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Your face mask only protects you if you do this every day

At this stage of the coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that wearing a mask, along with social distancing and regular hand washing, is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19. But just because you cover your face every time you go out in public doesn’t mean you’re completely safe. According to a new study, your cloth face mask only protects you if you wash it every day. Read on to find out more, and for further guidance on this, the CDC says you probably haven’t washed your face mask enough.

The discovery comes from a recent meta-analysis published in BMJ Open up, which analyzes data from a 201

5 study on the effectiveness of face cloths against seasonal flu, cold viruses known as rhinoviruses, and genetically similar coronaviruses. The original study found that cloth masks “are not as effective as surgical masks in a hospital setting and that they potentially increase the risk of infection compared to not wearing a mask at all.” But the latest team of researchers from the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Sydney believes that the way cloth masks are washed in the original study makes them more likely to infect the person wearing them.

“Both fabric masks and surgical masks must be considered ‘contaminated’ after use.” Raina McIntyreThe doctor who conducted the study said in a statement. “Unlike surgical masks, which are discarded after use, fabric masks are reused. Although it can be tempting to use the same mask for several days in a row or give it a quick hand wash or wipe, our research show that this increases the risk of contamination. “

The study also concludes that there is no statistical difference in the protection of healthcare workers who wear cloth masks instead of surgical masks. “We’ve found that if fabric masks are washed in hospital laundry, they’re as effective as a surgical mask,” McIntyre said.

“Although anyone in the general public wearing a cloth mask is unlikely to come into contact with the same amount of pathogens as a high-risk healthcare professional, we would still recommend washing cloth masks daily in the community,” McIntyre explained.

For more information on mask maintenance errors that you are still making, read on. And if you think you may have caught the virus, know that if you can’t smell these 2 things, you may have COVID.


Do not wash your mask in hot water.

black mask in a metal sink
black mask in a metal sink

Save cold water for your delicacies. Unless the instructions for washing your towel mask state otherwise, you should clean it with hot water. “We know that if you immerse yourself in a water temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, just immersion in hot water will probably be enough” to kill the coronavirus. Rand McClain, DO, chief medical officer of LCR Health, said before The best life. And for more information on when you need your PPE, here’s the only situation you’re not wearing your mask on, but you should be.


You forget to use detergent.

Putting detergent in the washing machine
Putting detergent in the washing machine

If you have used baking soda or other laundry additives without detergents due to allergies or sensitive skin, this may not cut it. “Soap is able to break down the capsids (cell walls) of the coronavirus, effectively killing it,” explains McClain. “Just follow the typical washing machine instructions, as if you were washing your other clothes.”

McClain notes that while regular detergent is enough to keep your mask clean, using OxyClean or other hydrogen peroxide products can result in your mask being completely sterilized. And for more behaviors that put you at risk, learn about the things you do every day that put you at risk for COVID.


You use bleach.

bottles with excellent walmart bleach
bottles with excellent walmart bleach

Although this is a real cleaning machine, using bleach at full power is not ideal when it comes to washing the mask. New York Times reports that raw chemicals such as bleach and hydrogen peroxide can break down the tissue fibers in your mask over time, making them less effective at containing viral particles.


Microwave your mask to disinfect it.

white door to open the hand of the microwave
white door to open the hand of the microwave

Of course, it can be great for cleaning mushrooms, but using a home microwave oven to close the mask is not a good disinfection strategy. In fact, if your mask has a metal wire inside the noseband, it may even pose a fire risk.

The good news, though, is that there are other options besides throwing them in the washing machine, including baking them in the oven for 30 minutes at 160 degrees Fahrenheit or holding them over boiling water for 10 minutes, McClain said. And for another sign you need to know, this “crazy” symptom means you have COVID, not the flu.

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