Non-medical masks: How to put on, remove and clean

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How to put on a mask

  1. Ensure the mask is clean and dry.
  2. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before touching the mask.
    • If none is available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  3. Ensure your hair is away from your face.
  4. Place the mask over your nose and mouth and secure to your head or ears with its ties or elastics.
    • Adjust if needed to ensure nose and mouth are fully covered.
  5. The mask should fit snugly to the cheeks and there should not be any gaps.
  6. Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer after adjusting your mask.

While wearing a non-medical mask, it's important to avoid touching your face. If you do touch your mask or face, you should immediately wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Wearing a non-medical mask properly

How to remove a mask

  1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
    • If none is available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  2. Remove the mask by un-tying it or removing the loops from your ears.
    • Avoid touching the front of the mask when removing it.
  3. Store the mask in a paper bag, envelope, or something that doesn’t retain moisture if you’ll be wearing it again.
  4. After removing the face covering, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Cleaning and disposing of masks

Cloth masks should be changed and cleaned if they become damp or soiled. You can wash your cloth mask by:

Non-medical masks that can’t be washed should be disposed of properly in a lined garbage bin. Replace your mask as soon as it gets damp, soiled or crumpled. Don’t leave discarded masks in shopping carts or on the ground where other people may come into contact with them.

It’s important to remember the following when using non-medical masks:

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