Iowa Specialty Hospital

How to Properly Wash and Dry Cloth Face Coverings

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following steps for proper washing and drying of a cloth face coverings.

How to Clean

Washing machine

  • You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.

Washing by hand

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
    • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

How to dry

Dryer

  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

Air dry

  • Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the cloth face covering in direct sunlight.
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