Use of Cloth Face Coverings (COVID-19)

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Cómo Hacer una Mascarilla (COVID-19)

On May 13, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated recommendations regarding the use of face masks. DHEC has reviewed the science behind the CDC’s recent mask guidelines and now advises that South Carolinians who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors with a few exceptions. 

At this time, people should still continue to wear masks when in schools, healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and on commercial transportation. People who have weakened immune systems should consult with their physician to determine the best course of action for them. Face masks continue to be an effective tool for protecting against disease spread, like COVID-19 and the flu.

Unvaccinated people need to continue to properly wear face masks in public. Get your COVID-19 vaccine today to protect yourself and your community. Once fully vaccinated, most people can start doing the things they enjoyed before the pandemic.

How to Wash Cloth Face Coverings

Laundry machine and mask

Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used face covering.

How to clean

Washing machine

  • You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering

Washing by hand

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or
  • 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water
  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

Make sure to completely dry cloth face covering after washing.

How to dry


  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

Air dry

  • Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the cloth face covering in direct sunlight.


How to Protect Yourself




COVID-19 COVID-19 Resources Statewide