10 Stupid Ways to Wash Your Mask, Assuming You’re Smart Enough to Wear One
Remember when face masks weren’t a part of our daily lives? Yeah, we can’t either. At this point in the pandemic, they’ve become as essential as our phones. We can’t leave the house without them. But because we’re wearing them more often than any other accessory we own (not even our Apple watches get this much use!), they also need to be cleaned regularly.
Coronavirus can live on cotton for up to seven days. That means that in order to be effective, your mask should get washed at least once a day. (If you’re going in and out of your house multiple times daily, you should wear a clean mask each time.) How do you keep it clean so it can do its job? Well, there’s one effective way – and a lot of stupid methods. Read on to find out which is which.
Cover Photo: Joan Manel Moreno (Getty Images)
Baking it in the oven.
High temps have been known to kill bacteria, but this method would take forever even if it were effective. Also: no fresh cookie-baking smell.
Pulverizing it in the microwave.
Microwaves are amazing. They cook our favorite foods and can even sanitize some things, like your dishwashing sponge, but when it comes to face masks, trying to blast coronavirus out of it just isn't safe, especially if your mask has metal components in it.
Rubbing hand sanitizer in it.
Hand sanitizer is for hands, as the name implies. Your mask might come out smelling, well, different, but it would not come out of this process properly sanitized.
Dousing it in Tito's vodka.
Didn't we establish at the beginning of this godforsaken pandemic that Tito's vodka is not an effective sanitizer? Let it go already, people! If you want a shot of vodka, have a freakin' shot of vodka. Just don't use face mask hygiene as an excuse.
Leaving it out in the sun.
Yes, it's been said that UV light (aka sunlight) can be used to annihilate COVID-19 particles in the air and to disinfect surfaces, but it has not been proven to prevent coronavirus infection or to kill it if you're already infected. How long you'd have to leave the mask in the sun to sterilize it is unclear. It's not like our skin, which gives a clear indication when we're good and "done."
Taking it for a dip in the pool.
Chlorine can kill a lot of germs, but last time we checked, coronavirus wasn't one of them.
Steaming it in a sauna.
While the moist heat may be effective for removing toxins from your body, it's useless when it comes to sanitizing a mask.
Yeah, sure, a taser can stop a big ol' mean human in seconds, but coronavirus is far too sneaky for this method of destruction.
Taking a flamethrower to it.
Sure, flamethrowers are badass, but no face mask would survive that flame and depending on the material, could very well start the next major forest fire.
Dissolving it in acid.
What do you think this is? Breaking Bad? Acid is for dead bodies, not face masks.
The only tried-and-true method of keeping your mask clean? The old-fashioned washer and dryer. Use hot water in the former and the highest heat setting with the latter. Do it daily and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
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