How To Wash A Face Mask

3 Easy Ways To Keep Your Mask Actually Clean

Often our customers ask about whether they can wash a face mask, and if so, what's the best way. We've rounded up 3 easy ways to make sure your mask gets clean.

how to wash a face mask

Sign Up for the Newsletter

This post and other helpful tips are sent out monthly via our newsletter. We also include promos and free offers, so don't miss out!


Let's start with the CDC recommendations, so we're all on the same page.

  • A face mask is one of three items you should have with you at all times: A face mask, Hand sanitizer, & tissues.

  • If you're going to stay 6 feet apart, do you still need to wear a face mask? Yes.

  • Check your local state and city guidelines for where masks are required. But keep in mind that as of February 2021, masks are required for all public transportation.

More than 79% of people aren't washing their face masks

The goal of washing your mask is to disinfect it and prevent it from contaminating other things. When you wear your face mask, you should assume that it has successfully captured any germs that might have been otherwise spread. So, yes, you should wash it! In fact, we learned that more than 79% of people aren't actually washing their face masks!


Option #1 Handwash With Hot Soapy Water. It's that simple.

  • Wash your mask with tap water and laundry detergent or soap.

  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove detergent or soap.

Option #2 Machine Wash.

  • Include your mask with your regular laundry.

  • Use regular laundry detergent and the appropriate settings according to the fabric label.

Option #3 Throw It Away.

  • If your mask is a blue disposable mask or of professional grade, it's meant to be used for one period of time. So please, throw it away.

  • But there comes a time when even reusable fabric masks have overstayed their welcome. Don't be afraid to simply throw it away if you get to this point.

Hot, Hot, Hot

Hotter is better. So wash your mask with hot water and dry it on the hottest heat setting.


You can get more information directly from the source at CDC.gov/coronavirus

Here are some more helpful FAQ's about keeping your face mask clean


face mask frequently asked questions

How often should I wash my face mask?

The CDC recommends we wash our face masks after every use. For non medical professionals, this may mean using a clean mask every day. You may have a job where it makes sense to switch out your mask twice a day.


Think of a face mask as another piece of clothing. You wouldn't wear the same underwear every day, right? So don't hesitate to have 3-7 masks in your inventory, so you have a clean one to wear each day, before you do laundry again.

Think of a face mask as another piece of clothing.

Do I have to use detergent to clean my mask?

Not at all! Vinegar or a solution of bleach and water are also good options. Treat your reusable masks like another piece of laundry. However you wash your existing laundry is probably sufficient for your mask too.


What about hot water? Can hot water kill germs and covid-19?

Normally, in the laundry biz, we'd say yes, for sure. But, we did a little research and found a study. The results noted that hot water was successful in disinfecting cloth face masks. However, the CDC still recommends using hot soapy water or a bleach-water solution. So we're going to stick with the party-line on this one and recommend you follow CDC guidelines as much as possible.


BUT, if you're in a pinch, something is better than nothing, right?

If this is the case, soak your face mask in very hot water for at least 30 minutes. Then use a hair dryer or lay it out in the sun to dry the fabric completely.

Do you have questions and concerns? Our staff is always available to serve you. Find out how to get in touch here. We work very hard to ensure your experience at Main St Laundromat is pleasant, convenient and safe. See you on laundry day!


11 views