With the CDC recommending that everyone wear a face mask when leaving the house, it’s important that you understand how to properly wear and remove your cloth mask.
When it comes to best protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, the most optimal cloth mask will:
- Include 2-3 layers of fabric (2-ply or 3-ply)
- Fit comfortably and snugly against the side of your face, covering both your mouth and nose
- Be able to be machine washed and dried without altering its shape
- Be secured using elastic loops or ties
- Allow for un-restricted breathing
The proper way to wear a cloth mask
Contrary to popular belief, wearing a cloth mask is not as simple as just slapping it onto your face and continuing on with your day.
To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your mask, you should follow these tips while wearing it:
1. Don’t let the mask fall below your nose
If your mask falls below your nose, this means that the straps are too loose and you’re wearing an insufficient mask. If you must pull the mask underneath your nose because you’re unable to breathe, this is another sign of an insufficient mask.
We’ve tested them all, and we’ve found that 4-ply masks make breathing a little too much of a challenge… and frankly, you just sweat too much in them!
2. Cover your chin.
If your mask does not cover your chin, it’s not the right size. The more of your face that’s covered, the better.
3. Make sure the straps are tight enough
If the straps on your masks aren’t tight enough, it will create an opening between the mask and the side of your face. This defeats the purpose of the mask altogether, as it allows for particles from your mouth to become airborne.
4. Cover more than just the tip of your nose
If your mask is only covering the tip of your nose, it will create gaps between the mask and your cheeks, also defeating its purpose by allowing for particles to enter and exit the mask.
The best way to wear your cloth face mask is to position it so that it fits beneath your chin and as high up on your nose as possible, tightening the loops so that it’s snug around your face and does not create any gaps.
How to safely take off your mask
Once you’ve exited the facility in which you were wearing the mask and have relocated to a safe place (e.g., your home or car if you’re alone), there is special protocol to follow when removing the mask.
You must always assume that the mask is contaminated (contains any type of coronavirus), and follow these tips to keep others safe:
- Pull off the mask using the loops or ties rather than grabbing the front of the mask.
- Put your mask directly into the washing machine after every use.
- Wash your hands for twenty seconds (with soap and water) before and after you put on the mask. This includes once before putting on the mask, again before you take off the mask, and once again after you’ve removed it.
- Remember that your mask should be used in combination with good hand hygiene and social distancing rather than as a replacement for one or the other.
All Quality Face Wear masks are made to fit snugly, without any gaps, while allowing you to breathe properly.
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