Want more use out of those disposable masks? Here’s how!

So you bought a big box of disposable face masks, but you hate using things once and then just throwing them away. No worries! You don’t have to!

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A few weeks ago when face masks were impossible to find I grabbed a box of 50 when I found one available. I keep them in the car for when we are out and about and I forgot my favorite washable Tory Burch cloth masks with metal nose piece or the fitted Vera Bradley cloth ones. I try to always bring a washable mask with me, but when I don’t have one, the disposable masks are great to have.

But then, what do I do with them once I’ve used one?! Obviously I’m not going to leave them on the ground outside the store like I see so many people do (seriously, PICK UP YOUR TRASH!). If I do need to throw one away, I keep some extra plastic bags – usually grocery bags – in my van to throw trash away and reuse plastic bags as well. I prefer re-usable grocery bags but a lot of stores aren’t allowing them right now, and since I’ve been doing grocery pick up I’ve ended up with a lot of plastic bags lately. However, if the mask isn’t ruined and still in good shape, but dirty, I don’t throw them away! I wash them!

Yes! That’s what I said! I wash my disposable face masks! It actually first happened on accident the other day. One of my masks got thrown in with the laundry. It went through the washer and dryer on a normal cycle and came out looking great and in great shape! Since they are not made of paper they hold up well in the wash. Obviously they will get worn down after a couple of washes, but you should be able to get a few washes out of them before that happens! This also means they aren’t going to break down in a landfill quickly, so reusing them is definitely the responsible thing to do if possible. And putting them in a load of clothes doesn’t take any additional resources, which is even better!

What kind of resource saving tips have you discovered during this pandemic? I’d love to know and might even share your idea on a future blog post!

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