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2020 has had its downfalls, but it also offered us choices that we didn’t have before. That includes many choices when it comes to facemasks. Although disposable facemasks are convenient, many people choose a cloth mask because they are easier on the environment. They are also reusable, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be replaced on occasion. They also need to be washed regularly, although many people are not quite sure how often they need swapped out or cleaned.

HuffPost sheds a little light on the subject, saying that the elastic ear bands are often the first part of the mask that reveals wear. Masks are most effective when they fit snugly on the face. Even though it is still possible to wear a mask with the loops stretched out, it tends to be to lose and does not provide the adequate level of safety needed for the pandemic.

Photo: Unsplash

You may also be somewhat exposed by the cloth that touches the face. As you continue to wear and wash your mask, the threads become worn and small tears or holes may appear. Thinning fabric is more difficult to spot than a hole, but it is still important to notice when it is happening. The easiest way to do so is to hold the mask up to the light. If the mask is thick, no light will come through and that means it is doing its job. You might also blow on the mask and see how much air you feel coming to the outside.

Generally speaking, checking for wear and tear on a cloth mask is similar to checking for it on other clothing. The difference is, having a worn sock will not put you at risk of the virus but having a worn mask will.