Just like pants and shirts, face masks are now an everyday necessity.
But with daily wear, our face masks can quickly rack up unwanted dirt and bacteria, making them unpleasant to wear and causing unfortunate side effects like maskne.
Keeping our face masks clean, disinfected and safe to wear is crucial. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean your face mask with our top tips for washing, disinfecting and drying!
Cleaning Your Face Mask
It’s best practice to wash (or at least disinfect) your face mask after each use. We know this may be a high standard to reach, so it’s good to have multiple masks to ensure you always have a clean one available.
Cloth masks can be machine-washed or hand-washed. Here are our top tips for a cleaner, more comfortable mask.
How to Machine Wash Your Face Mask
Here’s how you can properly machine wash your face mask.
- Remove any non-woven filters or detachable elastic before washing your mask. This will protect the filter efficacy and prevent elastic from stretching.
- Sort your masks by color to prevent dark colors from bleeding into lighter fabrics.
- Use a mesh laundry bag, which can be tossed into the washing machine alongside your other laundry, to avoid damaging delicate fabrics or getting your masks tangled up with other laundry items.
- Use a heavy-duty detergent like Arm & Hammer or Tide to rid your face mask of any dirt, sweat or oils. If you are looking for a sustainable, eco-friendly option, try Mrs. Meyer’s detergent.
- Wash your face masks in hot water on a normal cycle.
- After washing your mask, you can rinse it off with cool water.
- Dry on the highest heat setting on your dryer (more on this below).
How to Wash Your Face Mask by Hand
Here’s how to wash your face mask by hand:
- Fill a bucket with hot water and one teaspoon of heavy-duty detergent (Arm & Hammer, Tide or Mrs. Meyer’s work well for hand-washing as well).
- Use gloves before hand washing, as detergents can dry out or damage skin. Gently dip the face mask into the soapy water and rub the fabric between your fingers for a deeper clean.
- Use warm or cold water to rinse the face mask.
- Dry on high heat or air dry (more info below).
Washing Your Face Mask On-the-Go
If you’re looking for a quicker, on-the-go alternative to machine or hand-washing your face mask, gently spray your face mask with rubbing alcohol (91% is best, but 70% will also work). You might want to keep some alcohol in a spray bottle handy for your car or bag.
This trick is an effective way to clean and disinfect your mask when you don’t have time or access to detergent or a washing machine. However, regular machine-washing or hand-washing is still the preferred method.
How to Disinfect Your Face Mask
Washing will effectively sanitize your face mask, but you may want a little extra disinfection if you or someone in your household is immunocompromised.
The type of disinfectant you should use depends on the fabric composition of your face mask. Here are the most useful disinfectants:
Phenolic Disinfectants: These types of disinfectants are in products like Lysol Laundry Sanitizer. They work well with both white and colored fabrics in any water temperature.
Liquid Chlorine Disinfectants: Liquid chlorine, also known as bleach (or by its name brand Clorox) are powerful for disinfection. However, if misused, bleach can cause discoloration or weakening of the fabric. Use liquid chlorine disinfectants only on white fabrics and read labels before use.
Pine Oil Disinfectants: You can use pine oil in hot and warm water with white and colored fabrics. Add a pine oil disinfectant, such as Pine-Sol, at the beginning of the wash cycle to disinfect your face mask.
How to Dry Your Face Mask
There are two ways to dry your face mask: using a dryer or air drying your mask.
Use the highest heat setting on your dryer and leave your face mask in until it is completely dry.
If you choose to air dry your face mask, lay it flat until it dries completely. Drying your face mask in direct sunlight is recommended.
To keep your face mask clean after a wash and dry, find a covered container or bag for storage to keep dirt and dust away.
Always Be Prepared
If you’re looking for a mask you can easily wash in your washing machine, by hand or on-the-go, we’ve got you covered.
Thompson Tee’s premium face masks for adults and kids are double-layered, made with 100% cotton and manufactured in the U.S.A.
Our white face masks are safe to bleach, and you can wash or dry them on high heat without worrying about stretching or shrinking. Plus, they’re priced affordably at only $5.99 each and available in six-pack bundles. Stock up for the whole family and always have a clean mask handy!