Community SDoH Alert!

HOW OFTEN YOU SHOULD WASH YOUR CLOTH MASKS BETWEEN WEARING IT

  • Alert date July 7, 2020

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    If you wear a cloth mask frequently, it’s best to wash it every time you wear it. Use detergent in the hottest water the fabric can withstand. This is not the time to think about brightening the colors. “Heat will definitely kill this germ,” Pettis says. For that reason, experts also advise tumbling the masks in the dryer on the hottest setting the material will tolerate.
    Dr. Daniel Griffin, a member of the Division of Infectious Diseases and an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University, tells NPR that you should think of face masks like underwear, and that face masks should be washed after each time you wear it.
    “You don’t take this dirty mask off, put it in your purse and then stick it back on your face,” Griffin tells NPR. “It’s something that once you put on, is potentially either touching your coughs, sneezes or the spray of your speech or protecting you from the coughs, spray, speech of other people. And now it’s dirty. It needs to basically be either discarded or washed.” When it comes to cleaning, it’s important to know that there are differences in cleaning terms. Here’s the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting.
    What’s the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting?
    If you’ve been using these terms without knowing their meaning, you’re not alone. According to the CDC, cleaning “removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects.” The CDC states that sanitizing “lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.” Lastly, the CDC says disinfecting “works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.” Basically, cleaning removes germs, sanitizing lowers the number of germs, and disinfecting kills germs. Looking for a place to clean?

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