How Your Teens and College Kids Should Care for Their Face Masks

Like it or not, our teens will be required to wear masks for a while and they will taking their masks wherever they go. Given that, we wanted to help them out with some tips for mask handling, care and storage-our aim is to make this as easy as possible for them. These are also good reminders for our own mask use, too.

Here are some of the best ideas for how to care for face masks. (Twenty20 @ccwestminster6)

Face mask care

First, wash your hands before putting your mask on. Put it up over your nose and mouth, not just your mouth. A multi layer mask is preferable and make sure the mask fits snugly, but that you can still breathe. Here is what the cdc says about masks.

And, here are some masks that our parents love

The cdc recommends washing face cloth coverings after each use. When you get to your destination and it’s time to remove your mask, it’s important to do it correctly. Handle the mask only by the ear loops or the ties behind your head. When removing your mask the CDC recommends folding the outside corners together and avoiding contact with your eyes, nose and mouth until you have washed your hands.  

The cdc also has suggestions on how to wash and dry your masks, both by machine and by hand, and dry in a dryer or by laying the mask out in the sun. 

For washing, many parents we spoke with recommended a mesh lingerie bag like these to throw the dirty masks in prior to washing.

lingerie bag

Face mask storage ideas

Baskets Leave two baskets by the front door-one for dirty masks and one for clean ones. That way your teen can grab and go and then deposit the dirty ones at the end of the day.

Command hooks  Put these on a wall by the door and you will have a place to hang your masks. Each person can have their own hook for their individual masks.

command hooks

Clear containers Label two clear plastic containers “clean” and “dirty” and leave at the door; wash the masks when the dirty container is full.

Ziploc bag with extras Remind your kids to keep a Ziplock bag in their backpack or in a car with at least four or five disposal masks in just in case they or someone else forgets one.

Small collapsible hamper Leave a small hamper wherever it works for you as a receptacle for dirty masks only. Masks can be worn daily and then tossed in there.

Over the door rack An over the door rack is a great place to store clean masks so that everyone knows where they can grab one and they are not curled up in a ball somewhere.

Hanging Octopus dryer with 16 clothes clips You can hang your clean mask right here and that way they are available to you.

Tie rack  Here is another way to store clean masks. Put a few on each peg and keep this handy in the closet by the door.

tie rack

Mask bag set We thought that this was a great idea. You can take this with you and when you are done with a mask put it in the dirty bag for later laundering. And, always keep a clean one handy.

Carabiner  These are just handy to have. Attach your mask to your knapsack or to anything else you carry around with you.

Skirt hanger Yet another idea for hanging clean masks in a way that makes it clear that they are ready for another use. .

Lanyard Many people are using these to keep their masks handy around their necks-keeps your hands free but the mask handy in case you need it.


Mask Labeling Ideas

How do we make sure at home and at school that our teens are using their own face mask and not someone else’s?

Some suggested sewing some sort of symbol on each mask using different color thread for each family member.

You can decorate each mask with a silver sharpie so that each mask is recognizable to its owner or you can use the old camp iron-on labels or initials. You can put a dot of nail polish on the inside of the masks-again each member of the family has a different color.

Another suggestion was buying colored zip ties and using different colors for each family member and putting them around the straps.

You Might Also Want to Read:

Go Bag for College: What to Pack In Case Your Student Needs to Quarantine Here are things to assemble in case your student needs to grab this and go.

About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

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