How to wear a cloth face mask

King County supports employees who may choose to wear a cloth face mask while they are working. If you voluntarily choose to wear a cloth face mask, please carefully review and follow this guidance:

Cloth face mask should—

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

While wearing your cloth face mask –

  • Avoid touching the mask to make an adjustment. If you do touch your mask, wash your hands.
  • Replace the cloth face mask as soon as it becomes damp from your breathing. A damp covering can become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face mask?

  • Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face mask and wash hands immediately after removing.
  • Do not place a dirty cloth face covering in your purse or pocket. Place your dirty covering in a paper bag or zip lock bag.

Should cloth face mask be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

  • They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face mask?

  • A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face mask.

The CDC has created DIY-cloth-face-covering-instructions-CDC.

Additional information on the use of cloth face masks can found from the CDC, the Washington Department of Health, and Public Health – Seattle & King County.