Reusable face masks offer a wealth of benefits versus disposable masks; greater user comfort through breathable fabrics, a contoured facial fit, enhanced performance through specialised fabric treatments and are of course better for the environment. They have therefore become increasingly popular worldwide as a means of protecting the wearer and others during the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, to ensure the effectiveness of reusable face masks, it is crucial to adhere to facemask hygiene best practices to make sure that you and those around you are being fully protected.
Washing Your Facemask
For reusable face masks to be truly effective in protecting the wearer from viruses and bacteria, they need to be washed regularly as research has shown that pathogens and bacteria can live on textile surfaces for up to 12 hours. If you have coughed or sneezed in your facemask, it is advised to wash it immediately and to always have a at least one other spare mask available while you do so. Gentle handwashing using normal laundry detergent and line drying is recommended to expose the fabric to UV light which kills any residual pathogens on the mask fabric.
Using a reusable facemask that has been treated with an anti-viral coating such as Viroguard or Viroblock significantly reduces the risk of the mask carrying pathogens and bacteria due to their ability to deactivate the virus or bacteria upon contact. However, these types of masks still need to be washed regularly and will remain effective for over 40 washes. Anti-viral coated facemasks should ideally be handwashed up to 30 degrees and line dried to safeguard the performance of their anti-viral properties.
Storage On the Go
When sitting down at a bar, restaurant or café, your mask needs to be removed and stored in a sanitary way to avoid contamination while not in use. Some hospitality venues offer zip lock plastic bags to store your mask which is a solution that creates additional and unnecessary plastic waste. A better solution is to use a purpose designed storage pouch that is waterproof as well as dustproof and can be hard shell or a soft fabric.
Facemask storage pouches that are coated in a special anti-viral coating are ideal as they ensure that the mask is completely protected from any contamination whilst in your bag or in contact with other surfaces such as on a tabletop. These storage pouches can be easily carried around in your pocket or bag, ready for when you need them making them an essential accessory in the New Normal.
Wearing & Handling Your Facemask
How a mask is worn determines its effectiveness. A well fitted mask should cover your nose and fit snugly under your chin and against your face without gaps. Masks with 3D contoured stitching or in-built wiring that enable a secure fit over the bridge of your nose are the best choice for guaranteeing a secure fit.
When removing and subsequently reapplying your facemask during the day, wash and sanitize your hands before touching the mask and remove it from your face using the elasticated ear loops only. It is also advised to avoid touching the facemask throughout the day. As mentioned above, when not in use, the mask should be stored in a storage pouch to keep it clean and sanitary prior to its next usage.
Adhering to proper mask hygiene is the best way to protect yourself and those around you as well as being the small part that everyone can play in overcoming the pandemic.
Shinta Indah Jaya’s next generation facemask uses the latest anti-viral textile technology as well as an ultra lux microfiber fabric for extra softness alongside 3D contoured stitching for a secure fit. It is now available with a matching water-repellant storage pouch which features the same cutting-edge technology that actively destroys viruses and bacteria on contact.
Contact Shinta Indah Jaya for more information on its reusable facemasks and anti-viral pouches.