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Mask washing

(84 Posts)
winterwhite Tue 01-Sep-20 12:06:30

Who's have thought we'd be reduced to worrying about washing face masks?
But what's this I read about the 'correct' procedure: reusable face masks should be washed after every use at 60 degrees?! Has everyone but me doing this all along? I thought those little filters would obviate the need for that and even disposable masks are, or used to be until no doubt the mask police came along, marketed for use 4-5 times. There'll be mask shortages soon as cotton masks shrink at daily washes at 60 degrees.

Charleygirl5 Tue 01-Sep-20 12:10:15

A disposable mask is that- disposable- worn once and then discarded safely.

Sorry, the cotton masks should be boil washed. I personally would do it after each use.

Ilovecheese Tue 01-Sep-20 12:11:50

My consultant doctor neighbour told me a 30 degree wash was sufficient. Having said that, a mask is tightly stitched all around the edges so a cotton mask will probably not shrink if it is good quality, even at 60 degrees.

NanaandGrampy Tue 01-Sep-20 12:15:23

We all wear 2 layer cotton masks made by me. When we come in, we take off coats and throw the masks in the machine for the next wash. I wash at 30 degrees and tumble. They then go back into cello packets waiting for their turn .

No problems at all.

shysal Tue 01-Sep-20 12:16:10

I wash mine with my usual wash, at any temperature from 30C to 60C. I then dry them naturally or in the tumble dryer and then place in individual sealable polythene bags and leave for at least 3 days before using.
I think the wearing of masks will be with us for some time so have ordered some Liberty fabrics to make more.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 01-Sep-20 12:17:19

I pour boiling water on mine, which I understand is 100 degrees (avoiding the elastic) and hope that is sufficient.

Ladyleftfieldlover Tue 01-Sep-20 12:28:09

My cotton or linen masks are washed at 40 degrees after three or four wearing and dried naturally. I don’t usually wear a mask for that long but in London last week I wore the same one on the train, tube and in the National Gallery for a couple of hours. That mask went straight in the wash.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 01-Sep-20 12:48:41

A hot iron will kill any bugs/virus on cotton /fabric masks.

Beechnut Tue 01-Sep-20 13:25:04

I do the same as you beigecardigans.

Cabbie21 Tue 01-Sep-20 13:27:34

My mask is not meant to be machine washed, so I wash it by hand in the hottest water I can.

aggie Tue 01-Sep-20 13:30:20

A couple of the blue disposables ended up in the wash accidentally, they came through unscathed! Is it ok to use them ? It would be less landfill if we could use them for a couple of days!

25Avalon Tue 01-Sep-20 13:31:29

Machine washing shortens the life so I hand wash mine with antiseptic disinfectant in the hot water.

Bathsheba Tue 01-Sep-20 13:36:05

My cotton masks do not shrink, because I always wash the fabric first before making them. Get all the shrinkage out the way before sewing anything. I have measured fabric before and after washing and been amazed at how much it can not only shrink, but on occasion distort as well. Needlecord is great for pulling out of shape in the wash - I'd be pretty miffed if that happened after I'd made the garment!

MayBee70 Tue 01-Sep-20 13:52:43

I’ve got several types of mask and completely confuse myself as to how to wash them: they’re all different. However, as I hardly ever go out these days I tend to use the single use medical grade mask. One of mine is cold wash only, the others are 40 degree wash. At least I know the routine with the single use mask and I do feel safer wearing it.

seacliff Tue 01-Sep-20 13:54:08

I wasn't sure how long the germs stay on the fabric. I thought the covid germs only stay on material for 2 or 3 days, longer on hard surfaces?

So if you hang them somewhere airy after use, germs dissipate? Seems I was wrong.

Like the idea of boiling water poured on or the hot iron. Some of mine I don't think would stand up well to a 60 degree wash.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 01-Sep-20 13:57:39

If you make your own masks out of discarded and well-used sheets or pillow-slips they won't shrink irrespective of whether you wash them at 60 or 90 degrees centigrade or scald them in boiling water.

You may find you need to renew the elastic though after a number of washings.

Spice101 Tue 01-Sep-20 14:00:54

aggie I also wash and reuse my disposable masks.

aggie Tue 01-Sep-20 14:03:47

Thanks Spice , they look fine , so I am going to wash the next ones !

westendgirl Tue 01-Sep-20 14:09:49

Not about laundry, but if you have disposable ones please cut through the ear tapes. I've seen some dreadful photos of birds entangled in them . Hope you don't mind my saying this.

fevertree Tue 01-Sep-20 14:17:58

I wash all the reusable masks in the house twice a week in very hot soapy water (in my salad spinner smile ) and hang them in the sun (when there is sun).

So far no problems.

MayBee70 Tue 01-Sep-20 15:17:34

Good point, westendgirl.

Bluebellwould Tue 01-Sep-20 15:26:54

There was an interesting article in the daily mail today, for once. There was a professional look at different types of masks, with the outcomes of how they let bacteria through the different types. As far as I can remember fabric ones of two layers aren’t very good and the reusable had to be washed at 60 degrees. It was an interesting but alarming article with only one blocking 100%. The test was for bacteria getting through the various types as viruses can’t be grown in a Petrie dish and measured. The article is in the health section of today’s mail.

JackyB Tue 01-Sep-20 15:28:37

We have reusable paper ones which you have to sterilise by putting them in the oven at 60°. The hand made cotton ones get washed with the next, hottest possible wash. Then I steam iron them to sterilise them.

Usually only 1 wear per mask each time (we have quite a few) but sometimes will use again if I've only had it on for 5 minutes or so.

winterwhite Tue 01-Sep-20 15:49:27

Interesting range of views here, many thanks. But Why? Have I missed something else? I thought we wore masks to protect other people from us not the other way round??? That was constantly dinned into us only a few weeks ago.

Furret Tue 01-Sep-20 16:02:13

I hand wash mine every couple of days when I change the filter. That’s what was recommended on the instructions. Then I hang them on the line. The latter wasn’t in the instructions but I like to think that’s a sensible thing to do.

They were bought from Boots.