Local transmission cases are climbing higher day by day. Imported cases no longer seem to be our biggest concern. With circuit breaker in full swing, Singaporeans are strongly advised to stay at home in a bid to bring the number of infected people down.

Some situations, or people, might make the exception – like if you have to get yourself food or groceries, or that you’re an essential worker. In those cases, it’s important to protect yourself with proper social distancing measures, as well as put on a face mask.

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Since last Sunday (April 5), the government has also started giving out reusable masks to every resident. You’ll want to keep them clean so as to not put yourself at risk of contracting the coronavirus or other germs and bacterial infections. 

1. Wash before wearing for the first time

But first, do give the reusable mask a wash before putting them on, just as how you would with your newly-bought clothes

This helps to remove any harsh chemicals and colour dyes that may cause skin irritation, and you don’t know for sure how many hands have touched the mask during the manufacturing process. 

2. Don’t mix

When washing, do be careful not to mix it with other clothes, as an Instagram user commented on a post that the mask’s colour will run after the first wash.

3. Use warm water, soap, and dry properly

The reusable masks also come with instructions by Gov.sg on how to wash it, and it’s as simple as using warm soapy water to wash it after every use and leaving it out to dry under the sun.

Credit: AsiaOne

While we know that the coronavirus can remain active on stainless steel for up to three days, and up to 24 hours on cardboards, there is still no study on how long the virus can live on clothing and fabrics.

However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that clothes that have been worn outdoors should be washed immediately, “using the warmest appropriate water setting” according to the clothes manufacturer’s instructions and it should dry completely.

It also notes that flu viruses can be killed with temperatures above 75 degrees, along with the use of common household cleaning products like detergents. 

Text: Melissa Goh

This post first appeared on Asia One.