Mask Care

Window Communication Masks will last a very long time with proper maintenance. On this page we will go over some tips and tricks to help you extend the life of your new mask. 

First, let's go over the basics. 

WASHING

For those who prefer hand washing, please use a mild detergent and warm water. While hand washing is the most delicate option, it also leaves room for error where germ removal is concerned so please be thorough. 

For those of you who prefer machine washing, rest assured that our masks are machine wash friendly.

We recommend that you machine wash on cold in a laundry bag, and then allow your mask to air dry for best results. 

The ADCO Mask Care Kit makes it even easier! Click Here to Check it out online! 

In our testing, we have been rigorously testing three masks with different washing scenarios to determine the best way to prolong the life of your mask. Here are our findings: 

Machine wash, hot water + dry in the dryer: The purpose of this test was to see how much we could beat up the mask. In some of the washes we even used the steam sanitize function on the washer/dryer.

Current wash count: 41 cycles 
Results: Shrinking, messed up pleats. No permanent damage to the vinyl. Elastics are damaged on earloops. 
Summary: If you accidentally throw your mask in with the load of towels, it's probably not going to ruin it, but this isn't the best option for routine care of your mask since it will ruin the elastics and the material. 

Machine wash, hot water in laundry bag + air dry: The purpose of this test was to see what a normal laundry cycle would do to the mask. 

Current wash count: 53 cycles 
Results: No damage to the fabric or the vinyl. Elastics are mildly damaged/frayed. 
Summary: Washing on warm/hot doesn't seem to cause much damage, although we suspect that the heat causes damage to the elastics after time. For this reason we do not recommend using this as your routine washing method/temperature. 

Machine wash, cold water in laundry bag + air dry: The purpose of this test is to see if we could use the convenience of machine washing with the gentleness of cold water. 

Current wash count: 73 cycles 
Results: No damage to fabric, vinyl or elastics 
Summary: Washing on cold water is our recommended method for the care and maintenance of the window communication mask. The combination of cold water in a laundry bag protects the mask from any damage in the wash, while air drying eliminates risk of shrinking and elastic fraying. 

 

FOGGING

The nature of vinyl masks can be tricky due to the dreaded FOGGING. For those living in drier climates this may not be as problematic as it is for those living in more humid climates, but at the end of the day - we hate mask fogging! 

The best way to reduce fogging is to allow venting by not keeping your mask too tight (but not making it too loose as to make it essentially ineffective as a mask!). 

To further assist, we have a trick that involves a couple simple steps: 

  1. Apply a tiny drop of blue Dawn dish soap to the inside of the vinyl panel. Make sure you get the entire surface completely covered. 
  2. Allow the soap to dry for at least an hour (for best results, we suggest leaving it overnight) 
  3. Buff the soap off using a cloth such as the Kimwipes or another soft low-lint cloth. DO NOT wash off the soap. 

PROS: Your mask will be significantly less foggy! 
CONS: Your mask now smells like a pile of wonderfully clean dishes 

 Commercially available anti-fogging products review: 

PLEASE NOTE: We do not represent or sell any of these products unless specifically noted. The testing of these products and their performance is limited only to use on our window communication masks and the information below is our opinion. This information is shared for your use as you evaluate your own anti-fogging solutions. 

  • Optix 55 Anti-Fog Treatment (Liquid): Just like most anti-fog products, this is designed for glasses. I love the fast-dry component and its also build-able so I was able to use two coats to achieve superior anti-fogging. The instructions indicate that it should be wiped with a dry cloth, however, I found that it worked best by skipping this step (and since it leaves no residue, that did not seem to be problematic). 
  • Optix 55 Fog Gone Spray: this one took slightly longer to dry than the liquid (above), but ultimately worked almost as well. Since it comes in a larger bottle, I would have to say that it makes more sense price-wise to go with this option but for longer periods of use it doesn't seem to last quite as long. For kids at school this is definitely an easier option than the liquid drops. 
  • MCR Safety Towelettes: The first thing that I noticed when I opened the wipe was the smell, which is incredibly off-putting. I should preface this by saying that these too are LENS cleaning/anti-fogging wipes, but I felt a bit strange putting this on my face (eyes or mouth). But I powered through for the sake of testing. Ultimately the anti-fogging was mediocre at best, which certainly didn't justify the price point or the intense smell. 
  • PDI Anti-Fogging Wipes: Although we sell these, this is an unbiased opinion. Our decision to sell this product was based on availability and cost, as it is important to us to offer effective products at affordable prices. I personally feel that the Optix 55 liquid performed better, however, it is significantly more expensive and not currently available through us as a hearing healthcare dealer. The PDI wipes are incredibly easy to use, build-able (you can use more than one for increased coverage), and very affordable. As such, we are now including a sample in every mask going out from this point forward for you to test out yourself. 

Have a defogging product you'd like us to test out? Please let us know by emailing masks@adcohearing.com