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Toolbox Talk: Cleaning Cloth Face Coverings

By October 12, 2020 October 28th, 2020 No Comments

A facial covering is an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings. Facial coverings should be washed regularly and changed as often as needed. It is a good idea to rotate between multiple facial coverings. This practice will allow you to have a clean covering on hand while the other(s) are drying. Note: It is important to always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used facial covering.

The following are tips and suggestions on how to clean your facial covering.

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

  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection
    • Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection
    • Use bleach containing 5.25%ā€“8.25% sodium hypochlorite
  • Do not use a bleach product if the percentage is not in this range or is not specified
  • Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date
  • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser
  • Ensure adequate ventilation
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of 5.25%ā€“8.25% bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    • 4 teaspoons of 5.25%ā€“8.25% bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes
  • Discard the bleach solution down the drain and rinse the mask thoroughly with cool or room temperature water

No matter your washing method, make sure to completely dry the mask after washing.

Remember, safety is built one step at a time!