• By Deborah Balzer

Tips on how to wear and care for your cloth mask

May 8, 2020
two homemade cloth masks

Wearing a cloth mask in public to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is recommend by the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and required by many business establishments.

These tips are adapted from the CDC guidance on how to wear and care for a cloth mask:

How to wear cloth face coverings?

Cloth face coverings should:

• Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
• Be secured with ties or ear loops.
• Include multiple layers of fabric.
• Allow for breathing without restriction.
• Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

How often should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned?

Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. Mayo Clinic recommends that cloth face coverings be washed after every day of use.

How do I store my cloth mask?

Masks should not be placed in pockets for later use. To store or transport, carefully fold the mask so the contaminated outside is folded inward and against itself. Place in clean or new paper bag, and perform hand hygiene.

How can I safely clean a cloth face covering?

Machine washing or hand washing should suffice to properly wash a cloth face covering with regular laundry detergent. Mayo Clinic recommends a 'hot' water temperature for washing face coverings.

How do I safely remove a used cloth face covering?

When removing a cloth face covering, be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and perform hand hygiene immediately after removing.

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Check the CDC website for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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