Tips on safely handling and maintaining your face masks

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This year we’ve all had to get used to wearing face coverings more regularly as we try our best to slow the spread of COVID-19.

With masks and coverings of all shapes and sizes hitting the market, it’s perhaps unsurprisingly triggered a lot of questions.

One thing that often gets asked is: ‘How do I use and look after my face covering to make it as effective as possible?’

So here are 10 useful tips to keep in mind when handling and maintaining your face covering:

  1. Make sure your hands are clean every time you need to handle your face cover. That means washing them with warm water and soap or using hand sanitiser if you’re out and about
  2. When handling your face cover try to minimise touching the face cover itself. Use the straps to pick it up and adjustable ear toggles (if you have them) to fasten and secure the fit
  3. If using a reusable face covering, check it regularly to make sure there are no tears, holes or loss of shape (resulting in a poor fit). If you notice any of these, consider it may be time for a replacement
  4. Reusable masks reduce waste but it’s important that they are kept clean! Wash your face covering daily or after each time you wear it. Frequent washing helps to keep your covering hygienic and bacteria-free
  5. Keep your face covering in a clean bag or container in between uses (not crumpled up in your pocket with your loose change). This will keep it hygienic and lower the risk of contaminating any other items
  6. Don’t forget to also clean your container in between uses. A quick wash with hot water and soap at the same time as cleaning your cover is ideal.
  7. It’s important to make sure your face cover is fully dry before wearing it. We recommend leaving your covering to air dry overnight ready for the next day. Owning a few coverings so you never get caught short is a smart move!
  8. If you use a single-use face mask, remember these shouldn’t be washed, cleaned or reused
  9. Don’t share face coverings between multiple people or touch other people’s face coverings without properly washing/sanitising your hands before and after
  10. Lastly, and crucially, remember using face coverings or masks alone is not sufficient. Practicing social distancing and excellent hand hygiene (along with wearing a face covering) is the best way to protect those around you.

With the importance of remembering the basic steps to keep ourselves and others safe, Gareth Gillatt, Co-founder of face covering makers Ally added: “It’s crucial that we all continue to abide by the rules where possible.

“As well as hand washing and practicing social distancing, face coverings are still a big factor in offering protection from the virus – but if you don’t handle, wash and maintain it correctly, you may inadvertently increase the risk of infecting yourself or others.”

Face masks are mandatory whilst using public transport and also on-entry to a string of leading supermarkets.

Unless medically exempt, shoppers will need to wear a mask before entering Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.



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