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How to Clean Your Fabric Face Mask

washing machine image with header - washing your mask

When we designed our fabric face masks, we wanted to make sure they were 100% sanitize-able. That meant no elastic and sturdy 100% cotton fabric that can handle being boiled in water. These are not medical grade masks, but our goal was to create something as high quality as possible that can be washed and reused and hopefully limit the user's exposure to pathogens. 
But do you really NEED to boil your mask every time?
Nah, probably not. 
Here is what the CDC recommends for standard fabric face mask use:
How Often Should I Wash My Face Mask
"They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use."
According to a recent study, coronavirus was shown to last up to two-days on fabric. However, more studies are being conducted to validate this data, and rather than just wait two days to reuse the mask, it's safest to give it a wash after any use where you have come in contact with other people or objects outside your home.
How Do I Clean/Sterilize My Mask?
"A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering."
If you're using your machine, run your wash on hot. For an extra hit at any bacteria (and a crisper lookin' mask), iron the mask when it's dry.
If you don't have a washing machine, you have a couple options:
1. You can wash it by hand in hot water with soap for 20 minutes.
2. Boil it for 5 minutes in a pot of water. 
Note: It is only recommended you boil a mask 10 times before replacing it, as the boiling can impact the structural integrity of the fabric and make it more porous.
Once it's washed
- just pop it in the dryer and tumble dry! 
How Do I Safely Remove My Mask
Once you've used the face mask the CDC recommends the following: 
"Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing."
If you've been in a busy spot, like the grocery store, or are certain you were sneezed or coughed on, you might want to pop that face mask immediately in a plastic bag or container so you can limit it's spread of germs before you have time to wash it.  
It is worth noting: the CDC recommends wearing fabric face coverings NOT to protect you from any viruses (they are not terribly effective at this—unless you are using medical grade N95 masks—and those should only be used by front line medical workers). Fabric face masks are in place to protect others in your vicinity from you—in case you are asymptomatic and cough/sneeze/breathe out particles onto those around you.
Also of note: our face mask filters are not intended to be washed.

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