away all of the detergent or soap. Next, dry it completely.


Cloth masks can be machine-dried or air-dried. When using a dryer, be sure to check the fabric instructions for ideal machine settings. If air drying, the mask should be hung up in direct sunlight so it can dry quickly and completely.

If there isn’t a way to hang up the mask so it gets direct sunlight, it’s okay to lay it out flat or hang it up elsewhere and simply let it dry that way. Just make sure the mask is dried all the way through before packing it away for later use.


How someone stores their masks can be just as important as cleaning the masks regularly. If a fabric mask gets wet or dirty from spit, makeup, sweat, or other substances, pack it away in a plastic bag until it can be washed. That way, the dirty mask won’t accidentally get reused.

Clean masks, on the other hand, should be stored in a paper bag or other clean place (like a pocket or purse) when not being worn. It may also be helpful to keep an extra mask on hand in case the first one gets dirty or wet.

Lastly, be sure to wash your hands before and after touching your mask, including when taking it off and putting it on. Clean masks and hands can mean safer and healthier people.

~Here’s to a Happier, Healthier Life!

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