Published on April 08, 2020

How to Properly Wear and Clean a Cloth Mask

With news of COVID-19 spreading, many states are now advising individuals to wear a cloth face covering when leaving the house. By wearing a face mask you're helping to slow the spread of the virus and you're helping to protect others if you have contracted it and are not showing symptoms. But in order to keep yourself and others safe, you need to make sure you are properly wearing, handling, and taking care of the mask. We've put together a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

A cloth mask should follow these guidelines:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric, with different patterns or colors on each side to distinguish the inside and outside
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

How to remove and clean a cloth mask:

  • Remove the mask by the ear loops, and avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth.
  • Wash your hands after removing.
  • Cleaning should take place as often as you wear the mask
  • Wash in a washing machine

If you don't have a cloth mask, you can make one yourself using common household items. Visit the CDC website for step by step instructions.

Reviewed by Public Relations on April 08, 2020