COVID-19: The Right Way to Put On and Take Off Cloth Masks

Putting on a cloth facemask is simple. Make sure you know these important points to getting the mask on right so it will protect you and taking it off so you don’t contaminate your hands. Watch as National Jewish Health physician, Patty George, MD, demonstrates the correct way to put on and take off a cloth mask.


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Patty George, MD: Today were going to talk about using cloth masks and how to properly put them on and take them off. If you find yourself in a situation where you are using a cloth mask, its important to do it properly so that youre using it in the safest way possible.

Patty George, MD: So first, lets talk about putting on the mask. The first step is always to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands. Make sure theyre good and clean.

Patty George, MD: Then you can take your mask- Our masks here have this design with a loop that goes behind the head and an obvious side that faces out from your face as well as into your face. The way that we put these on is like this: Put the loop behind the head and then tighten these side straps and get a nice fit.

Patty George, MD: Ill turn sideways so you can see, you take it behind the neck, and tie it tightly. At the end, so thats how that look, you can adjust up here if you need to when its loose. At the end, you want to make sure that the nasal bridge wire in this part is fitting nice and close to your face. When youre done, of course, again, make sure you use the hand sanitizer or wash your hands. That is how you properly place the mask.

Patty George, MD: Now at the end, when you want to take the mask off at the end of the day, or youre going to eat lunch, its important to follow the directions. You want to stay away from your face and away from the front of the mask and just remove the mask by lifting this off and untying from behind the neck, and there you have your mask.

Patty George, MD: If Im home at the end of the day, I just put it into a laundry bag, or pillowcase, and throw it into the washing machine for a hot water wash with a hot air dry. If it's the middle of the day and Im having lunch, I take care in terms of where I place the mask, so I tend to hang it somewhere away from people. Were social distancing, so thats not difficult. Maybe set it on a piece of paper that I'll then throw away later, so I can then go back and pick it up and easily replace it when need be.

Patty George, MD: That’s how you properly take on and take off the mask.

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