Written by Stacy Kelleher. Reviewed by Sean Busch.
Cloth face masks have probably been a regular part of your life for the last few years, and for good reason! They're incredibly convenient, and practical ways to curb the spread of illness. Protection from illness? Good. Skin irritation and “mask-ne"? Not so good.
We didn't think it was enough to show you how to wash face masks for sensitive skin. We also wanted to let you know what the best soap to wash face masks for sensitive skin was.
Why Should I Wear a Face Mask?
Multi-layered cloth face masks are an effective and affordable way to help reduce the spread of viruses. This is especially true when people are asymptomatic and don’t know if they’re contagious.
If that’s the case, cloth masks should contain most of the respiratory droplets generated from coughing and sneezing whenever you’re in community settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies).
For those of us who don’t require advanced PPE (like health workers), the CDC mask guidelines are as follows:
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Consist of multiple layers of fabric
- Fit snugly and comfortably, completely covering the nose and mouth.
- Never restrict breathing
How Long Can COVID-19 Last on Fabric?
At the time of publication, the CDC has confirmed that COVID-19 is typically transmitted from person-to-person contact via droplets. Researchers are still working to understand precisely how the novel coronavirus is transmitted to people who touch surfaces containing the virus.
Recent research has revealed that certain coronavirus strains can live on fabric for up to 72 hours. That’s why washing masks after each use is so important.
How Often Should I Wash My Face Mask?
You should be washing masks every time you use them, but you'll extend their wear by only touching them with clean hands.
If you’re away from home for hours, you might need to wear the same mask all day. But since so many popular detergents irritate sensitive skin – and facial skin is so delicate – choose a gentle soap to wash masks.
Can I Wash a Face Mask with Dish Soap?
As long as you're using hot water and a laundry brush, it should be fine to wash masks with dish soap. However, most dish soaps aren’t formulated to be gentle on skin – and synthetic perfumes can cause unwanted reactions in people with sensitive skin and allergies.
Puracy Natural Dish Soap is formulated with 99.96% natural ingredients, leaves behind zero residue, and is scented with natural essential oils. That means it's an incredible gentle soap to wash masks with.
How to Hand Wash Masks
- Properly wash your hands and add 3-5 pumps of Puracy Dish Soap, Hand Soap, or even Natural Body Wash directly onto the mask.
- Using hot water and a laundry brush, thoroughly scrub both sides and straps for at least 20 seconds. If the soap disappears, that means your mask is either oily or dirty. Simply add more soap and hot water and continue scrubbing.
- Gently wring out excess water and hang your mask up to dry. Just like towels dry better on a towel bar (versus a hook), draping the center of damp masks over a clothes hanger ensures better air flow and faster drying time.
- When you’re finished, wash your hands for another 20 seconds.
How to Machine Wash Face Masks
The simplest way to kill germs on face masks is by machine-washing them on a hot water setting with an extra rinse cycle.
While it's safe to wash face masks with your other clothing, but be sure to follow these tips:
- Remove elastic ties or bands before washing "no-sew" masks.
- Use a dryer or hair blow dryer (both on the hottest settings).
- Do not microwave or boil masks in water.
We’ve Got the Best Detergent for Face Masks
To create Natural Laundry Detergent we partnered with PhD chemists and pediatricians to create something that was tough on dirt, gentle on fabrics, and perfect for those with sensitivities. That's precisely why our 10x concentrated formula is free of:
- optical brighteners
- artificial fragrance
- sulfates (e.g. SLS, SLES)
The 4 powerful plant enzyme cleaners in our Natural Laundry Detergent are destroyed in water temperatures over 212ºF. For steam-sanitizing washing machine users, check water temps to ensure effectiveness.
Puracy: The Best Way to Wash Masks (and Much More)
From face masks to disinfecting your home, we know you’re taking extra precautions to protect your family. That's why our team is working around the clock to ensure that you've got the plant-based products you need.