Eau Claire (WQOW) - With Wisconsin's mask mandate starting Saturday, a local health expert is sharing how to care for your cloth mask.
Lori Van Damme, an infection prevention registered nurse at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph's Hospitals, recommends washing your cloth face covering daily.
She said follow the manufacturer's care instructions, but if your mask does not come with any, you can hand wash your mask with soap and warm water.
Laundry detergent is also fine. Then hang your mask to dry.
Van Damme said you can clean multiple masks in the washing machine on the gentle setting and suggests putting them in a lingerie bag so they don't get ruined in the wash.
"You want to make sure that you don't put dirty masks on because when you're breathing, they're really close to your face so you want to have it as clean as you can," said Van Damme. "We don't want to infect ourselves with anything so by daily washing, you would just avoid any kind of bacterial buildup."
Van Damme said it's good to have at least two masks so that you can wear one when you're out while the other is getting washed.
She also said it's best not to re-wear disposable paper masks and to throw them away after one use.
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