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Woman and child with mouth and nose protectors LeoPatrizi/iStock

Cleaning masks

Face masks – how to keep these everyday companions clean

Face masks have now become a completely normal everyday object. It is therefore now important to make sure that this object is washed and hygienically clean every day. 

From brightly coloured to black – our new daily companions

The coronavirus pandemic has been keeping Germany and the entire world occupied for more than six months. The same also goes for the corresponding face masks.

Just one year ago, hardly anyone would have believed that wearing a ‘mask’ would become part of our everyday routine so quickly. People have a mask in their hand or on their face at least once a day. These accessories have become a familiar everyday object that most people can now handle proficiently and wear in a way that suits their style, whether it be creatively colourful or a more practical white or black version.

However, people should not be tempted into developing a careless approach to this new habit.  It remains very important to keep this everyday object hygienically clean at all times.

The right way to clean a face mask

Many people now wear reusable face masks made from fabric (mostly cotton). This is also a sensible idea for daily use, not least because they often look better and do not create rubbish. Yet it is really important to make sure that these masks in particular are cleaned especially well. 

It is especially crucial to ensure that they are changed and washed as often as possible and at least once a day after every use. Instead of constantly holding it in your hand when it is not in use, it should be stored in a safe place. This place should be well ventilated, such as a hook on the wall, etc.

The safest way of cleaning a face mask is to wash it – as recommended by all the experts! It is questionable how effective it is to clean the mask by ironing it or heating it in the oven.

When cleaning masks in the washing machine, you should ideally use a normal detergent (e.g. Persil Universal) and wash them at a minimum of 60°C with a pre-wash cycle. Washing them at 95° is even better. If you have to wash several masks, it is best to place them all inside a laundry net so that the cords and elastic straps do not get damaged. You can also use an antibacterial laundry cleanser. 

Do not tumble-dry the masks afterwards (otherwise the elastic straps will shrink); instead, leave them in a warm, well-ventilated place to dry. Important note: damp face masks are not effective – always leave them to dry thoroughly.

Of course, you can also boil the face masks in a pot on the hob. To do this, simply boil some water in a suitable pot, place all of the face masks in the boiling water and then keep on stirring them well. Then hang them in the bathroom or garden to drip-dry.

Two children with mouth and nose protectors welcome each otherandreswd/iStock

For schoolchildren:

Even after the summer holidays, it is a daily challenge for children to handle their masks correctly. It is particularly important to make sure that the children do not leave their so-called masks lying around everywhere. It is best to give your child a small container (such as a lunch box) where they can always store their mask whenever they do not need it. It is also a good idea to ensure that they have one or ideally two spare masks with them. That’s because the face masks often get dirty or sweaty after the break, impairing their effectiveness and also making them unpleasant to wear. 

Any stains can easily be removed with a stain remover (such as Sil Stain Removal Spray). It goes without saying that this mask should also be disposed of at some point.

For the office:

Similar rules to those for schoolchildren also apply in the office – store your mask in the same place or, better still, hang it up somewhere, such as by a window or on the desk lamp. Try to hold the mask in your hand or hang it over your arm as little as possible. It may contaminate other objects and become unusable itself. Important note: change your mask throughout the day. If you are finding it difficult to breathe, use a disposable mask – these are generally much easier to wear. 

If constantly washing your masks gets too much for you, Persil Service will be happy to do it quickly and reliably for you.