Cloth face masks keep us safe from expulsion when others cough and sneeze. They're also more comfortable and help cut plastic trash in a big way.
It looks like with the Coronavirus cases rising, the face mask is an accessory that’s here to stay. Many cities and states have mandated the use of a mask in public places, even imposing fines for non-wearers. It is thus best to keep ourselves equipped with a few masks that are comfortable, breathable and reusable.
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Cloth masks protect us from the noxious droplets that spread when others sneeze or cough and are thus a highly effective way of curbing the spread of the infection. However, how effective and comfortable a mask is, depends on its material.
How Do you Choose a Face Mask that’s Best For You?
1. Avoid synthetic fabrics including wrinkle-free ones which are treated with harsh, toxic chemicals. You don’t want to have them strapped to your nose and mouth all day, as you inhale the toxins.
2. The best choice are masks made of cotton. Masks made of used clothing are even better since the fabric is soft and breathable. Cotton masks, unlike synthetic ones, absorb sweat and keep you cool.
3. Avoid disposable, medical-grade masks unless you are infected, travelling or in a high-risk profession or environment. Disposable masks are made of plastic and synthetic materials and so should not be worn on a daily basis or for long periods of time, especially by children. Fabric masks keep us just as safe without exposing us to toxic chemicals and without producing any plastic trash.
4. Choose a cloth mask made with multiple layers to maximise your protection. The thicker and more tightly knit the fabric is, the better it will protect you.
5. Elastic loops can get loose and leave you nose or mouth uncovered. You can either reinforce the elastic once it wears off or buy one that has ties which can be adjusted to your convenience.
6. Avoid masks in bright colours that might bleed when washed.
How to Clean Masks without Harsh Chemicals?
To keep yourself safe from germs without creating an environment for stronger germs to grow is to remove germs, not kill them. This can be done with natural, anti-bacterial cleansers. You can handwash your mask with a few drops of The Better Home Laundry Liquid added to a mug of water. Handwashing improves the life of your mask. You can also machine wash them with our gentle, non-toxic detergent. It is best to sun-dry the masks as heat and sunlight will prevent any bacterial build-up and kill germs naturally.
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