Wearing a mask these days in most parts of the country has become one of the most essential accessories you put on before you leave your home. People are really having fun with creating different designs on their reusable masks. However, apparently there's an ongoing debate as to whether or not to throw your mask in the washer.  So do you or not?  The answer might surprise you.

There has been a lot of questions about the maintenance of COVID-19 safety masks since the start of the pandemic in March.  There are myths behind this issue.  Some say that if you are the only individual wearing your mask, then there is no need to wash it.  Another theory is that since you're wearing a mask on your face, you're automatically protected from germs so why wash it.

These suspicions are all wrong. In fact, you might actually get sick if you're not taking care of your mask properly. Just because you're protecting others from contracting the COVID-19 virus,  does not necessarily mean you're protecting yourself.

The CDC is highly recommending washing your reusable face mask regularly.  In reality, you really should be cleaning a face mask after every use.  Furthermore, you need to wash or sanitize your hands immediately after removing your face mask.

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When you're washing your face mask, there is no need to separate it from your typical load of laundry.  You can simply add your mask in the appropriate laundry pile.  According to the CDC, "Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering." Pretty simple.

Not enough time to clean?  No worries!  You can simply place the face mask under hot water for 20 seconds and thoroughly scrub.  Once the face masks are washed, they can easily be put into the dryer.  It also can be laid flat on a surface to air dry.

We are truly living in a "new normal," but the best thing we can do is learn how to adjust and stay safe.

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