There’s that old saying that cleanliness comes next to godliness. The notion that the human race has a moral obligation to keep ourselves, our homes, and our workspaces clean couldn’t get a more resounding yes than in today’s context of Covid-19.
That’s right. The “C” word has taken over the world with masks, hand sanitizers, and stay home orders becoming the norm.
As the mask becomes an unavoidable part of our defense armory against the COVID-19, sanitizing and cleaning the mask becomes imperative. Health experts recommend a few measures to increase longevity and maintain a hygienic mask.
- Isolation of the mask after immediate use – Following a visit from the outside, the mask should be kept at a place away from the reach of other people. Kirsten Koehler, an associate professor of environmental health and engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, warns, “You don’t want to be leaving it on the kitchen counter or the coffee table where other people may inadvertently be handling it.”
- Keeping the hands clean: It is suggested that the user should wash their hand after wearing and taking off the mask. The WHO guideline of 20s washing should be followed here.
There are some masks that are disposable after a single-use, then there are the N95 masks, and the recent rise of homemade masks have made the availability and reach feasible.
- To clean your homemade mask, run it through the washing machine and dryer after use. The water may or may not be to be hot, but make sure to use laundry detergent.
- Alternative methods of handwashing should be done using soap or antiseptic liquids.
- In order to kill the virus, put the mask into a paper bag, and leave it in a warm place for at least two days. It will make the virus inactive, and you will have zero chance of contracting the infection
- Homemade masks should be made out of kitchen towels, as according to a study published in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, homemade masks made from that material proved to be the most effective at removing particles.
- T-shirts or pillowcases may be the best choice as they can provide a better fit by stretching. Avoid using old fabrics because washing and drying may stretch the pores, allowing more particles to get in.
- Some videos of NHS workers show opening the mask with the help of an airtight container will reduce the contraction chances.