How to Choose A Mask? Based on CDC, WHO, and independent studies and reports (links bottom)
Six Important Factors: Materials, Construction quality, Protection, Care, Fit/ Comfort, Style
WHO and CDC each recommend 3 layers.
Synthetic exterior for moisture barrier then silk, and cotton (silk and cotton together create an additional layer of filtering: electrostatic filtering.)
Make sure it's constructed well (you must wash it many times get one that lasts)
Get a mask that has a firm with a convex constructed shape that holds its form ... a mask does not have to collapse on your face, making it difficult to breathe.
Make sure you can make minor adjustments, allowing for the best fit
Consider environmental concerns and options. Buy reusable when you can.
For optimum protection, you want equal to or better filtration than the N95 mask, which filters out at 0.3-micron particles Pollen particles are often 10 microns or bigger. Bacteria are often about 1 micron. COVID-19 has a diameter of approximately 60–140nm or 0.06 to 1.4 microns.
Make sure it's 3 layers (2 with a filter or 3 sewn in)
Get a mask that holds up to washing and still looks great. Choose quality constructed masks.
machine wash or hand wash
Consider a build-in washable filter or easily replaceable filter.
Make sure you know what the material is and is not abrasive on the skin.
Make sure you get a mask that fits you well, covering your nose and chin.
Your mask should fit securely but not be so tight it is uncomfortable.
You should be able to breathe in your mask.
Get one that suits your style!
Consider that you can wear a mask far into the future, to protect against smoke, allergens, and poor air quality.
Many designers/mask makers can make you a custom mask for your look or your own unique shaped head/face.
Have some fun with all these functional accessories!
Researchers tested and evaluated the efficiency of cloth masks and found masks made from one layer of 600-thread-count cotton and a layer of silk chiffon (proven to provide good electrostatic filtering, a process that traps particles through static electricity). Not only did the hybrid masks outperform all other two- or three-layer masks made of a single material, they were superior to N95 masks for particles smaller than 300 nanometers.
Of course, no fabric or fabric combination will work as intended if your mask doesn’t fit properly. Research shows that leakages around the sides of a mask can degrade filtering efficiencies by 50 percent or more. Lack of such leakage is one reason properly worn N95 masks work so well.
A well-fitted mask will hug your face, covering both nose and chin with no obvious gaps. It’s also important that your mask stays put, even when you talk, so you’re not constantly touching it to readjust. Masks with a bendable metal nose strip can help to create a tight seal and hold a mask in place; this can also help prevent glasses from fogging up.
How Should a Mask Fit? For your cloth mask to be effective, you must be sure you're wearing it correctly.
Make sure your mask:
Covers both your nose and mouth
Remains secure at both the bridge of your nose and under your chin as you talk and move
Fits snug to your face, but doesn't limit your ability to breathe
Avoid touching your mask while wearing it, and if you do, wash or sanitize your hands. Avoid letting it drape around your neck or rest on top of your forehead.
How to remove masks: (you want to do so correctly)
Start by removing your mask using the strings or bands that secure it. While holding only these strings or bands, fold the outside corners together and store then wash your mask.
Try not to touch any part of your face, particularly your eyes, nose, or mouth while removing your mask, and wash your hands (or apply hand sanitizer) immediately afterward.
How to clean and how often:
The CDC recommends washing your mask after each use, and you can wash it in a washing machine or by hand.
Washing machine-You can include your mask with your regular laundry. Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest, appropriate setting for the cloth used to make the mask. Use a washing bag to maximize the life of your mask and filter.
Washing by hand- Prepare a solution by mixing:1 tablespoons detergent per gallon of room temperature water soak the mask in the solution for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.
How to dry:
Dryer-Use the highest heat setting the fabric will allow and leave in the dryer until completely dry.
OR air dry, lay flat, and allow to dry completely, If possible, place the mask in direct sunlight.
How or where to store masks:
Between usages, store your mask in a cool, dry place where mildew and mold can't grow.
During the day, such as while at work, consider carrying a washable or disposable bag.
Folding your mask to ensure that the inner cloth that contacts your mouth remains protected from any potentially contaminated surfaces
Cloth face coverings are not recommended for:
Children under the age of 2
Individuals who have difficulty breathing
Individuals who cannot remove the mask without assistance.