how do I wash my mask?
The question of “how do I wash my mask?’ is one that we receive regularly. There’s a huge amount of contradictory information available when it comes to how we should be washing reusable masks, so we thought we would take the opportunity to clarify and explain the situation.
What temperature should my mask be washed on?
The burning question on everyone’s lips is ‘what temperature?’ The main cause of confusion amongst the general public is the perception that the wash temperature should be no less than 60 degrees. This is FALSE. For years medical staff have been washing their uniforms at 60 degrees as advised by their employers, due to the high viral load environments that they work in. This however does not apply to the general public. The actual guidance is as follows, as per the BRC textile specification as used by the Government.
The use of a wash temperature of 60 °C has been chosen as current scientific opinion is that laundering at higher temperatures will be more effective at deactivating any virus that may contaminate the face mask. However, there is a counter-opinion that higher temperature has not been proven to be any more efficient than the use of lower temperatures such as 40 °C and that it is the use of a detergent that is the key to the neutralisation of the COVID-19 virus (Note: This is the scientific basis behind government advice on handwashing or the use of hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol content – the soap or alcohol breaks down the lipid coating of the virus thereby killing the virus). The specified performance requirements are based on typical retail performance requirements for woven and knitted fabrics.
In a nutshell, it is the detergent that is the most important element of your washing. The lather that the soap creates breaks down the viral fatty membrane. This is why we are not asked to wash our hands in 60-degree water! Just soap and water.
How to wash our nanotechnology masks
For the protection of the nanotechnology fabric, the recommended temperature for a MasksUK mask is 30 degrees, either via hand or washing machine, using a non-bio detergent. If it makes you feel better, however, we have undertaken the ISO tests and our masks do pass the 60-degree washing test, but it would reduce the longevity of the nanotechnology water resilient effect if you chose to wash at such a high temperature. For this reason, wash at no more than 30 degrees and ensure a good soapy lather, for a clean and long-living reusable nanotech mask. Washing at a lower temperature is also more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
How do I dry my mask?
If something is wet then, of course, people ask ‘how do I dry the mask?’.
Reshape the mask in its wet state, just like you would with other garments that you wash. Any fabric when wet will experience fibre tightening, but reshaping whilst damp will ensure that your mask remains in good shape and size. Drying must be done at room temperature. The tumble dryer, radiator and airing cupboard is NOT the place to dry your mask unless of course, you wish to shrink it to fit the cat!!