Wear your mask right

Wear your mask right

Here are simple steps to use your face gear correctly

Avoid touching the mask while using it.

As Bengalureans get back to office, wearing masks is becoming a daily routine. Here are tips on doing it right:

People with a fever, cough, or other respiratory symptoms, and those caring for people with respiratory illnesses, are advised to wear surgical masks. The rest will do fine with cloth masks. Be it a N95, surgical or cloth mask, there is a proper way to use it.

Prepping up

Just before putting on your mask, make sure you have cleaned your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, or washed your hands for 20 seconds or more with soap and water. Dry your hands with a clean towel. If you use a paper towel, throw it away.  

Check it

While your mask might be new or fresh out of the dryer, it’s always best to check for holes or tears. If it is torn or has any other defects like a missing earloop, get a new one. Discard the defective one carefully.

Place it correctly

Make sure that the exterior of the mask is facing out and away from the face. Place the coloured side on the face. (If you’re wearing a surgical mask, make sure the bendable edge is on top of your nose).

Wear it well

If your mask has ear loops, put the loops around each ear. If the mask has ties, place the mask on the face, pick up the upper ties and tie them behind the head with a bow. Adjust the mask and make sure it covers your nose and mouth completely, and the bottom edge of the mask is under your chin. Tie and secure the lower ties. Avoid touching the mask while using it.


Wash your hands before removing the mask. Do not touch the inside pr outside of the mask as it could be contaminated because of sneezing or coughing. Hold the loops and remove the mask or untie by the loops.

Reuse or discard

If you are using disposable masks, never repeat them. Replace damp ones with news ones. Discard the mask in a closed bin.

Tips for washing and disposal

The website of Narayana Health says that when disposing surgical masks fold it half inwards, so that droplets from the mouth and nose are not exposed.

Afterwards, fold the mask into another half, and wrap with its ear loops so that it does not unravel. Wrap it in a tissue or polythene bag and immediately discard into the yellow waste bag (used for clinical waste). Wash hands immediately after this.

If you are using a cloth mask, put it in the washing machine and wash in hot water and a cleaning agent, and dry in the dryer. When washing by hand, soak in warm water and detergent for about 30 minutes. Wash them as you would wash your delicate clothes and air dry. Iron them afterwards. 

If you are not immediately washing the masks after use, store them in a closed laundry bin. Wash cloth masks every day. Keeping a spare mask is ideal.

(With inputs from WHO website)

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