The New EasyFit Mask
First things first – I can almost guarantee the mask will feel too loose when you first try it on, and that’s ok!
I have purposely cut the elastic ear loops very long so that you can adjust them to your preference. Just slide the silicone stopper to adjust to your preference.
Remember you want it to be tight enough so that when you breathe in, the can see and feel the front of the mask get sucked in and out with your breathing.
BONUS: I have also included a fun little plastic chain link loop with your order. This is my solution for long-term wear and comfort with earloop masks. I actually prefer wearing mine this way – it’s a nice blend between the comfort of head ties and the ease of ear loops. Adjust the stopper to the very widest setting and then hook the loops together behind your head with the link. This will keep the elastic from pulling on your ears – Easy peasy!
The Original Mask
YES! This giant square with strings that doesn’t possibly look like a fitted face mask, CAN and WILL form a good seal on your face and be comfortable to wear.
Please just take 2 minutes to watch the video below to learn how to put it on and what to do to make it cinch up properly.
(It should auto-play in a second. If not, try clicking on it to start or you can also view it on YouTube here.)
Step by Step Instructions
- Place the loop around your neck and let it hang so that the filter pocket side faces out. The “outside” of the mask should be resting against your chest.
- Grab the right and left ends of the loose cords close to the top of the mask (which is the end that is furthest away from you looking down).
- Pull out on both ends at the same time (extend your arms out towards your sides so you look like the letter T).
- This will both cinch the mask and also draw it closer to your face. You want to pull out to the sides until the mask is nice and snug against your face, without any gaps. The mask offers full coverage and should extend from just under your eye line and go all the way down to cover your entire chin to where it meets your neck.
- Now tie place the cords over your ears and tie behind your head (or cinch down the cord stop).
After tying, make sure you press the nose wire (if installed) against the sides of the bridge of your nose to create a better seal on your face. You want to tie the cording tight enough to create the best seal possible without choking yourself (haha).
The mask will create a custom fit to your face just like the photos below – just pull out on those strings!
You can also slide the material along the sides of your face up or down to create your custom fit. Remember, you want as little air as possible coming in through the sides and nose area.
The most important thing is to cover your entire nose and mouth, which means that the face mask should fit underneath your chin and touch your neck.
Tips for Wearing Your Mask in Public
The covering will be less effective if you remove it from your face when you’re in a crowded store, like to speak to someone. Luckily, ours were designed to stay put, even while talking so you shouldn’t have to touch it again after putting it on!
We recommend that you put on and adjust your mask before you leave your car (rather than while waiting in line) and then waiting until after you’ve washed/disinfected your hands before removing your mask. A great way to do this is washing your hands in the restroom of the store or business before leaving OR you can keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or car.
You should be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing your face covering and should wash your hands immediately after removing it.
How to Wash Your Mask
With handmade face masks, there’s no guarantee the mask is sterile or free from an environment with coronavirus — it’s important to wash your cotton mask or face covering before initial use and between uses.
Unlike an N95 mask, which requires complex, industrial methods of disinfection, a cloth face covering is readily disinfected by standard machine washing. “The reason it’s so hard to disinfect an N95 mask is because it’s meant to be disposable,” says Gardel. “But a cloth mask you can just stick in the laundry with soapy water under high heat and it’s perfectly safe when it comes out of the dryer.”
Your mask material has been laundered several times before it reaches you to ensure it won’t shrink on your when you wash it. It is machine washable. It is recommended that you wash and dry on the hot setting, but DO NOT use bleach as this can and will degrade the material (creating small holes!).
I highly recommend using a lingerie laundry bag to help prevent tangles with your other laundry items.
IMPORTANT: If you have one of our designs with a custom Heat Transfer Vinyl decal, your mask requires special care. The best way to ensure the decal stays looking its best, is to hand wash and air dry. If you choose to machine wash, please place the mask inside a lingerie bag to help protect the vinyl from rubbing against other items causing premature peeling or flaking. Choose cold or warm water temperature setting and use a mild detergent – no bleach or fabric softener. Tumble on low or air only. Do not dry clean. Never iron!
NOTE: I have purposefully cut your cord, rope, elastic, etc extra long so you can create your own personalized fit. While the fabric has been washed 3-4 times to ensure no further shrinkage happens, the fabric and poly ties HAVE NOT! THEY WILL SHRINK. So please, do not make any permanent adjustments to your cording/ties until AFTER you have washed and dried your mask at least twice.
TIP: If you don’t have cord stops, be sure to tie the loose ends of your cords together before washing to prevent them from escaping their sleeves.
***Please remember to remove the nose wire before washing.
What About the Filter?
If you purchased our EasyFit with permanent sewn-in filter – you can skip this part. You’re good to go with no need to worry about changing out your filter material.
If you purchased our Original filter pocket style mask, the included filter material should withstand several washes, but your mileage may vary. You may choose to simply use it once and that’s ok! You can remove and replace it with your own filter material when needed. Frontline daily exposure workers will need to replace their filters more often than occasional users.
When choosing your own filter material, please just remember two very important things:
1. A lot of suggested materials out there may be treated with chemicals or have things like fiberglass in them. Just make sure it doesn’t contain anything that you don’t want to inhale!!
If you want to really go the safe route with knowing what’s in your filter, you could simply cut a piece of 100% cotton fabric to fit and use that as your filter! It will be washable and reusable – win-win!
I have seen some people using these PM 2.5 activated carbon filters for masks. I make no recommendations on these as I have not researched or used them, but wanted to provide you with the link so you could explore them on your own.
Some people choose to use CPAP filters (this would be my other choice!), coffee filters, vacuum bags, HEPA filter material, or a variety of non-woven fabric (like those reusable shopping bags you have laying around!). The material I am including in your mask is a double layer of Sellars Toolbox Blue Shop Towel, which is the material that performed the best in these tests.
2. Air will follow the path of least resistance. While multiple layers and thickness may initially seem like a good idea, it could actually backfire by making it difficult to breathe, creating a wet environment and if you have areas that are not sealed, the air will more easily come in/out at those points possibly bypassing any filter you may have in place!
If you have any questions or requests, please feel free to email me. I am happy to help as best as I can!
DISCLAIMER: This homemade mask is not a medical-grade face mask regulated by the FDA, such as the N95 respirator, and is not meant to replace medical-grade PPE. Homemade cloth face masks have been recommended for use by the general public by the CDC. These may assist with blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, and may also block coughing or sneezing outward. Homemade face masks do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants. Social distancing, hand washing often and not touching your face is the best way to protect yourself. A homemade mask may help prevent you from transmitting a virus if you have one. You can be asymptomatic for two weeks before showing symptoms! We are not responsible for any damage from any use, or misuse of our masks and make no claims about its efficacy. Proper use of properly fitted medical-grade personal protective equipment is still the best way to prevent virus infection.