« on: February 25, 2021, 09:05:40 pm »
I probably should have posted this months ago but it looks like we'll be wearing masks for a bit longer so it should still be useful. We are full time and volunteering in visitor services. We see a lot of people every day - outside, at a reasonable distance, with us wearing masks... sometimes them wearing masks too but, unfortunately, not always.
If we've had any human contact, the mask goes to be washed. With two of us in here working five days a week and shopping and visiting a laundromat on other days, we get a pile of masks to be washed. I started with hand washing every night. Bought more masks. Then hand washing every 3-4 days. Bought more masks hoping for a better fit. Now have 8-12 masks to wash at a time if I don't keep up with it.
I have discovered the "Leaky Laundry Barrel" - which sounds terrible but is awesome. We bought a big barrel of Snyder's pretzels (and ate them - we are willing to sacrifice for some things), scrubbed it clean and tucked it under the sink. Mask washing goes like this:
- Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the barrel
- Add several inches of water to barrel
- Put lid on tightly, turn on it's side with lid over the sink and SHAKE to make suds
- Open barrel, add masks one at a time, slopping them through the soap suds
- Seal the barrel, turn on the side (lid over sink)
- Shake side to side, up and down, back and forth
- Let sit for 15 minutes or so
- Shake again (do a little dance, have a little fun... just keep the leaky lid over the sink)
- Dump soapy water and gently squeeze out masks
- Add several inches of clean water
- Seal and shake
- Dump, wring out masks, rinse again individually if desired, wring out again
- Hang to dry
- By morning we have a nice collection of clean masks ready to go again.
NOTE: if you have some of those heavy cotton masks and are in a humid area, you may need to do the old nylon stocking trick and wrap the mask in a dry towel and squeeze it so the towel absorbs most of the water. Then hang to dry.
Yes, I could just wash them in the sink but I like to let them sit in the soap for a bit and the barrel gives me a simple container to shake them and stash them until I'm ready for the rinse cycle.
I've also used the barrel for a shirt I needed that missed the laundry day.