How to Clean
a Facemask

Is that stinky face-mask is scaring the neighbors again? Maybe it’s finally time to clean it properly with Hawk Tools Face Mask Cleaner. Don’t waste money on a new mask if a spritz will make it smell like new

Lets keep this simple. The best way to keep your stinky mask smelling fresh is to run it through the laundry. Unfortunately, we often don’t have the time so we just deal with it. Great news, we have a quick and easy (How to clean face mask) step by step process to get your mask smelling its best.

The Process

How to:

  • Hold your mask by its string and let it dangle freely.
  • Spray Hawk Tools Sani-Mask Face Mask Cleaner with three pumps on both sides. Make sure to spray evenly.
  • Patience is a virtue, let the Alcohol evaporate out for 30 seconds before wearing.

That’s it!! You now have the skills to tackle the worst a stinky mask can muster. Remember to re-apply daily for lasting fragrant performance! But, always make sure that the stink is coming from your facemask, if your homes interior air is stale, your health is at risk. Check out this home ventilation guide by Patrick Surlis to better identify the source of your airs stink. For more information on good mask hygiene, check out the additional content below.

Face Mask Cleaner

When you just can’t wash your face mask, this natural fresh blend of Eucalyptus & Pine knocks out stink for an all day rejuvenating experience. Clean your mask right with Hawk Tools!

Clean a Cloth Face MAsk

Clean your face mask - Face masks resting on sink

Masks ready for a good cleaning!

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask or covering any time you go to grocery stores, pharmacies, or other places where social distancing isn’t possible. Consequently, N95 respirators and surgical masks are for healthcare workers, so put your DIY skills to the test and create a cloth face masks right at home. Easily follow a easy-to-sew pattern or a quick no-sew tutorial. Or you can simply find a template on google for free!

CDC Mask Cleaning

Please consider the CDC urges that select individuals can avoid face coverings. This includes children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Everyone else should follow the CDC’s guidelines and wear a face mask in public. All face coverings — DIY or otherwise — should meet the following requirements, as outlined by the CDC:

  • Fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Secure with ties or ear loops
  • Includes multiple layers of fabric
  • Allows for breathing without restriction
  • Laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

How To Make A Face Mask

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab suggests that tightly woven, 100% cotton is the best fabric to use, which means you can turn a bandana, or fabric from pillowcases, curtains, or woven shirts into a face mask or covering. Be sure to avoid knit fabrics, like jersey T-shirts, because they create holes when stretched. To make the mask even more protective, use a non-woven interface, coffee filter, or HVAC filter (as long as they don’t contain fiberglass) inside the mask to help block particles.

Making or buying a face mask is just half of it. To ensure that you and your loved ones are staying as safe and healthy as possible, it’s also important to clean cloth face masks regularly to limit the spread of germs. There are differing reports on whether or not coronavirus can live on clothes. Harvard Health, in particular, suggests that the disease is more likely to live on hard surfaces (think: countertops and door handles) than soft surfaces like fabric. Regardless, the CDC, along with the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, urges that you give cloth face masks the same level of care as your regular laundry, which means you should wash and dry them often per the CDC’s guidelines.

How to Clean Face Masks

The CDC has specific guidelines on how to properly clean most cloth and fabric masks. When you just can’t manage, we suggest our face mask cleaner.

How to clean face mask article image with washing machine

Washing machines are king

How to clean face mask with a washing machine:

  • Include your mask in the regular laundry
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth
  • Lay flat and let dry completely, or dry on the highest heat setting

How to Wash a Face Mask:

  • The mask’s label to see if bleach is a go for disinfection. If bleach is approved, use bleach containing 5% – 8% sodium hypochlorite.
  • Mix a bleach solution with 5 tablespoons (1/3 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
  • Soak in the bleach solution for five minutes.
  • Discard the bleach solution down the drain and rinse the mask thoroughly with cold water
  • Lay flat and let dry completely, or dry on the highest heat setting

There are internet guru’s who recommend other cleaning methods like sanitizing face masks by sticking them in the microwave, oven, or a pot of boiling water, Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, says of course not. She states that “it’s not the same as washing and drying”.

If you are in a pinch, we suggest a light spray of our Mask Cleaner, now available on Amazon.

How to Clean Face Mask Filters

Think about it: You wouldn’t make coffee with an old coffee filter — the same idea applies for face coverings. Most filters that you would add to homemade face masks are for single use, so it’s best to replace them after each use. But how to clean face mask if it’s paper you might ask?

  • Coffee filters: Disposable paper products are not washable, always replace them after each use.
  • HVAC filters: Just don’t wash these. Manufacturers warn that these are for for single use. Additionally, if you decide to sew the filters between cotton fabrics, you will need to wash in the same way as mentioned above. Consequently, the effectiveness will decrease with each wash.
  • Medium weight non-woven: This fabric is typically washable. Therefore, follow the method mentioned above.

How Often You Should Clean Face Masks

There aren’t any hard and fast rules regarding how to clean face mask because it’s really depending on the frequency of use, according to the CDC. If you want to be extra cautious or think there may be a possibility that someone is symptomatic, or has sneezed or coughed within close proximity, just remember how to clean face mask after each use.

As more information about the coronavirus pandemic develops, we will do our best to keep you updated. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the online resources provided by the CDC, and the World Health Organization. You can work to better protect yourself from COVID-19 by washing your hands, avoiding contact with sick individuals, and sanitizing your home, among other actions.

More than Just Facemask Cleaning

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