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Keeping it clean: CDC recommendations on washing masks and face coverings

When washing reusable face coverings, the CDC recommends using the warmest water setting that the fabric will allow.

It's important to wash your hands regularly to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other viruses. However, not as many of us remember that it's important to wash masks and face coverings too.

The CDC actually recommends washing reusable face coverings after each use.

Most cloth face covers can be included in a regular load of laundry with regular detergent. But since fabrics can vary it's always a good idea to check the label or check with the manufacturer to see if machine washing is recommended.

The CDC recommends using the warmest water setting that the fabric will allow.

If you don't have multiple face masks and you do laundry often enough to keep them clean, you can also wash them by hand.

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When washing by hand, the CDC suggests using a solution of disinfecting bleach and water. Be sure to check the bleach product you're using though, as not all of them are meant for disinfecting. Check the product label and never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products.

The recommended mixture is five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water or four tablespoons of bleach per quart of water. Soak your face covering for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly with room-temperature or cool water.

After washing the reusable face covering, you can put in the dryer on high heat. 

To air dry, lay the face covering flat. If possible, lay it in direct sunlight.

Find more on the CDC's recommendations HERE.

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