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Cleaning tips for TB cotton masks?

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    Cleaning tips for TB cotton masks?

    I have a couple V3 masks that I switch between for working M-F, so each one gets worn at least 2-3 days/week. I’ve been using them since TB donated a box to the drug treatment clinic at which I’m a counselor (thanks TB!) and they are starting to develop an odor that I can’t seem to get out. On the weekend I’ll put them through multiple wash cycles in the washing machine and then hang-dry them. This last weekend I tried switching the wash temp to warm (it’s usually cold). The masks seem to smell okay after washing, but like there’s something growing in them once they air dry. Should I be drying more quickly in the dryer? Washing on hot? Using bleach? Thanks in advance for the advice

    #2
    I also tried hand washing in hot dishwate (dish soap) with a scrub brush once, followed by air drying. Same result.

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      #3
      Originally posted by kevindaum View Post
      I have a couple V3 masks that I switch between for working M-F, so each one gets worn at least 2-3 days/week. I’ve been using them since TB donated a box to the drug treatment clinic at which I’m a counselor (thanks TB!) and they are starting to develop an odor that I can’t seem to get out. On the weekend I’ll put them through multiple wash cycles in the washing machine and then hang-dry them. This last weekend I tried switching the wash temp to warm (it’s usually cold). The masks seem to smell okay after washing, but like there’s something growing in them once they air dry. Should I be drying more quickly in the dryer? Washing on hot? Using bleach? Thanks in advance for the advice
      Below is the link to the CDC guidelines for face masks - they update it as they get new info...the TB mask product pages refer to this guidance. Reading the most recent version, it appears that the CDC advice has gotten less prescriptive over time and they basically refer back to the material care.

      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...coverings.html

      I suggest you wash in hot & thoroughly dry in hot and see how that goes. The multilayer masks from any source taken longer to dry than you might think if you air dry them...the surface will dry first and it takes quite a while for the centers to dry depending on you humidity.

      Also, depending on what else you may be washing them with and/or how recently you have cleaned your washer, they may be picking up odors from that. Polyester (which is in the blend of the V3) in particular is known for holding odor.

      I wouldn't bleach the masks but if you haven't run a clean/deodorize cycle on your washer in a while, do that too (check your machine instructions and/or google around). The general rule of thumb is about once a month, especially if you mostly wash with cold water.
      Last edited by G42; 04-19-2021, 04:34 AM.
      I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

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        #4
        I usually hand wash my masks and then hang them to dry. They usually dry overnight. (I will machine wash the masks in warm water once a week or so when I do my regular laundry.) Leaving them to soak is important as the soap kills the virus. I had been using Dr. Beckmanns hand laundry soap but when I ran out of that I switched to Woolite. No bad smells. Let them soak for at least a half hour. Rinse well and hang to dry. (Roll them in a towel before drying and they will dry quicker.)
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          #5
          They have to be washed in hot water/cold rince cycle inside, a delicate item, mesh bag.

          I use delicates cycles in both the washing machine and the dryer. Delicates means the washing machine drums agitate in a slower manner, especially during the spin cycle and the heat from the dryer is not as taxing on the environment.
          That drying cycle dries 2 bath towels in 80 minutes, so it is warm enough to dry the masks.

          The first time I dried my whole order of 8 masks: V3, or V6 , they needed more than 80 minutes in the delicate cycle, I felt a little dampness, so I run them again for 30 minutes, then another 30.

          I do not air dry any of my Tom Bihn masks V1, V3 and V6.

          Every time I tried to air dry some items, in the Spring or Autumn, when it is warm enough to not have any heat, nor AC, they ended up having a slight odor and needed to be re-washed.

          Please don't use bleach because it degrades fabrics.



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            #6
            Hi kevindaum, I live in the UK where it is very common to air dry clothes, however it’s also a bit of a damp climate and it’s really easy for clothes here to develop that smell. Here are my tips.

            For items that already have a musty door from not drying quickly enough, a warm or hot wash and then hanging them out in the sunlight (or perhaps laying them out, if you can’t hang them) is the most effective thing. Turn them over so the sunlight gets both sides. Leave them out in the sun for as long as you can.

            For regular wash/dry, I tend to wash on a lower temp just because it uses less energy, and then I put my mask on the radiator if I am drying indoors (if you have a small or poorly ventilated home, drying clothes indoors on radiators can encourage damp in the house but is otherwise fine).
            For seasons when the radiators aren’t on, I pay attention to when the sun is on different parts of the house. Hanging my laundry outside on the line in the morning ensures it will be dry by 5pm unless it’s a windless or chilly day. If I am drying it inside on a rack, but not on a radiator, my living room is blazing hot in the morning with direct sun, so stuff in there would dry quickly. It’s a matter of paying attention to the warm spots in the house.

            Also, if I have had the oven on, when I am done I leave the door open and hang the wet dish towel from drying dishes over the opening and it dries completely in five minutes.

            I hope that’s helpful. I moved to this country 15 years ago and I’m still learning how to dry my clothes effectively without a big American dryer.

            Originally posted by kevindaum View Post
            I have a couple V3 masks that I switch between for working M-F, so each one gets worn at least 2-3 days/week. I’ve been using them since TB donated a box to the drug treatment clinic at which I’m a counselor (thanks TB!) and they are starting to develop an odor that I can’t seem to get out. On the weekend I’ll put them through multiple wash cycles in the washing machine and then hang-dry them. This last weekend I tried switching the wash temp to warm (it’s usually cold). The masks seem to smell okay after washing, but like there’s something growing in them once they air dry. Should I be drying more quickly in the dryer? Washing on hot? Using bleach? Thanks in advance for the advice


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