Just like underwear, cloth face masks need to be replaced after a while.
Think about it: if you wore the same pair of underwear everyday (even when washed daily), you’d probably want to replace them every few months… Or at least we hope you would.
Such is the case for cloth face masks as well.
If you’ve been washing and reusing the same one for the past 10 months, it’s more than past time to replace your cloth face mask.
Its effectiveness will decrease over time
The CDC recommends wearing reusable masks made of at least two layers of washable, breathable, tightly-woven fabric like cotton.
Fresh, new masks have tight fibers that are better at keeping out unwanted particles (like COVID-19), and keeping you from spreading them.
Unfortunately, constant washing will loosen these fibers, causing your mask to slowly deteriorate. Over time, you may find that it no longer fits like it used to, and that’s because the fabric is fading away with each wash.
Needless to say, this decreases the effectiveness of your mask.
How to know when to replace it
Unfortunately, masks aren’t like jeans–they can’t be worn ripped, and holes (no matter how small) are NOT fashionable. Common sense would state that you should replace your cloth face mask if it has any rips or holes in it whatsoever.
But you shouldn’t wait until your mask has holes in it to replace it.
So how do you know when it’s time?
The makeup of your mask will determine when it needs to be replaced. How frequently you wear and wash it will also be determining factors.
Generally, you should consider your mask to be “seasonal attire,” meaning you need to get a new one each season. Or if you live in Louisiana, where we really only have 2 seasons, we recommend getting a new mask every 3 months.
If your masks have elastic ear loops, one of the most telling signs that it needs to be replaced is loosening of the loops. This is one of the biggest indicators that the fabric is falling apart, or was too thin to begin with.
Fortunately, this is never an issue with our adjustable cloth face masks. The ear loops on our masks are covered with a soft, comfortable fabric that won’t pull at your hair, snap, or loosen like standard elastic. A small adjustable component sits behind your ears and can be pulled to tighten or loosen your mask.
Replacing a wet mask
Most people don’t consider the fact that a wet mask should never be worn. Wet masks are extremely hard to breathe through and can be especially uncomfortable when it’s cold outside.
If you tend to sweat through your mask, it’s important to have a dry backup one handy. This is particularly important to consider if you work in an environment that will subject you to wetness, like a water park or in customer service where you’ll likely cry a lot.
The best way to keep yourself and others safe this year is to keep wearing your mask and replace it every few months. At Quality Face Wear, our high quality adjustable masks are made with a tightly-woven, breathable fabric to last longer than standard homemade cloth face masks.
We also sell in bulk and at wholesale prices so that you can have backup masks to last you, your students, or employees, through the end of the pandemic. Contact us today to request a quote!