Wearing a face mask is important and the CDC recommends it strongly. Here are steps on how to extend your masks usefulness by sanitizing it. Apart from that, there are also other hacks that can help you this COVID-19 crisis.

Face masks are now important just like food and shelter since it helps keep the coronavirus away from anyone. These are masks that are not reusable, so here are hacks and tips to extend them further than just one use. The ways to keep them longer is by sanitizing, filtering and extending the service life to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Here's what to do when getting back from the grocery or outside and other procedures that will keep mask usage efficient.

1. Masks should be cleaned thoroughly.

It is a big mistake to leave any mask lying around that can spread the coronavirus. Always keep it out of reach because it should be handled with care, according to Kirsten Koehler, an associate professor of environmental health and engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

2. Hand wash each time a mask is touched or worn.

Consider any mask with the virus on both sides and go without decontamination. Always wash hands for 20 seconds each time the mask is touched.

Aside from these face masks SOPs, read on to know how to keep them longer, and even make one too!

How to clean a cloth face mask and the best material to use for a mask

To clean a mask, wash it in a washing machine and put it in a dryer when done washing it. Use clean water and laundry detergent in washing.

Also read: 10 Most Common Mistakes When Using Face Masks

Another option is to hand wash it with soap or place the cloth mask in a paper bag in a warm place for 48-hours which will kill the virus.

When making a homemade mask, Prof. Koehler says tightly woven fabric in multi-layers are better compared to other masks they are not as good as N95. 

Don't ever clean an N95 in the house. Here how to reuse an N95 mask.

Getting an N95 mask is optional because it can be expensive and there's a short supply. It can be offering one of the best protection, but it must be worn properly and there should be no gaps anywhere in the respirator.

 A study by researchers at Northeastern University recommends that sewn fabric masks in some cases approach the filtration efficiency of commercially produced masks.

Even if an N95 is used, it can still be effective as brand new, the respirator still filtrates as brand-new, but the elastic bands degenerate. Some units were tested from the 11-year expiry date that was significant information.

The best way is to clean and reuse surgical masks is to isolate it for a week in any breathable container, and they should be a wash because the mask can be damage but keep it intact.

Disinfect the unit and replace the filler units whenever it will be ready. Wipe down with alcohol swabs to disinfection after each use.

Related article: The Best Respirator Masks for Cleaner and Safer Air