So far the updates on Coronavirus is that most countries still have a rapidly growing number of cases, whereas some other countries have a stable rate of increase.
The daily number of cases is not decreasing anywhere, and if you were to believe the scientists, then a more dangerous second wave of Coronavirus is on its way.
If the situation continues like this, then soon we will run out of masks since they have a short life and we definitely have a shortage of masks. And to survive in the long run, we need to know how to take care, maintain, sanitize and reuse our masks.
Here are a few things you can do make sure your mask works properly and you can use it for a long time.
#1. Treat your mask like a biohazard
When you return from outside, just assume that your mask is infected. Remove it and place it inside a breathable paper bag and leave it for 7 days. If you need to go out again then use a different mask.
Don’t use plastic bags because plastic traps air and moisture, causing infestation of bacteria and other microbes.
Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching the mask.
#2. Here’s how to wash homemade masks
You can wash it by hand or machine, but make sure to use detergent powder to clean it. You can use it after washing and drying.
Although, if you can’t wash it then just put it in it a paper bag and leave for 2 days.
Interesting note: While Coronavirus dies within 2 days if it’s on a cloth mask, it can survive for 7 days on N95 masks.
#3. Best materials to make homemade masks
Most homemade masks are not very effective because they have gaps around your nose and cheeks from which virus can easily enter your system. Even the fabric has pores which are too big and they cannot stop the virus.
Smallest pores in common fabrics are around 50-800 microns while the Coronavirus is just 0.12 microns large. It can easily penetrate your cloth masks.
But there is something you can do which will help you. Doctors suggest that the fabric of kitchen towels, combined with T-shirt fabrics and pillowcases are best options to make your masks at home.
#4. Here’s how you know that your mask is suitable and safe
First of all, use tie-up straps with your masks and tie them behind your neck to ensure a proper fit. There should be no air gaps around your nose or cheek area.
You should feel some moderate difficulty in breathing, which means that the mask is not too thick or thin. If your mask is too thick then it will cause suffocation and it’s unhealthy for your lungs.
“It shouldn’t be so difficult that you just can’t physically breathe, but you should notice some resistance in your breathing. Otherwise your mask is probably not doing anything.”
#5. You can use paper towels as air filters
You can insert a paper towel inside the mask and it actually enhances the effectiveness of the mask by 23%.
#6. Can you wash your N95 masks?
Using anything from Lysol, alcohol, bleach, detergent, soap can damage the N95 due to a single reason. The N95 masks have electrically charged fibers inside which trap even the smallest of the particles and water along with any kind of cleaning agent will destroy those fibers.
You can just disinfect your N95 mask with an alcohol spray or swabs.
Same applies to surgical masks which shouldn’t be washed either.
#7. N95 masks are good forever if you keep them right
Even the “expired” N95 masks are as effective as any new masks, according to doctors. The filters still work even after 11 years, according to several studies.
All Featured Images Courtesy: USA Today