HONOLULU, Hawaii – Masks have become a major part of transmission prevention during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, experts say the way users are washing them can further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Thomas Lee, a local Epidemiologist, says when it comes to using a washing machine, use the warmest water setting and regular detergent.
“What the detergent does is it dissolves the the fatty layer around the virus, which then makes it much more difficult for the virus to adhere to another or to ourselves when we wash it,” Dr. Lee said.
When hand washing masks, the CDC recommends using a disinfectant bleach solution. Also, use bleach containing 5.25% to 8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Make sure the bleach product is not past its expiration date.
“Use warm water and then let it soak for a good couple minutes. Also, make sure when you rinse it out, you rinse it thoroughly and then you let it dry completely.”
Experts want to emphasize your masks are dry before using them. The CDC recommends laying the masks flat in direct sunlight.
“If you’re using a mask that’s wet, you’re more likely to trap particles when it’s damp. So that’s why we really emphasize making sure whatever mask you’re using that’s been clean, it needs to be 100 percent dry. Just so that you’re creating good ventilation and also you’re trying to retain as few particles as possible.”