Health : Create your respiratory mask – manufacturing instructions with homemade materials
The number of coronavirus cases is increasing worldwide. For some parts of the world, health care professionals expect a further increase in the coming days. The good news is that many infected people are also now healed. More than 80% of those infected have no symptoms and do not need treatment. This means that a large part of the population develops antibodies, like for influenza.
In this difficult time, it is important not to panic. It is better to be careful and prepared and follow the instructions given by the authorities. Two important protective measures are to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly and to wear a respiratory mask. However, as professional respiratory masks are required by the medical profession, they are generally not recommended or accessible to the general public. This is why it is a good idea to create your own breathing mask at home.
Anyway, anyone can make a respiratory protection mask out of household items. Here is a guide to creating your unique protective respiratory mask from the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital. We offer additional instructions for a protective mask made from an old T-shirt with a filter, which you can also use multiple times.
Create your protective respiratory mask – why do this?
To create a respiratory mask is necessary? According to many reports, it cannot protect healthy people from the virus. Most of these masks are affected by humidity and projectiles half an hour after being placed on the face. They can no longer provide effective protection against Covid-19.
The majority of masks are also designed for protection, like surgical masks. This means that the masks are intended to prevent surgeons from infecting the patient with viruses and bacteria. They do little to protect surgeons from pathogens.
However, protecting the mouth and nose is very useful for those who are already infected, since they cannot infect people around. Since the coronavirus works without symptoms in many infected people, authorities recommend wearing a mask in most countries. This is one of the measures that help slow the spread of the virus.
The World Health Organization stresses that a respiratory mask must not give false security. This is only part of the complete security measures that everyone must take. These measures also include:
- Wash your hands thoroughly 20 times a day or as often as necessary
- Avoid touching your face
- Disinfect surfaces such as door handles at home
- Avoid the crowds
- Avoid waiting in line
- If possible, stay at home
- Keep a distance of at least 2 meters from other people in the supermarket or in the pharmacy as well as, if necessary, in other very busy spaces
When to create your respiratory mask and wear it?
When is it worth it to wear a face mask? For example, you could wear one when you go to the grocery store or when you have to queue. If everyone stays away and wears respirators, the risk of infection decreases. A mask also protects if you touch dirty surfaces with your hands but don’t have a disinfectant. Because it prevents you from touching your face with dirty hands and spreading viruses into your mouth or nose.
How to create your respiratory protection mask?
Here are our suggestions for making a respiratory mask with materials you have at home.
Make a paper towel breathing mask
You can make a respiratory mask yourself from household materials. At first glance, such a homemade mask may seem strange, but it works, and that’s all that matters.
For a unique mask in kitchen paper, you need the following materials:
- 2 sheets of absorbent paper
- 1 handkerchief
- 1.3 m of elastic, flat
- Floral thread
Create a breathing mask yourself – step by step instructions
- Here is how to make your mask:
- Place the two sheets of absorbent paper one on top of the other
- Place the tissue on the paper towel, then cut it in half. Two rectangles should appear.
- Glue the short sides of the rectangles with adhesive tape
- Make two holes on the short sides
- Cut the wire and glue the piece on one long side of the rectangle. The flower thread gives the mask its semi-circular shape and allows it to be fixed in the nose area.
- Cut the elastic into eight pieces, pull the two ends of four pieces through the left hole and tie the ends.
- Now pull the two ends of the remaining four pieces through the right hole and also tie their ends.
Create your fabric breathing mask
You can also sew a respiratory protection mask, it can be used for several uses. This mask has the advantage that you can wash it at 40 degrees and then iron it. Washing at 40 degrees will not kill the virus. But when ironing, a temperature of more than 170 degrees Celsius is reached, which can kill viruses and bacteria. However, it should be noted that there are currently no studies available on whether ironing can really kill the coronavirus.
- An old t-shirt
- Pack of wet wipes
- Elastic, flat
- Sewing thread
How to create a fabric breathing mask
- Here are the steps to make fabric masks:
- Cut out two rectangles from the old t-shirt.
- Let 2-3 wet wipes dry completely at room temperature. They work well as filters.
- Then put the first square on the table, place the wet and dry wipes on it and cover it with the second square.
- Make four to five folds toward the bottom edge of the fabric. Then topstitch the five folds. Thus, the mask will adapt better to your face.
- Then sew the three layers – the top layer of fabric with pleats, the middle layer of wet wipes and the bottom layer of fabric together. Then attach the elastic.
Wear a respiratory mask as an additional precaution
You can protect yourself from coronavirus by following the authorities’ guidelines. But you can also help protect others from the Covid-19 by sewing a face mask. If you become infected with the virus and do not develop any symptoms, the mask will protect your family and those around you.
Wearing a mask could also be useful for healthy people. Especially for those who touch their face several times a day. The mask will prevent you from transferring viruses from your hands to your mouth and nose.