Masks and other face coverings have become a fact of life for most Americans. As stay-at-home orders are lifted, wearing masks continues to be an important part of protecting against the further spread of covid-19 — and part of wearing a mask is washing a mask. Brian Sansoni, a senior vice president for communications at the American Cleaning Institute, says that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “reusable cloth face masks and coverings should routinely be washed depending on how often they’re worn.”
Carolyn Forte, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab, says that fabric face coverings are the only ones that can be laundered. “If you made it yourself and there’s a paper filter, like a coffee filter, inside, that needs to be removed before washing,” she adds.
How to machine wash face masks
According to Forte, the best way to wash a fabric mask is also the easiest: Masks can be laundered in the washing machine. She advises that you wash masks in warm or, preferably, hot water (the hotter temperature helps sanitize) and suggests using a heavy-duty stain-removing detergent, like Tide, Gain or any other common detergent.
Tide Ultra Stain Release ($16.40; amazon.com)
Tide Ultra Stain Release
Gain Flings Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs ($9.94, originally $12.84; amazon.com)
Gain Flings Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs
Forte says that