How to Dispose of your Face Mask | Guidelines

how to dispose of your face mask

The whole world is struck by the coronavirus pandemic. In all the chaos, protective face masks are an important element that can slightly avert the disaster. Health professionals around the globe believe that any type of face mask is effective in the fight against this disease.

World Health Organization (WHO) has also issued guidelines to the public regarding how to use and dispose of these protective face masks. Health professionals believe that this virus can survive for a few hours in the air or in a surface. Therefore, we shouldn’t throw the used mask in an open area, as there are respiratory secretions on the used mask. So, in this article, we will guide you on how to dispose of your face mask.

how to dispose of your face mask

Guidelines for How to Dispose of your Face Mask

A face mask should be disposed of when it becomes damped or when user is done with wearing it. To dispose of the mask properly, you must follow the instructions given below.

  • Remove the mask by pulling off the straps around the ear. Don’t touch the front of the mask.

how to dispose of your face mask

  • After removing it, put the used mask in a plastic or zip lock bag.

how to dispose of your face mask

  • Secure the plastic or zip lock bag and throw it in a trash can.

how to dispose of your face mask

  • After that, wash your hands with a block of soap.

how to discard surgical masks

If you have a fever and other symptoms, you should:

  • Spray disinfectant on the mask and put it in an airtight plastic bag.
  • After that, you should discard it in a trash can.
  • Finally, you should wash your hands with a block of soap for 20 seconds.

Note: These instructions are for surgical masks and N95 respirators. If you are using a cloth mask, then you should wash it properly with laundry detergent and hang it in the open air to dry.

how to avoid secondary contamination

When to dispose of Surgical and N95 Masks

  • If the inner side of the surgical mask and N95 respirator becomes moist then it shouldn’t be used again.
  • If your face mask is torn, you should dispose of it immediately.
  • You must dispose of the masks if it is contaminated with respiratory or nasal secretions or other bodily fluids from patients.

By disposing of the mask properly, one can avoid secondary contamination of the virus. Therefore, everyone should take all precautionary measures and follow the above instructions for disposing of face masks.

We hope we were able to answer your questions properly. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments section.

Written by Umer Zahid