COVID-19 Community Information Center

How to take care of your cloth mask

Masks help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public. Cloth face masks or coverings should be washed after each use in case the virus is on the mask. But should you care for them any different than your normal laundry? Here’s how to clean your cloth mask:

How to Clean

Washing machine

  • You can include your mask with your regular laundry
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask

Washing by hand

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date and never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser
  • Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water

Make sure to completely dry mask after washing

Dryer

  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry

Air dry

  • Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the mask in direct sunlight

It is important to always remove masks correctly by removing them at the ears and washing your hands after touching a used mask.

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