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Washing your face mask: What you need to know

Here's how to sanitize your cloth mask and eliminate odours, so you can stay safe and comfortable.

As wearing a face mask becomes part of your everyday routine, you’ve got to know how to care for your mask properly. How to do so depends on the type of face mask you’re using.

Surgical masks are for strictly one-time use, so they should be carefully discarded. However, if you’ve got one that is made out of cloth and/or is reusable, these should be washed after every use. Re-using a cloth mask without washing is risky because it can become contaminated or may not be as effective in protecting you.

According to health authorities, if you can’t wash your mask after every use, the next best option is to leave it in a warm, dry area of the house, where you’re not going to touch it. Coronavirus doesn’t last long on material and will degrade over a few days. Rotate through a supply of masks, so you still have options to wear after setting aside used masks to decontaminate.

Looking to refresh your mask in between washes? Try one of these face mask refresher sprays

A face mask refresher spray won’t clean and sanitize your mask like a round in the washing machine will. But a quick spritz can help eliminate stale, unpleasant odours from building up inside your mask after wearing it continuously.

Natural Face Mask Refresher Spray, 0.3 fluid oz. each
Natural Face Mask Refresher Spray, 0.3 fluid oz. each


Face Mask Refreshing Spray Tea Tree + Lavender, 130ml
Face Mask Refreshing Spray Tea Tree + Lavender, 130ml

How to wash your face mask

Always wash your hands before and after handling your face mask.

Before washing, it’s important to check the manufacturing instructions for the maximum temperature that the fabric can handle.

The World Health Organization recommends washing fabric masks in soap or detergent, with hot water (preferably at least 60 degrees). If you’ve got a busy schedule, you can also throw it in the washing machine along with your other clothes, but just make sure you use a delicate cycle, that way the material doesn’t stretch.

Don’t have any hot water available? Wash the mask in soap/detergent and room-temperature water. This should then be followed by either boiling the mask for one minute or soaking the mask in 0.1% chlorine for 1 minute and thoroughly rinsing the mask with room temperature water. If you do choose to do this, you need to make sure it’s completely rinsed and there’s no toxic residue leftover.

Once the washing process is all done, it needs to be dried. The best option is to let it dry naturally, ideally outdoors in the sun. You can use your dryer if you urgently need it again, but don’t rely on this as your regular method.

Finally, store your mask in a clean airtight bag. Not only can this easily be stored in a travel bag, but it can also prevent any particles or germs from landing on it.

Where to buy laundry detergent to wash your face mask


Walmart offers a great selection of leading laundry detergent brands and caters to every household’s demand from sensitive skin and eco friendly products to bulk-buy discounts and budget-friendly options.

  • Offers delivery and in-store pick-up
  • Ad match available online
  • Sign up to get weekly deals, Rollback announcements and offers delivered to your inbox


This global retailing giant is a go-to for all your day-to-day demands including laundry detergent, tablets and fabric softeners too. With speedy shipping and quite often free delivery on the table, Amazon has secured itself as one of the most convenient shopping platforms out there.

  • Personalized product recommendations based on previous purchases and searches
  • Start your free 30-day trial of Prime to unlock member benefits
  • Secure transactions processed through Amazon Pay


When it comes to competitive pricing, it doesn’t get better than eBay. Browse laundry cleaning products from a large variety of sellers. Join in the thrill of a bidding war or browse the “buy it now” options to secure your purchase.

  • Secure site with a range of payment options including PayPal
  • Prices are super affordable
  • Great product reviews on site

This retailer specializes in providing the products you need to ensure your entire household is happy, healthy and well every day. Stock up on laundry detergents, powders and tablets online at and ensure you’re always well-stocked in preparation for your daily load.

  • Free shipping is available to customers once they reach a minimum purchase amount
  • Connect with medical providers like naturopathic doctors, holistic dietitians, skincare therapists and more
  • Subscribe to and get inspiration from its wellness collection as well as the latest news and promotions

Which of these retailers offer free delivery?

  • Walmart: Free shipping on qualifying orders to select locations in Canada
  • Amazon: Free shipping widely available, especially for Prime members
  • eBay: Free shipping offered by many sellers
  • Free shipping is available to customers whose purchases reach a certain amount

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