How to Store Face Masks and Other Basic Considerations
Do you ever find yourself sitting at a café or at a restaurant, taking your mask off as your order is being served, yet end up getting confused where to temporarily put your masks away as you indulge in the food or drink right in front of you?
For the past months, masks have been part of our daily lives as we have woven through this new normal that the pandemic has brought us. Wearing masks have become a routine that we sometimes overlook how to use them correctly, and equally as important, how to store them properly.
So, how do you really store them properly?
The CDC has laid out guidelines on their proper storage.
For wet/dirty masks:
Wet or dirty masks would mean the masks have been contaminated by “sweat, saliva, make-up, or other liquids or substances”, and that these masks can be hard to breathe through and are less effective than dry masks.
In this case, a good storage material for wet or dirty masks would be plastic. Soon as you are able, thoroughly wash the wet or dirty masks to prevent mold from accumulating.
For clean/dry masks:
A dry breathable bag (like paper or mesh fabric bag) would be good to temporarily store masks. When reusing, it’s best to keep the same side facing out.
Keep in mind that you are still supposed to wash or sanitize your hands after removing your mask. After eating, you can put the mask back with the same side facing out. Remember to again wash or sanitize your hands after putting the mask back on.
It would also be ideal to bring a properly stored extra mask, just in case one should be needed.
Another thing we might have been taken for granted is the way we put our masks on and the way we take them off.
- Make sure hands are properly washed or sanitized. It defeats the purpose if your hands have been everywhere and you use the same hands to put your masks on. You might unknowingly have picked up on the virus from somewhere and transferred it onto the mask, which you are about to wear.
- The masks should fit snugly and should cover the nose, chin, and sides of your face. Should the mask appear to be loose, you can double tie the loops around your ears or tie the strings behind your head. Should your mask still be a bit loose, you probably need another size or a different type of mask.
- It is also worthy to note that while masks should fit properly, you should still be able to breathe.
- For those experiencing cold weather, masks tend to become wet. Change them as soon as they become wet as the filtering becomes less efficient, and would even hamper your breathing ability. Keeping a spare or two is necessary in case the masks you have on, become wet. See infographic above on how to properly store the wet mask.
- What most people resort to, when they take off their masks, is that they take the masks off by holding the cloth itself. You should ONLY hold the ear loops or ties when taking them off.
Fold the mask then from the outside corners and immediately wash them.
Be sure to not touch your eyes, nose, mouth when you remove your masks and thoroughly wash your hands before you proceed to touch anything else.
These reminders may seem basic, but a refresher would be necessary so everyone can combat this pandemic together. Want a new selection of face masks, or perhaps you are still in search of a snug fit face mask for you? Feel free to browse our shop. It wouldn’t hurt to carry an extra one around!