Health & Wellness

DIY washable masks with removable filter

[OP]
Member
User avatar
Apr 15, 2005
436 posts
288 upvotes
Brossard, QC

DIY washable masks with removable filter

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While DIY masks are not as effective as surgical or N95 masks* in preventing the spread of COVID-19, some doctors and other health care professionals are wearing them over the top of the higher-tech masks to increase durability. And use of these DIY masks, by lower risk populations, free up N95 masks for health care professionals and others who are at high risk.


Furnace filters have giant surface areas so you can cut at least 30 disposable fitlers if not more out of a single filter.
Also at filtration merv 13 (mpr 1900) it can block 98% of sneeze droplets and at merv 16 it can block 96% of virus sized particles.
source: https://www.aprilaire.com/blog/2020/03/airborneviruses/
According to the United States National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, the Coronavirus nominally has a particle size of 0.13 microns: source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369385/

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Here's a chart for all the merv levels.
http://www.mechreps.com/PDF/Merv_Rating_Chart.pdf

Amazon still has tons of next day shipping furnace filters available.
Search the appropriate merv or mpr level and you'll quickly find them.

Here's the DIY mask:
https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events ... g-covid-19

Direct link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CI8AJz ... Qfl9a/view

If that's too daunting here's a video tutorial with another less efficient mask.

should help you make the first one.
Last edited by mcheddadi on Apr 3rd, 2020 10:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
29 replies
Member
Jan 19, 2008
480 posts
298 upvotes
If you need masks artscow.com has them with 2 to 4 business day shipping for a reasonable price.
Deal Addict
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May 16, 2011
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Burnaby, BC
Manic1! wrote: If you need masks artscow.com has them with 2 to 4 business day shipping for a reasonable price.
You need to buy 100 masks.
Jr. Member
Nov 12, 2019
188 posts
478 upvotes
Does your DIY mask form fit to your face creating a tight seal between the face and mask? If not, it's not an N95 equivalent. Furthermore, prior to proper use of an N95, you are required to perform a fit test in order to assist with selecting the proper N95 mask - you can't just pick one off the shelf at Walmart or Costco and expect it to perform as advertised. Lastly, do you know the proper procedure for removing an N95? It's not just a matter of taking it off willy-nilly because that's how particles from the mask get into your skin.

You are contributing to the vast amounts of dangerous (and potentially deadly) misinformation that are preventing people from getting accurate information in a time of crisis. Sure, this might be beneficial over nothing (certainly not N95 equivalent), but what it definately does is contributes to a false sense of security and ultimately to people being more lax about the behaviours that are needed to stop the spread of the virus.
[OP]
Member
User avatar
Apr 15, 2005
436 posts
288 upvotes
Brossard, QC
you know what they say about facts without sources? They're called opinions. thanks for using RFD as your personal venting outlet.
now that you publicly shamed me, why don't you give us spreaders of misinformations some actual facts with sources to back it up.
I swear those keyboard warriors noobs...
Last edited by mcheddadi on Apr 3rd, 2020 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Banned
Feb 7, 2005
4498 posts
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n1ckt0 wrote: Does your DIY mask form fit to your face creating a tight seal between the face and mask? If not, it's not an N95 equivalent. Furthermore, prior to proper use of an N95, you are required to perform a fit test in order to assist with selecting the proper N95 mask - you can't just pick one off the shelf at Walmart or Costco and expect it to perform as advertised. Lastly, do you know the proper procedure for removing an N95? It's not just a matter of taking it off willy-nilly because that's how particles from the mask get into your skin.

You are contributing to the vast amounts of dangerous (and potentially deadly) misinformation that are preventing people from getting accurate information in a time of crisis. Sure, this might be beneficial over nothing (certainly not N95 equivalent), but what it definately does is contributes to a false sense of security and ultimately to people being more lax about the behaviours that are needed to stop the spread of the virus.
I agree with your post . But it's better then nothing . As PPE supplies dry up home made equipment will start to be used more and more .
<sig removed> by moderators . Yet no moderator told me they removed or why ?
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2018
1970 posts
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GTA
n1ckt0 wrote: Sure, this might be beneficial over nothing (certainly not N95 equivalent), but what it definately does is contributes to a false sense of security and ultimately to people being more lax about the behaviours that are needed to stop the spread of the virus.
Why is this myth perpetuated. Just because people are wearing a mask does not mean people do not practice other safe measures like washing hands, social distancing and not going out unless necessary. It is just an additional measure someone can take to reduce their risk. If I wear a seatbelt does that mean I feel safer and will now drive recklessly. No, it is just one more additional safety measure one can take. Just like a mask is.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
1613 posts
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West
n1ckt0 wrote: Does your DIY mask form fit to your face creating a tight seal between the face and mask? If not, it's not an N95 equivalent. Furthermore, prior to proper use of an N95, you are required to perform a fit test in order to assist with selecting the proper N95 mask - you can't just pick one off the shelf at Walmart or Costco and expect it to perform as advertised. Lastly, do you know the proper procedure for removing an N95? It's not just a matter of taking it off willy-nilly because that's how particles from the mask get into your skin.

You are contributing to the vast amounts of dangerous (and potentially deadly) misinformation that are preventing people from getting accurate information in a time of crisis. Sure, this might be beneficial over nothing (certainly not N95 equivalent), but what it definately does is contributes to a false sense of security and ultimately to people being more lax about the behaviours that are needed to stop the spread of the virus.
This is equivalent to a surgical mask, which is adequate for public use for coronavirus from what we understand, at present. N95s are overkill unless you're going to be in extremely close or sustained proximity to one who is infected with COVID-19.
Sr. Member
Apr 20, 2006
584 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto
Also, if you are going to get furnace filters make sure they do not contain fibreglass or else you may have worse problems than COVID-19.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
mcheddadi wrote: you know what they say about facts without sources? They're called opinions. thanks for using RFD as your personal venting outlet.
now that you publicly shamed me, why don't you give us spreaders of misinformations some actual facts with sources to back it up.
I swear those keyboard warriors noobs...
DaveTheDude wrote: Why is this myth perpetuated. Just because people are wearing a mask does not mean people do not practice other safe measures like washing hands, social distancing and not going out unless necessary. It is just an additional measure someone can take to reduce their risk. If I wear a seatbelt does that mean I feel safer and will now drive recklessly. No, it is just one more additional safety measure one can take. Just like a mask is.
Actually there are studies showing that people take more risks when they think they are protected. Look it up. There are even ones showing that wearing a seatbelt and having airbags makes people drive in a more risky manner.
Don't forget that most people aren't as rational and aware as we might be.
Phonophoresis wrote: This is equivalent to a surgical mask, which is adequate for public use for coronavirus from what we understand, at present. N95s are overkill unless you're going to be in extremely close or sustained proximity to one who is infected with COVID-19.
+1
Deal Guru
Apr 17, 2003
10350 posts
6818 upvotes
Phonophoresis wrote: This is equivalent to a surgical mask, which is adequate for public use for coronavirus from what we understand, at present. N95s are overkill unless you're going to be in extremely close or sustained proximity to one who is infected with COVID-19.
He was responding to the original thread's title of "DIY washable masks with n95 equivalent removable filter". There's where the problem was.
Deal Guru
Apr 17, 2003
10350 posts
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engineered wrote: Actually there are studies showing that people take more risks when they think they are protected. Look it up. There are even ones showing that wearing a seatbelt and having airbags makes people drive in a more risky manner.
Don't forget that most people aren't as rational and aware as we might be.


+1
Studies that show one aspect exists do not automatically mean the other aspects do not exist.

Also question how these people were selected for the studies?
Deal Guru
Apr 17, 2003
10350 posts
6818 upvotes
mcheddadi wrote: you know what they say about facts without sources? They're called opinions. thanks for using RFD as your personal venting outlet.
now that you publicly shamed me, why don't you give us spreaders of misinformations some actual facts with sources to back it up.
I swear those keyboard warriors noobs...
Confidential sources? Informant?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 19, 2013
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Ottawa
n1ckt0 wrote: Does your DIY mask form fit to your face creating a tight seal between the face and mask? If not, it's not an N95 equivalent. Furthermore, prior to proper use of an N95, you are required to perform a fit test in order to assist with selecting the proper N95 mask - you can't just pick one off the shelf at Walmart or Costco and expect it to perform as advertised. Lastly, do you know the proper procedure for removing an N95? It's not just a matter of taking it off willy-nilly because that's how particles from the mask get into your skin.

You are contributing to the vast amounts of dangerous (and potentially deadly) misinformation that are preventing people from getting accurate information in a time of crisis. Sure, this might be beneficial over nothing (certainly not N95 equivalent), but what it definately does is contributes to a false sense of security and ultimately to people being more lax about the behaviours that are needed to stop the spread of the virus.
The advantage of wearing a mask is to stop spreading it. I see on TV people wearing masks and touching them from the front which is counter protective but if someone had the virus and doesn't know about it, wearing a mask does help them stop spreading it to others.

The only problem is that, if we are unable to meet the demand for 1st responders, then we'll have a tougher problem finding enough masks for the general population.
Newbie
Nov 27, 2019
45 posts
104 upvotes
n1ckt0 wrote: Does your DIY mask form fit to your face creating a tight seal between the face and mask? If not, it's not an N95 equivalent. Furthermore, prior to proper use of an N95, you are required to perform a fit test in order to assist with selecting the proper N95 mask - you can't just pick one off the shelf at Walmart or Costco and expect it to perform as advertised.
So can you please explain the form fitting test? From youtube, you simply blow air and feel with your hands if any air is escaping?


Watching 5 minute PPE etiquette video on youtube should resolve proper technique.

I see Canadian gov't and health officials not advocating wearing masks probably due to shortage for front line health care workers but studies have indicated that wearing masks reduces the spread of the virus. Wait a few weeks, and it might be recommended or compulsory to wear masks .

Instead of dismissing whether people know how to wear masks/gloves, just share how to do it correctly and spread it around to friends/fam

Here's a comprehensive video showing to to wear masks/gloves and hand washing technique


How to remove gloves
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9452 posts
3751 upvotes
I reviewed a pile of mask designs yesterday, looking for the most intelligent design. I am going to go with this one, which is a neater tighter fit of the same style OP posted. It has a nose wire to mold the mask to your face at the top which is an absolute must if you don't want steamy glasses!!

Pattern:

https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/

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Ties:

They also did something more intelligent about the ties. People complain that over-ear masks hurt their ears over time. Better is to use a continuous loop of elastic so the mask ties go around the back of the head. The knot in the elastic is hidden in the channel, so you can easily pull it out, re-knot and trim it, and hide it again if you need to go shorter. You can also pull the top band to the bottom and the bottom band to the top so they criss-cross to shorten things up. Bottom line, if in doubt how long to make ties, go a little long because that can be fixed by the end user.

You can also use a long shoelace (Converse hi top length). Then you would thread the lace up the left channel, across and down the right channel, and leave the ends dangling loose at the bottom. You have made a loop for the top back of your head, and can draw the loose laces back and tie them at the bottom back of your head.

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I have decided I am going to use stretchy hair bands that I got at Dollarama, 2X 5-pk at $1.25 each is enough for 5 masks. You have to buy these in pairs so you have enough to match up colours (the bundles have 2 black, one white, one gray, one athletic gray).

For wire I picked up some garden wire at $1.25 for 50' (15 m) which is thick but soft and easy to bend. At about 6" (15 cm) per mask that is enough for 100 masks.

Dollarama-Supplies.jpg

Fabric:

You want 100% cotton, up to 50% cotton, 50% polyester, finely woven fabric. High thread count bed sheets are great! Quilting cotton also very good. You need to size it (wash it hot, dry it hot so maximum shrinkage happens). I have some quilting fabric and picked up a twin bed sheet at Walmart ($14.97) so I have a plain coloured lining. It's important to be able to tell the front from the back if you happen to take it off for a moment after wearing it, which is why I picked up the plain sheet. Make sure you read the content on any bed sheets because a lot of them are microfiber (polyester) these days.

Filter:

You need a non-woven fabric (imagine the stuff Bounce dryer sheets are made of). Non-fusible interfacing is perfect. (You don't want the fusible kind because the glue will affect the function of the filter.)

Most people seem to be going for Pellon 830 non-fusible interfacing or equivalent which I got from the amazing Len's Mill Stores. They have online or telephone ordering, pickup service or ship to home. Pellon 830 is $5.95/m

https://lensmill.com/pages/online-ordering

Additional filter:

These mask patterns were originally designed so you could stuff a surgical mask inside as a filter, but hide the ugly look of wearing a surgical mask on its own. Note that this pattern has a few options and one of the last variations they show is with a pocket. I recommend you sew that version so you have the option for extra filtering.

That's the plan!!

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