As the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, it has become normal to wear a face mask in public. In the United States, some states have made wearing a face mask in public mandatory in order to keep people protected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention argues that masks are critical in reducing the risk of infection.
While a mask can protect you from the virus, experts say if you do not use and store masks correctly, they can become contaminated.
4. Store Masks in a Paper Lunch Bag
Resident Physician Ashley Roxanne from Georgia says, “The best material to store your mask in is something that most people can easily buy and find: a paper lunch bag. Paper bags are more breathable than most other containers, which makes them a less favorable environment for microbes.”
3. Another Alternative: Plastic Bags
Roxanne argues that plastic bags are not as effective as paper bags because they do not allow fresh air to transfer through and they can lock in an infection. While paper bags are preferred, plastic bags can be an adequate substitute.
Another benefit of properly storing your face mask is that you can safely reuse it multiple times. Instead of constantly paying for more masks, take the time and effort to store the ones you have correctly.
Roxanne says, “Reusing your mask is a good idea to make the most of supplies and can be done if stored correctly and used correctly. For example, N95 masks can be reused about five times without difficulty if stored and used as directed.”Related: Best Face Masks For Children 3-9 Years Old
2. How to Properly Place Your Mask Inside the Bag
Putting your mask in a bag doesn’t mean just throwing it in there after use. Roxanne says, “Your mask should be folded to reduce how much of the outside portion touches the bag. Then, place it in the middle of the bag with the front portion angled to the top of the bag.”
1. Temperature Matters
Also, you don’t want to run the risk of the bag overheating. Store the bag in a dry and cool place. Roxanne warns, “Many people leave their masks in their cars that are not temperature controlled and that can lead to condensation and moisture building in the bag. If the mask gets wet, it may no longer be as advantageous and will need inspection for damage.”Related: Hand Sanitizer: Homemade to Fight COVID 19