How Often Should I Wash My Mask?

--

Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Be honest. How many times do you wash your face mask after each wear? Do you know how often you’re supposed to wash it?

“You should wash your cloth mask after each use,” says Robin Patel, MD, the president of the American Society for Microbiology. “Masks can be washed with your regular laundry with detergent. Dry your mask in the dryer on the highest heat setting or air dry in direct sunlight.”

The reason you should wash your face mask often, ideally on a daily basis, is that because the mask is protecting you and others from virus particles, it is possible that the mask itself can become contaminated. A cloth face mask is not going to guarantee a person doesn’t inhale virus particles but it’s a very helpful layer of protection. However, it works better if it’s properly cleaned.

--

--

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that