Coronavirus: When is it the best time to replace your masks?

29 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

It's impossible to leave home without a mask on. Not to forget, it is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the contagious virus which is still rampant. Recent studies have indicated that surgical, cloth masks are quite effective in reducing transmission risk by up to 70%.

Which is the best kind of mask to use right now?

According to most prevalent medical guidelines, using a three-ply, fitted mask, which has breathable material in it is the best forms of protection right now. Since they can be washed and reused for future use, it also makes for an economical buy.

How to store and clean the masks the right way

Since mask-wearing is a mandatory habit during the pandemic we are facing right now, it's important to care for them and store them in the right manner. Masks tend to be less effective when the quality of the fabric, which is meant to cover your mouth and nose deteriorates over time. Harsh washing and chemicals may also impact their use.

So when should be the best time for you to ditch your old mask away?

That being said, even with proper care and storage, masks do have an expiry date to it.

While it's impossible to affix a timeline as to when can one safely dispose of a mask, a lot of it depends on the type of mask you have- the fabric, the number of washes it has been exposed to. It also depends on the number of times you use and take off your mask.

How many masks should you have?

While mask hoarding is a bad practice during the pandemic, owning more than one mask can keep you secure in the current situation. It's an expert-backed tip too. Having more than one, or carrying a couple of masks when you travel outdoors is especially helpful when you are moving from colder temperatures to a warmer climate, which may make it easier for you to sweat through the mask.

A wet mask or one which has been worn for longer hours can also make it uncomfortable for you to breathe through. This is also for people who exercise or engage in rigorous physical activity wearing a mask. Hence, replace your masks, clean or dispose of the old ones immediately upon a shift in temperatures.          — Times of India