How Do I Clean a Cloth Face Mask (And How Often)?

Face masks are an important tool for slowing the spread of COVID-19. Ideally, they should be washed after each use, but don’t worry—it’s not a long or complicated process.

How to clean your cloth face mask

A cloth mask can be washed with your regular laundry. Just use your regular detergent and the warmest water recommended for the type of cloth (yes, even cold water is okay, as long as you use detergent!). After washing, toss it in the dryer on high heat, and be sure to leave it in until it’s totally dry.

You can also handwash your mask, if you like. Using chlorine bleach (make sure it’s labeled for disinfection), mix 4 teaspoons bleach with 1 quart room temperature water. Lay flat to air dry completely before wearing again. If you can, place the mask in direct sunlight to dry.

Storing your clean masks

Now that your mask is clean, it’s best to store it in a covered container until it’s time to wear it again. Keep a few on hand if you can, so that you always have a fresh, clean mask to wear whenever you need to go out.