7 Nose mask care mistakes you are making

*Setting your mask down anywhere creates risk for cross-contamination of various surfaces while spreading the virus   ─Medical Experts

* Launder items, using the warmest appropriate water setting, says CDC

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Since the ourbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan city, China, and its subsequent spread of the virus to other parts of the world, nose masks have become a normal part of life because they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Many economies across the globe have even issued requirements for wearing nose masks when out in public.

However, as most people are not used to wearing or caring for nose masks, there is plenty of room for error.

And unfortunately, these mistakes could be making your nose mask less effective in protecting you from the fatal Coronavirus.

According to bestofonline.com, in talking to experts, it was gathered that all the nose mask care mistakes you need to watch out for.

And if you’re in need of something to cover your face with as soon as possible, here are five household items to use as nose mask alternatives.

  1. You’re putting your mask in the dryer.

What’s the quickest way to ruin your face mask? Throw it in the dryer, according to board-certified dermatologist Anna Guanche, MD.

While you should be regularly washing your mask, which can be done in a washing machine, your mask cannot go into the dryer.

Instead, Guanche says you should let your mask “air dry in the Sun.”

Using a washing machine to wash nose masks?  Photo: Getty Image

  1. You’re setting your mask down anywhere.

Your face mask can easily be contaminated on the outside, so Dimitar Marinov, Medical Director (MD), a medical expert working on the control and prevention of infectious diseases, says you “should be very careful” about where you leave your mask.

“This creates the risk for cross-contamination of various surfaces and spreading the virus,” he explains.

  1. You’re storing your mask in a plastic bag.

Many people aren’t exactly sure where to store their mask when they’re not wearing it. But Ashley Roxanne Peterson, DO, a resident physician in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, says a plastic bag is not the answer.

“Many people are inappropriately storing their masks in plastic bags when it should be paper bags to increase the breathability of the storage bag and reduce infectious growth,” she says.

  1. You’re touching your mask with dirty hands.

While you should be washing your hands more often than usual right now, you definitely need to wash your hands immediately before and after you touch your face mask, says Marinov.

However, even with clean hands, you should “never touch the inside or outside of your mask,” and instead remove it and put it on using the ties or bands.

  1. You’re letting your mask get wet.

While you can and should wash your cloth face masks, you should have multiple masks on hand to allow a full day for your washed mask to dry.

A wet nose mask is significantly less effective than a dry nose mask, Shan Soe-Lin, a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, told The New York Times.

Experts advise against wearing a wet nose mask

If you only have one mask, she recommends washing your nose mask in the evening and leaving it to air-dry overnight.

  1. Or you’re storing your mask in a moist environment.

Even if you’re taking all the necessary steps to keep your mask away from liquids, the environment you’re placing your mask in could be causing you problems.

“Store your mask in a clean environment, not in an enclosed moist environment where bacteria can continue to grow,” Guanche says.

Areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms can be extra susceptible to moisture through cooking, bathing, and clothes drying, so try to avoid keeping your mask in these rooms.

  1. You’re washing your mask with cold water.

You’re not just cleaning your mask to remove any stains. You should be sanitising it to kill the virus, which requires the use of hot water.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to “launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting,” if possible. If hand washing, use hot water. Whatever washing method you use, know that the colder your water, the less effective it is at sanitising your mask.

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