How to Wear & Clean a Fabric Facemask & Filters to Use
How your Facemask Should Fit:
The face mask or covering should fit snugly but feel comfortable, the CDC says. It should be secured with ties or ear loops. Pleats aren’t strictly necessary, but they help the masks fit better because it creates more room under the mask. A fabric right against the mouth and nose will cause the mask to get wet from your breath, and that can be uncomfortable. More room lets you wear it for longer. It’s still extremely important to not touch your face. You’ll be tempted to adjust it, or scratch underneath, or move it around. Try to put it on and leave it in place.
Removing your Facemask:
When you’re home, take it off by the straps, not by grabbing the front. This will reduce the risk of touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with germy hands while removing the mask. Wash your hands right after taking it off. Then, wash the mask immediately. If you put the mask on a surface, there’s potential germ transmission and then you’ll just have to clean that, too. It’s better to go right to the washer and throw it in. No need for bleach or commercial disinfectants, a regular wash cycle is fine.
Filters to use in your facemask:
If you would like to include filters with your masks, some safe options are non-woven products like non-fusible interfacing, coffee filters, or charcoal re-useable washable filters (Amazon). On the other hand, testing has proven that the simple insertion of folded tissues or paper towels into the masks greatly improves its effectiveness without inhibiting the breath-ability of the mask.
Not recommended at this time:
The pleated filter material extracted from a 3M Filtrete Air Filter. 3M strongly stated that the air filter material should NOT be used for this purpose. This material is specifically manufactured by their construction division for use in a furnace, and it should not be incorporated into personal protective wear. Their Material Safety Data Sheets for Filtrete warns: "Use or processing of the product not in accordance with the product's recommendations … may present potential health and safety hazards."
HEPA vacuum cleaner bags. Hoover Vacuum Co. stated: "Our vacuum bags have only been designed and tested for use in vacuum cleaners. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend for people to turn vacuum bags into makeshift face masks since this could give users a false sense of security and potentially put them at risk. Vacuum cleaners mechanically create a condition that facilitates effective filtration through the vacuum bag, but humans are unable to create this condition. Therefore, these types of masks cannot provide the appropriate filtration and would only provide minimal protection."
Cleaning your Fabric Facemask:
You have to wash them every time you wear them in public.
Check out this video for further washing tips: http://a.msn.com/09/en-us/BB12Fl4g?ocid=se2
According to the CDC, washing them with soap and water is the best way to clean your mask.
We have heard that people are sterilizing their masks in the microwave or oven. DO NOT DO THIS!! There's a chance they could catch on fire or melt. We don't know if they have been sewn with all-cotton thread or if there's wire in it. There could be polyester interfacing in-between the layers and it will melt or the thread could melt. IT'S DANGEROUS AND IT'S NOT THE WAY TO STERILIZE YOUR MASK!!
Phoenix ASG Mailing address:
Phoenix Chapter - American Sewing Guild
P.O. Box 1024
Scottsdale, AZ 85252