Your Reusable Mask with a PM2.5 filter is so much more than just social protocol, it's a precious tool that will protect your health and the health of those around you.
Make sure you're using your mask to the best of your ability; here are 5 things to keep in mind about proper maintenance.
1. Disinfect your hands before touching your mask
Your mask can keep out every single molecule of bacteria, but if you're not disinfecting your hands before touching it, it's as good as useless.
Before even opening your reusable plastic pouch, make sure you're hands have been washed, or better yet, disinfected prior.
2. Wash it frequently
The exterior shell of the mask is exposed to air and acts as an initial shield against germs, but germs can cling to it.
By washing your mask in hot water, you loosen the fibres of your mask and shake off the lingering germs and particles that can be harmful. This can be done in the machine, or by hand, as long as the water reaches a minimal temperature of 60 °C. The benefits of washing by hand means that you don't risk the adjustable metal wire at the bridge of the nose puncturing the soft cotton. Hand washing can extend the life of your mask.
Washing your mask frequently ensures that it is always free of harmful bacteria, thereby avoiding possible rashes for sensitive skin or worse, illnesses.
After about 30 washes, the fibres will naturally weaken and your mask will need replacing. We recommend you try upcycling, or bringing it to your local textile recycling centre like Ekotex (Montreal).
Never run out of masks when ordering your 1ForAll bundle. A simple and effective way to save money and avoid shipping fees (certain conditions apply). Remember to remove your filter prior to washing your mask.
3. Change your filter
Filters need to be changed. This is true for any air filter, be it in your car, be it in your mask. Our 100% cotton masks will create a barrier between you and airborne germs, but it's the removable filter that does most of the work.
A mask equipped with our filter has an efficiency ≥ 99% BFE (bacterial filtration efficiency) which we got laboratory tested and certified. Without a filter, your mask falls to about a 70% filtration efficiency, similar to that of many other masks on the market. If you didn't know, now you know!
The filters have 5 layers made from state-of-the-art fabric, but must be changed after about 40 hours of use. You also can't wash a filter, you'll have to throw it away.
4. Use a hermetically sealed pouch
Let's be real, there's nothing better than taking off your mask after wearing it for a really long time.
But slinging it around your chin or shoving it in your pocket is not the best way to keep your mask clean and safe from harmful bacteria, or even just for maintaining it for as long as possible.
The only way to make sure it is safe and clean is to place it in its reusable plastic pouch in between uses.
Lucky for you that's exactly why the 1ForAll washable mask comes prepackaged in a hermetically sealed reusable recyclable pouch, to provide the best possible sanitary measures.
5. Keep a spare handy
Keeping a spare on your person ensures that you will be equipped should your mask come in contact with any harmful germs or bacteria. If your mask gets wet, humid, or dirty, you'll have a spare.
CNESST recommends changing masks every 4 hours if you have to wear it at work. Think of it this way, you breathe hot air, you sweat, and you exhale carbon dioxide—all of which breed bacteria. Bacteria plus heat, multiplies by the millions very quickly. Being consistently hygienic is never "overdoing it", so when in doubt, switch it out!