Wearing a face mask is an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 but, for a mask to be effective, it should be cleaned after each use. Disposable, surgical masks can’t be laundered, but cloth face masks can and should be cared for using these simple cleaning tips:
- Wash any worn mask at least once a day, or more often if it is dirty. If the manufacturer gives special directions, follow them. If not, wash it at the warmest setting on the washer and dryer that’s safe for the material.
- It’s okay to put a mask in the washing machine and dryer with other laundry.
- If you don’t have a washer or dryer, hand wash a mask by soaking the mask in a bleach solution (4 tablespoons of household bleach in 1 quart of room temperature water) for 5 minutes and then rinse it well with room temperature water. Let the mask air dry completely (in direct sunlight, if possible).
- Don’t share masks unless they’re washed and dried first.
- Don’t store your mask with other people’s masks. Store each mask in its own clean paper bag.
Learn more about Akron Children’s COVID-19 response and resources available for families.