With a pandemic gripping the world, medical supplies like surgical masks are quickly running out. The shortage of commercial masks has led to people attempting DIY surgical masks at home. They may not be medical standards, but they certainly do provide a barrier when you don’t have one.
Moreover, due to massive demand and reduced supply, it’s a good idea to know how to make a surgical mask in a crunch.
We combed through our DIY resources and come up with some easy ways you can make surgical masks at home. While the DIY masks may not be at par with the N95 filtration mask, these will help you from outer contamination.
How to Make a Deaconess Mask
The Deaconess mask was designed by the Turban Project and shared by Deaconess Health Systems as part of their plea for the public to sew and start using their DIY mask. This is an extremely easy way to craft a handmade mask at your home itself. All you require is a rectangular piece of fabric puckered into pleats, like the surgical mask.
This mask uses elastic that goes around the ears. You will have to first put the right sides of the cotton fabric together to cut the desired measurement. Then you start at the bottom edge and go on to sew to the first corner and attach the elastic. Do the same on the other side and then sew across the top of the mask to the next corner.
If you have a little sewing experience, you will find it pretty easy, and you will be able to make one ready for use in about 15 minutes.
Use A Coffee Filter
The coffee filter version of the mask is one of the handy and the safest masks that you can easily create at your own home. While it may not be not as fancy as mass-manufactured ones, this version of the mask prevents any kind of air-flow through it. To make this easy DIY surgical mask, you are going to need two coffee filters, like a #4 and #2.
You also require a paper-clip, tape, a stapler and any kind of elastic band. The process is very simple and commences as you put the #2 coffee filter inside the #4 filter. This will instantly come in the shape of a mask. Next, you have to straighten the paper-clip you have and tape it to the upper side of the inner part of the mask.
The paper clip will lock the mask into your face which will prevent any kind of airflow through it. After that, you have to attach the elastic band to the mask with the help of a stapler, so that it can go around your ear. The band will keep the mask intact to the face and since it has no opening, it can be deemed quite safe.
Other Materials For Making Surgical Mask
According to a study performed by Cambridge University during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic – while surgical masks were ranked first in capturing the bacteria and viruses, vacuum cleaner bags, tea towels, pillow covers, and cotton T-shirts were also not far behind. Moreover, cotton homemade masks turn out to be quite an effective alternative and reusable at the same time.
The same study also found that doubling the layer of the mask did not help improve the protection of the mask. Rather, it was concluded that a significant design played a key role in doing so.
On the other hand, vacuum cleaner bags were quite effective in protecting the viruses and germs, but they were not really comfortable. Those versions of masks also did not allow the users to breathe with ease in comparison to the cotton mask.
Knowing how to construct masks for yourself and your family is a good skill to have these days.