Doctor explains how to clean cloth masks properly

The Alabama Department of Public Health tells WAAY 31 when it comes to cloth masks, the best thing to do is wash them, just like you would a t-shirt or other clothing items.

Posted: Apr 28, 2020 5:23 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2020 10:48 PM

As Alabama's restrictions to help stop the spread of Coronavirus continue, a lot of us will keep on wearing cloth masks and facial coverings when we go out in public.

The Alabama Department of Public Health tells WAAY 31 when it comes to cloth masks, the best thing to do is wash them, just like you would a t-shirt or other clothing items.

"I have a compromised immune system and I don't want to risk getting sick," said the founder of Madison Mask Makers, Megan Ehemann.

Megan Ehemann founded the Madison Mask Makers group on Facebook. She makes cloth masks for those who need them.

"A lot of people don't even know if they are a carrier of COVID-19 so wearing a mask could protect everybody," said Ehemann.

She says it's important to wash masks regularly.

"It's really easy to clean. There are no special rules," said Ehemann.

Doctor Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health tells WAAY 31 people should wash their masks every day.
People can either put the mask in a washing machine with normal laundry detergent and then put it the dryer, or hand-wash it with soap and water and then hang it up to dry.

"Make sure that you remove the nose piece if there's a nose piece in there. It's a wire. The only reason for that is to make sure you don't lose it," said Ehemann.

Another method of sanitizing masks is being passed around online. It includes putting the mask in a paper bag in a warm area for two days to kill germs. Doctor Landers says she does not recommend doing this, and washing is a more reliable option.

Ehemann says if you're washing the masks you wear, you're doing your part to protect those around you.

"We're going to be able to go out a little bit more starting Thursday because more places will be open. I think it's so much more important to understand the importance of wearing a mask," said Ehemann.

If you're using a coffee filter as an extra level of protection in your mask, make sure you throw it away after every use.

Doctor Landers tells WAAY 31 N-95 masks shouldn't be washed at home, companies distributing them are in charge of making sure those masks are sanitized for employees.

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