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How to Disinfect Your DIY Face Mask

The CDC recommends washing DIY face masks at least once a day. Here are three methods to effectively disinfect your DIY face masks.

Mother wearing a homemade protective mask and putting one to her daughter DIY face maskti-ja/Getty Images

Disinfecting your DIY face mask

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended all Americans wear a protective cloth face covering when leaving their home, especially in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain—places such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Additionally, the CDC clarified that "the cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance." Instead, you can make your own DIY face mask.

There are numerous ways to make your own mask for these types of situations. However, a crucial step to avoiding Covid-19 is making sure you effectively disinfect your DIY face mask after each use. Below are three expert-approved methods for disinfecting your DIY face masks.

Clean DIY Face Mask In WasherFamily Handyman

Cleaning your DIY face mask in the washing machine

If you have a washer and dryer available, the CDC says a regular washing machine should do the job of sanitizing your masks. Be sure to wash your DIY face mask after each use in a delicates bag to protect the elastic from becoming disheveled. Wash your face mask with laundry detergent and on a hot water or a sanitizing setting. Next, dry your mask in your dryer on a high-temperature setting. This same method would also work for other cloth face coverings such as bandanas or scarves.

Plus, you would think that a machine meant to wash something would stay clean itself, right? Nope! Here's how to clean your washing machine.

Clean DIY Face Mask in SinkFamily Handyman

Cleaning your DIY face mask in the sink

If you lack access to a washing machine, you can also sanitize your DIY cloth mask in your kitchen sink. Fill your sink with really hot water and dish soap. Let your face mask soak in the hot soapy water for at least five minutes. Be sure to let it completely dry before you use it again.

Clean DIY Facemask in ovenFamily Handyman

Disinfecting your DIY face mask in the oven

Additionally, you can disinfect your non-flammable DIY masks in dry heat. Sanitize masks by ironing them or placing them in an oven at 158 degrees F. for at least 30 minutes. If your oven Oven not working? Here's how to fix it.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman