Washing and hygienic use of face masks

Wearing a face mask can prevent an infected person from spreading the virus to others but only when used correctly.

The coronavirus is known to spread as a droplet infection through coughing or sneezing. In addition, an infected person may spread the virus for one to two days before the onset of symptoms. Wearing a face mask can prevent an infected person from spreading the virus to others, but it does not necessarily protect against virus infection. However, it is important that masks be used correctly, because incorrect use can even increase the risk of infection.

When wearing a face mask, it is important to remember the following:

  • Good hand hygiene
  • Good coughing hygiene
  • Avoiding contact with the face, nose and mouth
  • Maintaining a safe distance from others

Hand hygiene when using a mask

Face masks should only be touched with clean hands. Wash or disinfect your hands before and after putting on the mask. When taking off the mask, touch only the cords. Wash or disinfect your hands before and after removing the mask. This ensures safety and hygiene if you have accidentally touched the surface of the contaminated mask.

Wash the hands with soap, rinse with water and dry thoroughly. If water is not available, the hands can be disinfected with a hand disinfectant or a disinfectant wipe. For the removal of visible dirt, washing with soap is always recommended.

Using face masks

Disposable face masks offer the best protection against the virus, with a protective effect of up to 88%. Disposable masks should be disposed of in the rubbish immediately after use. The protective power of fabric cotton masks is 20–30%.

Washing reusable face masks

If using a reusable cloth mask, it can be washed and reused after use. It is recommended to wash reusable cloth face masks at 90 °C. If you are not sure about the effectiveness of your washing machine, we recommend using a wash booster such as Kiilto Oxy Wash. Wash together with your regular laundry detergent. It is also effective at lower temperatures and leaves the laundry fresh and hygienic. If a fabric mask cannot be washed immediately after removing it, it should be stored in a sealable plastic pouch.

Remember to maintain good hand hygiene when handling laundry. Wash your hands with warm water and soap and dry thoroughly. In addition, surfaces should be regularly disinfected after handling dirty laundry. This ensures that nothing harmful spreads from surfaces to disinfected textiles.