Because of the spread of Covid-19, establishments have shut down, so many people have died, and a lot of people are still trying to recover from this virus. Governments have imposed safety measures to prevent the spread of this virus, such as social/physical distancing, various lockdowns, wear face masks, and more. Wearing a yoga face mask has become a part of our lives now, but is there a rule that says we should wash it after use?
A yoga face mask is a piece of fabric that covers your nose and mouth every time you put it on, therefore, you should always clean it properly. In fact, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), your face mask should be washed routinely, depending on the frequency of use. So, what does it mean exactly when they said “routinely”? Before we go into that, first, let’s find out why it’s important to wash your face mask.
Why is it important to wash your yoga face mask?
Face masks can be contaminated, as explained by several health experts. And since it touches your nose and mouth, there’s a possibility that any viral particles on the mask can get into your respiratory system and even infect you. You always touch it with your hands, you take it on and off, and set it down in different places that might be contaminated with the coronavirus. Because of this, it’s important to remember that the face mask isn’t ironclad. That means it could serve as a vessel for the transmission itself, especially if it isn’t properly cleaned and maintained.
Yoga face masks aren’t any different. Experts suggest that you wash your yoga face mask routinely, for the same reason you wash your other clothes regularly. Not doing this puts you at risk, since it can get contaminated with anything in the environment (like viruses, bacteria, and fungi). If you don’t regularly, wash it, then it could itself contaminate other things that you leave it with whenever you take it off. For example, if your mask is already contaminated with the virus, and you place it on the table, the table will be contaminated with the virus as well. In other words, if the mask carries the virus, those viral particles will also end up on the surfaces in your home.
But how often is “routinely”?
How often should you wash your yoga face mask?
Since it wasn’t really specified in the CDC guidelines, a good rule of thumb would be to clean your yoga face mask every night. It would be best to wash them after use, so perhaps at the end of the day every day, before you use it again. Besides, working out or doing yoga can get you sweaty and sticky. So, if you have been outside all day, or you’ve been working out, then you would need to wash it again. At least this way, you’re sure that your face mask is clean and is ready to use next time you leave your home.
This general rule applies to everyone – from people who live in areas with few Covid-19 cases and those who live in crowded cities. Also, if your mark is visibly soiled, or if you’ve sneezed or coughed into it, then that’s another reason why it’s a good idea to wash it as soon as you get home. Don’t forget to wash your hands after you touch it.
It may even be a better idea if you have a stash of masks on hand, and not just one, to make sure you always have a clean one at hand.
What if my yoga face mask is a surgical or industrial mask and not cloth?
There are different types of face masks people can use when they go outside – surgical masks, N95 masks, and cloth masks. Cloth masks are the best option when it involves heavy physical activities like running, working out, yoga, and more!
If you’ve been using disposable surgical or industrial face masks for working out (although they’re not the best for this type of activity), then replacing them after use is your only way. There’s no need to wash them. If that becomes too pricey, or if it’s not feasible because you do not have a large supply of disposable face masks at the ready, then you might as well consider switching to the cloth kind that you can easily hand- or machine-wash at the end of the day.
What is the best way to wash your yoga face mask?
The Centers for Disease Control says that placing your cloth face mask in the washing machine with a standard, store-bought detergent is the easiest and the best way to clean it properly. Moreover, experts advise the use of hot water temperature to ensure it is properly washed. A hot dryer setting is a good idea as well.
You don’t have a washing machine? No problem! Experts say that you can still clean your mask properly using regular hand soap and water. All you need to do is to scrub it thoroughly in warm soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds. As tempting as it may sound, you should never wipe down or spritz your yoga face mask with a disinfectant solution, even if you think you have to. If you do, you’ll only end up breathing in potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, you just need to wait until you get home to wash it then.
The Covid-19 virus can be a deadly enemy, and you can get it from the people you interact with, especially if you’re not cautious. Wearing a face mask whenever we go out is our new normal to protect ourselves from being infected with this virus. If you work out in public or attend yoga classes, then you must make sure to wash your yoga face mask as soon as you get home or before you go to bed. It’s best if you wash it with hot water temperature.