Wear & Care Instructions for Face Masks
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after putting on the mask.
If you have a “Put On a Good Face” mask: Make sure that you’re wearing it the right way up. Generally, the highest part of the dome of the mask is up and the flatter curve is down, but if it feels more comfortable to you the other way up, that’s perfectly fine! We all have different-shaped faces.
Anteater masks don’t have a wrong or right side up, so you can wear them whichever way you want.
If you have an Accordion mask: Make sure that the pleats are pointing *down* on the outside (that means they point up ion the lining side) so you don’t trap particles.
If your mask becomes wet or soiled, you should change into a clean, dry one. If you feel the need to change masks more than once a day, you’ll probably want a few in reserve. Keep extra masks in a clean sealable plastic bag and only reach into the bag with freshly washed, clean hands.
If you use reusable filters, make sure to launder them after every single use, and only insert it into your mask’s filter pocket with impeccably clean hands. Wash your hands after removing used filters. Replace filters as soon as they start to lose their structure or get worn.
Remove your mask by the elastics or ties, *not* by touching the fabric over your nose or mouth!
After removing your mask, wash your hands thoroughly.
Sanitizing Your Mask
You can machine-wash and tumble-dry your mask. The official stance by most authorities (including the CDC) seems to be that clothing in a domestic setting, even those belonging to sick family members, are fine to be laundered with regular ol’ hot water and detergent in the washing machine.
If you want to use bleach, you should probably stick to white cotton only; some fibres and most coloured fabrics will *not* tolerate bleaching. Always bleach at your own risk, keeping in mind that you may have to change the elastics more often, as bleach can degrade them.
If you really want to, you can briefly boil masks to sanitize them. Do *not* leave unattended! For our purposes, a couple of minutes of boiling should be fine.
If you or anyone in your house has cold-like symptoms, you should sanitize any laundry hampers or containers that come into contact with masks used by the ill person. Wash your hands after handling laundry from any ill people.
If the mask feels too loose or tight, feel free to adjust or replace the elastics until it feels better for you. You can tie a knot in the existing elastic to tighten, insert a longer elastic, or replace the elastic with ribbon or ties that go behind your head if you don’t like elastic around your ears. If you need instructions on how to do this, read about “Adjusting the fit of your mask”.
Note: Some washing machines and/or dryers can cause elastics to shrink. Do NOT shorten elastics until you’ve laundered your mask a few times (we’ve made them a touch longer than the average preferred length for just this reason).