Masks became a pretty regular part of our lives fairly quickly – perhaps faster than we could figure out how to properly use them. You find packs of them by the cash register at the grocery store. Your favorite clothing designer has come out with their own special line of face coverings. Gas stations sell them. The Etsy platform is booming with them, but do we really know what to do with masks once we wear them?
Masks are now a new part of our health and hygiene routine, which means we need to be dilligent about not only how we wear them but how we wash them. We gathered information from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to determine things you might be doing wrong with your mask.
Placing it face-down on a surface
Should you be a carrier of COVID-19, then the inside of your mask is contaminated with the virus. Your nose and mouth – the portals for infected particles – sit right up against your mask. So when you take it off, if you place the part that touched your face, on a surface, you could contaminate the surface. Research has found the virus can survive on copper for four hours, on cardboard for 24 hours, and on plastic and stainless steel for two or three days.