Thursday, October 1, 2020

3 Tricks For Getting the Most Out of Your Cloth Mask.

August 4, 2020 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( The CDC recommends wearing a face mask as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A face mask provides a barrier that helps to prevent the transfer of airborne droplets onto other people when the individual wearing the face mask either coughs or sneezes. Cloth face masks are especially useful in places where social distancing measures are hard to maintain, like grocery store, or public transportation for instance. As we all adapt to this new normal, here are some tips to help you get the best use out of your fabric face mask.

Trick one: Wear your fabric face mask right.

Masks are be worn to filter the air you breathe, but they cannot do this when used in the wrong way, like under the nose or on the chin. The mask should cover the bottom half of your face. This means that you should wear it over your nose and chin for a comfortable fit (and so that it actually serves a purpose).

The NxTSTOP Adjustable Reusable Face Mask is a good example of stylish face-mask that offers a snug fit. These masks come fitted with a bendable wire insert on the nose strip, and stretchable fabric for the chin rest, which allows for a comfortable fit on various face shapes and sizes. Plus, these masks also have stretchy adjustable ear loops, conveniently backed with a stopper to ensure an extra snug fit on any sized face. They are environment-friendly as well as they come in biodegradable bamboo and cotton options.

Trick two. Clean your mask the right way.

The CDC guidelines on the cleaning of fabric face masks offer that fabric face masks should be washed depending on the frequency of use and that a washing machine can be used to wash a face mask. Yet, these guidelines fail to account for the different types of filters and fabric used to make cloth masks, such as cotton and bamboo. Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab suggests using a washing machine to wash all face masks and drying them on high heat, adding that masks made from delicate fabric should be hand-washed. When hand-washing masks, she advises that you lather masks well with soap and scrub for about 20 seconds with warm water before drying.

When cleaning a NxTSTOP mask:

  • Wash like colors together, and lay flat to dry
  • If you choose to wash your mask at high temperatures, consider the bamboo fabric as it is more resilient in high temperature
  • Wash the mask inside a garment bag to preserve the shape of the mask
  • Use an unscented detergent option to prevent irritation caused by strong scents
  • Lay the masks flat to dry

While there aren’t any concrete rules provided on how often you should wash your reusable face masks, the CDC recommends washing your mask as often as you use it.

Trick three. Store your mask properly.

After cleaning and between usage, store your mask in a cool, dry place where mold, mildew and fungus cannot grow. Fold your mask inwards to guarantee that the inner lining that comes into contact with your mouth is not contaminated. If you need to store your mask between usage throughout the day (at meals for instance) consider a mask storage case, the mask pouch that comes with many hand sanitizer kits, an antibacterial dust-proof mask case, a reusable sandwich bag, or a household sterilizer box, to put your mask in and prevent cross-contamination.

The CDC has recommended that the general public use reusable face masks to ensure there are enough medical-grade masks such as surgical masks and the N95 masks for healthcare workers.

Staff Writer; Craig Brown

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