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How to properly put on and remove a Disposable Face Mask (COVID-19)

Posted by Kristi Brekhus on 20th Apr 2020

During this novel coronavirus outbreak, we all need to take the proper precautions to keep each other safe. Besides sheltering in place and washing your hands, wearing a mask is paramount to safety when leaving your home. It’s not enough to just have the mask over your lips with your nose exposed – masks become essentially useless if they are not worn correctly. Use this guide to ensure you’re keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

CP Lab Safety offers a variety of disposable masks to protect yourself. You can see all our COVID-19 PPE here.

Important facts about safely and properly wearing a mask

  • A mask is only effective if worn properly.
  • The mask should be worn over the nose, mouth and chin at all times. Many people have problems with masks being uncomfortable, but please keep in mind that the discomfort is temporary, but the protection to yourself and others is ongoing.
  • Do not touch your face. Wearing a mask is not effective in preventing virus transmission if you still touch your face.
  • Do not reuse disposable masks.


How to put on a Face Mask

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap or hand sanitizer before touching the mask .

2.Remove the mask from its packaging and inspect it for tears or holes.

3.Determine which side is the top. The top will usually have a stiffer edge in which it can be molded over the nose.

4.Figure out which is the front of the mask – in general the colored side will be the outer facing (front) of the mask.

5.Depending on the type of mask you are using follow these guidelines:

  • Ear Loops: with clean hands, hold the ear loops with one in each hand. Place one loop around each ear.

    Buy Surgical Masks here
  • Ties: with clean hands, hold the mask at nose level. Place the ties over the crown of your head and secure with a bow.
  • Bands: with clean hands, hold the mask at nose level by holding the nosepiece in your fingertips. Allow the headbands to hang freely. Holding the mask to your nose, use one hand to move one of the bands over your head to rest at the nape of your neck. Pull the other band over your head to rest on the crown of your head.

6.Using your fingers, gently mold the nose piece around your nose if applicable.

7.If you are using a mask that ties, now secure the bottom ties secure a bow at the nape of your neck

8.Carefully pull the mask down to fully cover your mouth and chin.

9.Check to make sure the mask is sufficiently secured to your face. It should not easily be moved.


How to remove a Face Mask

1.Wash your hands thoroughly with soap or hand sanitizer before touching the mask .

2.Do your best to not touch the front of the mask as it has now become contaminated. Only touch the ear loops, ties or bands depending on what kind of mask you are wearing.

  • Ear loops: Hold an ear loop in each hand and carefully remove them from your ears.
  • Ties: Untie the bottom bow first. When you untie the top bow take special care to make sure you do not let the contaminated part of the mask touch your face.
  • Bands: Pull the top strap over your head first. Take the second strap from the nape of your neck and lift it up and around your head.

3.Throw the mask away. Do not reuse surgical masks. If you have a cloth mask make sure to thoroughly wash the mask with soap or launder it with bleach.

4.Clean your hands thoroughly with soap or hand sanitizer.

Check with your local government to see if masks are being enforced when leaving your home.