Are Face Mask Filters Washable?

Are face mask filters washable

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

In this article, we will discuss if face mask filters are washable. There are many kinds of face mask filters sold on the market. Besides that, people are also using materials like coffee filters, paper towels, and other tightly-woven fabrics as filters for homemade cloth mask. If you have purchased a face mask with a filter and are wondering if it is washable, then you have come to the right post. We will discuss the different kinds of mask filters and how to wash them.

Are face mask filters washable? This will have to depend on the kind of filter that you are using. For the most part, filters are meant for one-time use only and need to be disposed of after use. On the other hand, some filters like HVAC filters are washable but note that its effectiveness will decrease after each wash.

This article does not contain any product recommendations. If you are interested in purchasing face masks, here’s our buying guide with products.

What kinds of filters are washable? Where can I find reusable filters? How can I wash face mask filters properly? These are some of the common questions asked by people when it comes to face mask filters. To learn the answer to these questions, you can read the rest of the post below.

Are face mask filters washable

Image by leo2014Opens in a new tab. from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

What Kinds of Face Mask Filters are Washable?

HVAC filters and tightly-woven fabric filters are washable. You need to wash them after every use. Most filters are ideal for handwashing. Do not place them in a washing machine because they can easily get damaged. Take a closer look at the washable filters below.

HVAC Filters

You can purchase HVAC filters on the market. They are washable and reusable. Though they are washable, manufacturers warm that they are intended for single use only. If you sew the filters between the mask’s fabrics, you can wash it the same as you did the mask. On the other hand, keep in mind that the filter’s effectiveness and filtration will decrease after each wash.

Fabric Filters

For homemade face masks, people are using fabrics with thread counts of at least 180 as filters. These fabrics have a thicker and tighter weave, which allows fewer particles to pass through. One of the benefits of using fabric filters is that it lessens the need for an actual filter for the handmade mask. This also makes the mask washable. Having a washable filter makes homemade face masks an affordable and practical option.

What Kinds of Filters are Non-Washable?

Filters that are made of paper products and are usually made for homemade face masks are non-washable. They are meant for one-time use only and should be disposed of after use. Check out the non-washable filter below.

Paper Towels/Tissue Paper

These materials will tear off when wet. When using paper towels or tissue paper for filters, you need to dispose of them after each use because there is no way that you can wash these materials.

Coffee Filters

A lot of people are using coffee filters as an extra layer of protection for face masks. On the other hand, they are non-washable and should be disposed of after use.

✅ Video – DIY Face Mask with Coffee Filter

Chaz Rough shared the video below on how to make a face mask with a coffee filter. This is a no-sew face mask made from handkerchief and rubber bands. The mask is easy to make and is also inexpensive. You can easily find the materials to make the face mask at home. Check out the video below for the visual demonstration.

How to Wash Face Mask Filters?

If you have a reusable face mask filter, you need to wash them by hand. Face mask filters are more sensitive as compared to face masks. Use a gentle detergent when washing the filters. Do not place them in a washing machine because they can easily tear or get damaged. On the other hand, make sure that you check the lifespan of the reusable face mask filter. Take note that filters can have reduced effectiveness after many washes. See to it that the filter that you are using for the mask can properly provide protection.

Tips for Washing Cloth Face Mask with Filter Pockets

If the face mask has filter pockets, you need to wash it properly, especially inside where the filters will be placed. The LOMA LINDA University HealthOpens in a new tab. shared some tips on how to wash face masks with filter pockets. Basically, the first thing you need to do is remove any detachable parts from the face mask.

This includes interior filters and valves. Some cloth face masks are made from materials that can be machine washed. However, one of the common issues when washing face masks on a washing machine is that the ties can get tangled. To prevent this, you can place the masks on a mesh bag or a laundry bag.

Be careful of the detergents or bleach that you are using. Some face masks sold on the market are made of sensitive materials that can easily fade when it comes to laundry chemicals. Always check the label and the care instruction before washing the masks. For step-by-step instructions on washing masks with filters, you can check out the link provided above.

How to Dry Face Mask Filters

Air-dry the face mask filters and do not put them in a dryer. Let them dry naturally in a cool place or under the sun. Do not iron or steam the filter because it will damage the materials, and it will not be as effective as before.

Related Questions

What do Face Mask Filters Do?

Face mask filters will improve the capabilities of homemade cloth masks. If your face mask is made of thin fabric with a loose weave, it might not be effective in filtering air particles. Filters serve as an added layer of protection for the masks.

An effective face mask filter will allow many airflows and capture a high percentage of air particles. We have also written this article that talks about how long face mask filters last. You can check out the article for more information about the topic.

How Can I Find the Right Mask Filter?

When shopping for face mask filters, you need to consider fit and breathability. An additional layer of filtering in the mask can make it more difficult to breathe. The filter should be sandwiched between the cloth mask’s outer and inner layers for an optimal fit. To find out if the face mask effectively filters particles, you can shine a light up against the mask’s material.

If the light shines completely through the mask, you can add more layers or a different fabric. The mask should block the light almost completely. You can also check out this article about the best face masks to wear with glasses. We have discussed various features that you need to look for when shopping for masks that will not fog your glasses.

Where to Buy Filters for Cloth Face Masks?

 You can buy filters from online stores. Many people are buying filters from online stores because it is more convenient, and you can easily choose from a wide array of options available. From disposable to reusable filters, you can select an item according to your preferences and budget. Moreover, you can compare one product to another so that you can get the best deals. Make your best judgment when purchasing a product.

How to Make Face Mask with Pocket Filters?

If you cannot find face masks with pocket filters, you can make one. Face masks with pocket filters are easy to do. There are sewn and no-sew patterns and tutorials that you can find online. Sew Can She shared a tutorialOpens in a new tab. on how to make a face mask with pocket filters. You will need a fabric piece that measures 15 inches tall and 9 inches wide and two pieces of 6 inches long elastics.

The tutorial that she has provided is easy to follow, and she also shared photos to point out how to sew the mask. Moreover, she has provided tips on how to do the pleats and make sewing the mask easier. This face mask is an ideal DIY project that you can do if you want to make homemade face masks with filter pockets rather than purchasing. You can choose any fabric that you like, and you can also add more layers of fabric to the mask. Check out the link above for a demonstration on how to make the mask.


You have reached the end of this post that discusses if face mask filters are washable. Many kinds of face mask filters can and cannot be washed. Most filters found on the market are washable and reusable. On the other hand, they have a limited lifespan. Bear in mind that when you continue to wash filters, they will not be effective in filtering air particles.

You can also use paper products like coffee filters, but they are for one-time use only. Another option is to use fabric filters that are made from tightly-woven materials and are also washable. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about face mask filters. Thank you for reading!

Recent Posts