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How should I clean and store my face mask?

Illustration by Peter Hamlin.;

How should I clean and store my face mask?

Cloth face masks worn during the coronavirus pandemic should be washed regularly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public health experts recommend wearing a mask made from cotton fabric, such as T-shirts, or scarves and bandannas, when you are outside and unable to maintain social distancing from others.

The covering should be washed daily after use, says Penni Watts, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing.

It is best to clean your mask in a washing machine or with soap and hot water. The mask should be dried completely. Dry it in a hot dryer, if possible.

Watts advises storing the clean, dry mask in a new paper bag to keep it safe from germs.

The CDC has urged people to use washable cloth coverings to ensure there are enough surgical and N95 masks for medical workers.

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The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org.
 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States