Wash Your Face Mask in Fancy Laundry Detergent and Really Start Living

doing the laundry

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It’s a particularly COVID-19 era problem: Putting on a cloth face mask (reusable, please!) right before your journey outside only to realize, well, it doesn’t smell that great.

Newsflash: You should be washing your masks after each wear. But instead of turning to good old utilitarian laundry detergent for what just ends up being another household chore, bring a little joy into your life by treating yourself to some luxury laundry detergent.

The logic: You, the wearer of said mask, are breathing in its scent all day. So why not level up your experience by adding a luxury fragrance to your little personal space bubble?

The options of thriving while masking are endless. You can go the therapeutic route a la the new Laundress x Aromatherapy Associates collab inspired by forest bathing. Or maybe, fully flush out your signature scent story with Le Labo’s Santal 33 or Rose 31 detergents? Try something tropical with Love Home & Planet’s affordable concentrate, or go indie with Cali-chic Dedcool’s biodegradable detergent.

And while fancy detergent can be on the pricer side, by hand-washing in a mixing bowl, you’re typically only using about a capful at a time, which means the bottle will last for about 50 to 60 rounds. Regardless of which you choose, your mask game will be next level.

When the world was peak scary at the start of the pandemic, I started washing my sheets with Le Labo detergent as a cozy treat. One night, while I was snuggled up with my cat watching Grey’s Anatomy for the first time and slowly inhaling the glory that is Santal 33, it hit me—my masks could smell this good, too.

The next morning I collected all the masks in my house (my personal favorites are the Clare V. masks for running errands and Jill & Ally for when I just need to pop one on quickly to run downstairs), rolled up my sleeves, and got to work.

Almost a year into this habit, here are my washing tips:

  • For the masks to be clean, you must use hot water. First, I pre-soak my masks for about five minutes in super-hot water, drain them, then make them a nice little bubble bath with my detergent and let them hang out for at least 15 minutes. Then I scrub each for a few minutes, rinse, and hang!
  • Hand washing can be tricky. Make sure the water runs completely bubble-free when you’ve finished washing (leftover detergent could irritate your skin!).
  • I don’t own an iron, so the way I dry my masks is essential. Set them out on hangers to air dry (I prefer to do it in the shower in case there’s some residual water) overnight—I’ve also noticed it helps the fabric’s fragrance set.
  • Spot treat if you’ve got a makeup mark. I like to carry the Tide to Go Wipes to stop the stain as soon as I see it, or let this Stain Solution permeate for a few minutes pre-wash.
  • If you have sensitive skin, be careful and consult your dermatologist before trying this technique.

    And below, a few face masks that pair perfectly with the fanciest of detergents:

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