MASK WEARING 101

Protect yourself, and those near you.

Mask Display

Wearing Your Face Mask

How to Safely Put On Your Mask:

  • Make sure your mask is clean. (See: Cleaning Your Face Mask)
     

  • Clean your hands before touching the mask, either with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer.
     

  • Secure the mask using ties. It is important for the mask to feel secure to avoid readjustments during usage. Ensure that the mask: 

    • Covers your mouth and nose

    • Fits snugly with no gaps between your face and the mask

    • Allows breathing without restriction
       

  • While wearing the mask in public, avoid touching or readjusting. If you do need to touch the mask, clean your hands immediately following with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer.

How to Safely Remove Your Mask:

  • Carefully remove the mask from behind using only the ties. Avoid touching the front of the mask when removing. Be very careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
     

  • Put the mask directly into the laundry. If laundry is unavailable, put the mask in a disposable bag until you can wash it.
     

  • Clean your hands after handling the mask using soap and water or with alcohol-based sanitizer.

Wearing Your Face Mask

It is important to wash your mask after every individual use.
 

  • Machine washing (preferred method)

    • Your mask can be washed with other garments, sheets, or towels using regular laundry detergent.

    • Avoid using bleach or hydrogen peroxide, as these chemicals can damage fibers and make the mask less effective.

    • Wash your mask on a hot water cycle.
       

  • Handwashing (if only option)

    • Lather your mask with soap or detergent and scrub for at least 20 seconds with hot water.

  • Drying options

    • Dry your mask on a hot setting (preferred method)

    • Air dry (if only option)

When to Replace Your Mask

The fabric on your mask can degrade with repeated washing. This level of degradation will vary based on the type of fabric and how it is washed. Monitor the integrity of your face mask as you use it to ensure the fabric remains intact.

Inspect your face mask by holding it up to a light source to check for particularly thin areas where holes might be forming. If your fabric has thinned, consider replacing your face mask. If there are visible holes, replace your mask.

Safety and Additional Info

Do not put a face mask on:

  • Children younger than 2 years of age

  • Anyone who has trouble breathing

  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance


​Face masks are a useful precaution, but they alone will not protect you from the virus. It is important to maintain social distancing and frequent handwashing while using your mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CDC

Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

New York Times

A User's Guide to Face Masks

CNBC

The right way to use and clean your mask during the COVID-19 pandemic

Popular Science

The Best Ways to Clean Fabric Face Masks

Safety Sources & Add'l Info