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Video: Sheet Mask - Tips For Washing It
In cotton fabric, neoprene, from a bra or a sock, the tutorials and DIY ideas for making your own reusable respiratory protection mask are many and our site is full of them! And while manual activities during the confinement period multiply, several questions arise: how to wear your protective fabric mask? What are the most effective ways to clean and disinfect it? Should we iron it? Is there a risk that the reusable mask will become a nest of germs, just like his cell phone?
How to wear and clean your protective fabric mask?
The protective mask has now become an everyday accessory for millions of people around the world. And although its operation may seem rather rudimentary, the mask, whether it is homemade or industrial, must be used and placed properly so as not to lose its effectiveness. What's more, using your mask incorrectly can increase the risk of transmission rather than decrease it. Wearing a mask is essential when you have symptoms of the coronavirus or you are caring for a person infected with covid-19.
While scientists advise against reusing a mask, people with a DIY fabric mask consider it better than nothing. In short, for your protective fabric (or paper) mask to be effective, it must be well positioned and adapted to the shape of the face. Its padded side of the nose bar should be placed over the hump of the nose to protect it well. Once on the face, avoid touching it. Every time you do, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer! Because basically, we touch contaminated surfaces all the time. To remove your mask, remove it from behind and proceed to disinfect your hands and fabric.
Wash at 60 ° C for fabric masks
If you cannot immediately disinfect your face mask, place it in a plastic bag filled with alcohol or bleach. An airtight plastic box with bleach is also possible. The ideal will be to disinfect it as soon as possible. You can put it in the washing machine at 60 ° C with detergent for 30 minutes (cotton cycle). Another smart and effective way to kill virus and bacteria is to disinfect your sheet mask by putting it in the oven for 30 minutes at 70.
Another possibility is to boil it for a few moments in a pot of boiling water. Then dry it in the dryer, if you have one, or in the hair dryer. Your mask should not stay wet for too long. Once your mask is well cleaned, check that it is not damaged. In case of defect, it is better to throw it away. For optimal effectiveness, it is better to have several fabric masks to change during the day.
Should I iron my protective fabric mask?
Ironing alone is not the most effective method of removing the virus, experts say. However, it is not recommended. For the maintenance of your mask, you opt for the iron or steam to remove any wrinkles. Note, however, that ironing can in no way replace machine washing. Indeed, the iron may alter the mask and make it less waterproof. What is more, the heat given off by the iron does not spread evenly throughout the fabric, which makes it absolutely ineffective in terms of disinfection.
Disinfecting your fabric mask in the freezer: effective or not?
Contrary to popular belief, placing your mask in the freezer is not effective against covid-19 either. While some people seem to advise putting used masks or clothes in the freezer, it should be understood that the virus remains alive when stored in the freezer. The coronavirus is, however, sensitive to heat. The only temperature capable of destroying the virus is that in the dishwasher and the washing machine.
What about DIY plastic protective masks?
As for plastic protective masks, such as protective visors and face shields, they also need to be cleaned regularly. They are therefore washed with soap and water or with a disinfectant, avoiding putting your hands at face level under the visor.