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Graphic: World Health Organization
, here’s what you should do whenever you take off a cloth mask: these updated guidelines
Clean your hands before removing your mask.
Remove the mask by the straps behind your ears or head.
Pull the mask away from your face.
Store the mask in a clean plastic, resealable bag if it is not dirty or wet and you plan to reuse it.
Remove the mask by the straps when taking it out of the bag.
Wash the mask in soap or detergent, preferably in hot water, at least once a day. Clean your hands after removing the mask.
And if you’re a city-dweller without your own washing machine,
that it’s also OK to hand-wash your cloth masks. Either way, like the WHO, they recommend using hot water and detergent. the Mayo Clinic says
Viruses aside, now that it’s summer and has quickly gotten hot, humid and gross in many parts of the country, you’ll probably want to wash that wet and sweaty mask anyway. And no,
, dousing your cloth masks with essential oils is not the equivalent of washing them: as Beth Skwarecki pointed out before
One thing: don’t expect essential oils to protect you if you’re using a mask. There’s a news anchor out there doing a perfectly fine bandana mask tutorial while
that lavender and peppermint oils are “antibacterial” and “help fight germs.” COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria, and there’s no reason to believe that dotting essential oils on a bandana will do anything to the virus. (Pleasant smells in your mask blocking out disease? That’s some telling people .) 17th-century plague doctor shit
So if you’re someone who leaves your home relatively regularly, you’ll probably want to invest in multiple cloth masks so you can rotate while used masks are washed and dried. And unlike a few weeks ago, it’s pretty easy to find cloth masks at affordable prices now,
. especially on sites like Etsy
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