Governments and local authorities around the world recommend wearing a mask when you step out of home as one of the safest and cheapest personal safety measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Remember, homemade masks are not a substitute for medical grade masks, and they must be worn, reused and disposed according to guidelines.
Making a face mask
Homemade masks can be made with or without sewing and the internet is awash with DIY masks of all kinds. Most involve the use of a sewing machine. Even the no sew masks made from T-Shirts involve many steps and may be difficult to make.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA) published instructions for an incredibly simple 3-step homemade mask that requires only a spare T-shirt and a pair of scissors.
Now that you know how to turn your spare T-shirt into a mask, follow these guidelines on wearing and reusing it.
Wearing your mask
- The mask should fit sungly around against the side of the face and should allow for breathing without restriction. The mask should be able to retain shape after washing and drying.
- Tighten the knots if the mask is loosening around the nose or ears when in use.
- When removing the mask after use, don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing.
- After use, always fold the mask inward. Fold into a square and store in a zipped or tied plastic bag.
- Store each person’s soiled mask separately.
Washing and reusing
- Machine or hand wash with regular detergent, depending on frequency of use. Dry completely before reusing.
- Stop using you DIY mask when it loses shape.
- Dispose your mask in the same plastic bag you stored it. Alternatively, wash the mask before discarding, making it safe for garbage disposal.