Mask Instructions and Best Practices

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 Thank you to Marie Arthur Eggebroten for researching and compiling these instructions and videos on how to make a facial mask for using during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Video with pattern for hand-sewing a face mask:

Suay face mask using sewing machine:;postID=955433565355677135

Best practices in use of facial masks

  1. The recommendation is to wear a mask at all times in public spaces because we don’t know who has the virus and who doesn’t. It’s also more socially responsible to wear a mask, even if you’re outside.
  2. Always wash your hands before putting on or taking off the mask. 
  3. Don’t touch the fabric part of the mask. The fabric is the germ filter and you don’t want to spread whatever germs it has trapped. 
  4. Use the ties to secure your mask and to remove it. 
    1. The coverage area should go from near the bridge of your nose to down under your chin and stretch about halfway or more toward your ears. 
  5. Fidgeting with a mask could introduce germs to your face. If you can’t get a comfortable fit with it on, it might not actually help to wear it. 
  6. Another test* shows that using a single paper towel as a filter inside the cotton masks improves filtration. Throw the paper towel out at the end of the day and replace it with a new one the next day. 
    1. Other studies have shown that using a shop towel* has even better filtration abilities than a normal paper towel. Brands like ToolBox & ZEP’s had better results than Scott shop towels. 
  7. Wash your mask nightly in a machine or a sink, just using regular laundry soap. 
    1. You can use the dryer or let it air dry. 
    2. Although it’s not necessary, you can also go over it with a hot iron for a full assault on any germs that might remain.
    3. DO NOT use chemicals like bleach or hydrogen peroxide as they will begin to degrade the fabric fibers, making the mask less effective. 
  8. Masks do make us feel safer, but any benefit of wearing a mask will be quickly negated if we lose our resolve about social distancing and hand washing. Don’t start lingering in grocery stores or spending time with friends because you are wearing a mask. A mask alone will not protect you from the coronavirus.

Most info from: “A User’s Guide to Face Masks” published on 4/10/20 by the New York Times 

What to use to make facial masks

“The ideal material turned out to be stretchy blue shop towels made from a polyester hydro knit. Inserting two of these towels into an ordinary cotton mask brought filtration up to 93% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, the smallest their machine could test. Meanwhile, the cotton masks filtered 60% of particles at best in their tests, Schempf said.
Polyester hydro knit towels are readily available at hardware and automotive stores. The two brands they tested were ToolBox’s shop towel and ZEP’s industrial blue towel. Interestingly, Scott’s pro shop towels, which are also made with a hydro knit fabric, didn’t work as well, Schempf said.”

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