Why Do I Need to Know How to Properly Wash Face Masks?
During this unprecedented time, it is crucial to ensure that you understand how to properly care for your masks and keep them from damaging your washing machine. It is becoming more common to see masks that have made their way into the drain pumps of the washing machine, which can cause damage and prevent your washing machine from working appropriately. Taking the right steps can help to ensure that you are able to conveniently and effectively wash your masks, without resulting in them damaging your washing machine.
Why Masks Need to be Washed
Ultimately, masks need to be washed on a regular basis to ensure that they are able to continually protect you, your loved ones, and the other people around you. The CDC recommends that you wash your mask after every use, while other experts recommend that you wash your masks after 8 hours of either intermittent or continuous use.
With regular use without washing, the face mask itself can become contaminated by whatever you have come into contact with. This will then result in it doing exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to, because it is located in close proximity to your mouth and nose. This increases the likelihood that you will become infected from whatever your mask has been contaminated with. In addition to this, the bacteria on your mask can transfer to surfaces that you put your unwashed mask on. This is why it is important to ensure that you wash your masks on a regular basis.
How to Wash your Masks Properly in your Washing Machine
Not only is it important to wash your face masks regularly, but it is also important to ensure that you wash your masks properly. When you intend to wash your masks, you should ensure that you put them inside a mesh bag to prevent them from becoming lost in the washing machine. Aside from taking this step, your masks can then be included with your regular laundry. Ensure that you use laundry detergent to guarantee that the mask is effectively cleaned and disinfected. Use the warmest water setting that is possible for the cloth that the mask is created from. This can help to ensure that your masks are washed properly without damaging your washing machine.
Washing Masks By Hand
You can also wash your masks by hand, if you are worried about them causing damage to your washing machine. If you intend to wash your masks by hand, you will need to ensure that you use bleach to provide proper disinfection. The bleach needs to contain sodium hypochlorite between the range of 5.25% and 8.25%. Ensure that it is suitable for disinfection and the bleach has not passed its designated expiration date. Whenever you work with bleach, it is also critical to ensure that you don’t mix it with any other cleanser, because this can be incredibly dangerous. Always ensure that you have adequate ventilation when you are cleaning with bleach. You can prepare your bleach solution by combining 5 tablespoons of bleach for each gallon of water that you use. Alternatively, you may use 4 teaspoons for every quart of water. Use room temperature water.
It is important to ensure that you wear skin and eye protection when you are working with bleach in order to prevent possible damage. Once you have created the bleach solution, you will want to soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes to ensure that the mask is disinfected. After this point, you will want to rinse the mask thoroughly with either cool or room temperature water. Ensure that you wash it thoroughly to prevent yourself from breathing in bleach residue. After this, you need to ensure that you completely dry the mask.
How to Dry your Face Masks
It is crucial to thoroughly dry your face masks after they have been washed. A damp face mask can allow mold to grow, which can be devastating for your health. There are multiple methods that you can follow to thoroughly dry your mask. You can put your mask in the dryer and set it to the highest heat setting. Ensure that you leave the mask in the dryer until it is completely dry. You may also air dry your face masks. You will want to lay them flat and allow them to dry completely. If possible, you may want to put the mask in direct sunlight to expedite the drying process.
Potential Issues with your Washing Machine and Face Masks
There are a few potential issues that can occur when you wash your face masks without putting them in a mesh bag. For one thing, your face masks can potentially get stuck in drain pumps if they make it past the various components of your washing machine, including the strainers, filters, or screens. If a mask has become trapped on the filter or other component of the washing machine, you may want to take a look at your washing machine manual on how to change these components. A common problem is for face masks to become trapped in the drain pump, which may result in the drain pump needing to be replaced.
During this particular time, there are many important things that you will need to learn to be aware of. The possibility of face masks causing damage to your washing machine is just one of these components. By ensuring that you wash your face masks properly, you can help to keep your washing machine in good condition, while ensuring that your masks can be thoroughly cleaned. If your face masks have caused damage to your washing machine, this washing machine may be in need of repairs. At iFiX, we offer repair services to help ensure that your washing machine can continue to operate as effectively as possible. To learn more about how to prevent face masks from damaging your washing machine, contact us today!