Homemade cloth masks that cover both your nose and mouth are now an added layer in protecting the spread of COVID-19

Coronavirus: How to clean your cloth mask

BOSTON — Keeping your cloth masks clean is important to preventing the spread of the virus.

Dr. Michael Gibson, cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, recommends cleaning your cloth mask after every use. But if that’s too difficult, once a day is enough.

“Wash it in hot water, 160 degrees or higher. Using soap is going to be fine, the virus is coated with a fat that is dissolved by the soap and you don’t need bleach,” said Gibson.

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Gibson said you can also throw the mask in the washing machine as long as the cycle is set on hot.

It’s also important to remove the mask from your face carefully, don’t touch the outside material that could have particles on it. Make sure to remove the mask by touching the elastic bands from around your ears, that will keep your hands sanitary.

People who wear glasses are also facing a new frustration with the masks, finding that lenses are getting fogged up when you talk or breathe. There is a trick you can do though, to prevent that.

“You can adjust the mask a bit and the glasses to prevent the air flowing up out of the mask. Or, tape the top of the mask against your nose so that the air doesn’t flow up into your glasses,” said Gibson.

You can also prevent fogging by washing your lenses frequently with soap and water, that will prevent condensation from building up.