How Often Should You Clean Your Fabric Face Mask?

Tarrah Gibbons
April 07, 2020 - 3:55 pm

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people want to protect themselves.

Today reported that President Donald Trump urged the nation to wear cloth face coverings when going outside to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Americans are now getting creative after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people start wearing non-medical cloth face coverings while out in public to protect themselves.

Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, said that while there are "no hard and fast recommendations," it's generally safe to wear one multiple times without washing it.

Schaffner said there is no need to wash frequently if you're only going out to the supermarket and pharmacy — in which case, a weekly wash should be fine.

NBC News contributor Joseph Fair, who is a virologist and epidemiologist, suggests people should wash their cloth face coverings should wash them after using them twice. Fair urges people to clean their masks immediately if they were near someone with COVID-19. He also suggests making more masks so you can wash them regularly.

Since there are no official recommendations on how to clean your mask, Dr. Schaffner said people at home could throw it in their laundry.

Research suggests that some fabrics around your house could filter out 79% of particles if you need to go out.

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