Benefits of Fabric Face Masks and How to Clean Them

Mask wearing has become a part of everyday life since the onset of COVID-19. If you've mostly worn the disposable face masks, now is the time to purchase a few fabric masks. Not only are they more eco-friendly, but there are benefits to wearing them too. You might wonder how you can care for a fabric face mask if you aren't just tossing it in the garbage. We provide step-by-step instructions on how to properly clean your face masks, so you always have one that is fresh and ready to wear.

Why not surgical masks? The CDC states that these types of masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. These folks are dealing with the virus first-hand on a regular basis, meaning they need the best protection available. This is why the CDC recommends fabric face masks for the general public.

Fabric Face Mask Benefits

Decreasing the Spread of Droplets

When you wear a fabric face mask, the material acts as a barrier for respiratory droplets. When you cough, speak, sneeze, or even breath, you naturally release these droplets. Should you have COVID-19, these droplets can reach other people if you don't have a mask on. They're also useful if you have a common cold or a seasonal allergy has flared up, as the fabric will keep you and others around you safe.

Some are asymptomatic after they've contracted COVID-19. So, you may not even know you have it. Wearing a fabric mask prevents you from unknowingly spreading the virus to others.

Help Maintain Medical Grade Masks

As mentioned above, medical grade masks are needed by nurses, doctors, first responders, and other healthcare workers. When you purchase a fabric face mask, you're doing your part by refraining from dipping into the nation's supply.

They're Reusable

So long as you wash your masks, they can be used as long as necessary. When washed with hot water and soap or detergent, you will kill any COVID-19 particles that are inhabiting the mask fabric. These masks will save you money if you've been purchasing the disposable ones.

They're Easy to Make at Home

Are you crafty? Chances are if you're on our site, you are! Fabric face masks are very easy to sew, taking just a few minutes to construct. We recommend using 100% cotton, as this fabric offers breathability and works to block out virus particles. Read our how-to guide here (LINK TO https://bestfabricstore.com/blog/how-to-make-a-fabric-face-mask/).

They Can Be Personalized

You can make the most out of mask wearing by choosing a mask that suits your style. Maybe you love a specific football team or a floral pattern. There are many different fabrics here in our collection you can use to craft your own masks, but if you'd rather buy instead, you can find completed masks on Etsy and in most stores like Walmart, Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, and elsewhere. This is great for your kids too, as they'll be more excited to wear face masks when they feature a cool print or design relevant to their interests.

How to Clean A Fabric Face Mask

These washing directions are adapted from the CDC. There are several ways in which you can wash your fabric face mask depending on how much time you have on hand.

Washing Machine

  • Place fabric face mask in a mesh bag.
  • Toss bag in with regular laundry.
  • Use warmest appropriate water setting.
  • Once cycle is complete, take mask out.
  • You may dry on the highest heat setting or air dry by lying flat. Place in direct sunlight if possible.

Wash by Hand

  • Purchase a bleach that is intended for disinfection. This should contain 25%–25% sodium hypochlorite. Do not use a bleach product if the percentage is not in this range or is not specified.

2. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons of 5.25%–8.25% bleach per quart of room temperature water.

  • In a well-ventilated area, soak the mask in a bleach solution for 5 minutes.
  • Drain bleach solution and rinse fabric face mask thoroughly with fresh water.
  • You may dry on the highest heat setting or air dry by lying flat. Place in direct sunlight if possible.