6 July 2020
There is no doubt facemask do protect you against covid and other airborn viruses (to some degree) But if you are not taking good care and cleaning them like you should, you may be doing yourself more harm. Here are some things to consider when taking care of your mask.
There is a good chance that you are not washing your face mask enough. Ideally you will want to wash it everyday (this is why you need multiple facemask per person) The reason is because the face mask can harbor bacteria from the oil, sweat and make-up it collects off your face (as well as any air contaminants you encountered that day.) You do not want to be breathing in bacteria because that can lead to other problems. Once cleaned put them in a clean ziplock bag until you need them. If you have a kn95 mask there is no way to wash them and keep their effectiveness so depending on the brand they are rated up to 20 hours of single use. (if you use it for a short time and put it back in a bag it may be contaminated)WASH THOSE CLOTH FACE MASK OFTEN!
USE HOT WATER!
You should be washing those mask in HOT water because Hot water is what kills the virus. For the most effective wash, select the sanitizing cycle on your washing machine, which usually reaches a water temperature of 150-165°F. For comparison, testing from the World Health Organization showed that a temperature of 132.8°F was high enough to kill the coronavirus that causes SARS, a virus similar to COVID-19. If you prefer to hand-wash your mask, fill a sink with warm but not scalding water and scrub the mask for at least 20 seconds (similar to the CDC's hand-washing guidelines).
THINGS TO AVOID
- Avoid Fabric softner (leaves behind a residue that can impact the effectiveness of the mask)
- Home made Filters for mask.. not all are created equal
Dr. Kre Johnson of Brownstone Health Care and Aesthetics said she is hearing it all from coffee filters, to dish towels and even vacuum HEPA filters. “In my opinion the safest of those is the coffee filter,” said Dr. Kre.
Coffee filters are more safe, said Dr. Kree, than most of the other options because they are made to have contact with food.
Dish towels may be difficult to breath through and Hepa filter generally have fiber glass in them.
“Imagine breathing that in. It can get into your lungs and you have serious ramifications for years to come. COVID may be over and you have got all this stuff in your lungs. So, we have to think about more than just the here and now,” said Dr. Kre. “I would caution against soaking them [coffee filters] in alcohol. Those are all things that can be harmful to your health especially that close to your nose, mouth, and lungs.”
Skip the mask, Go for the face shield.
Face shields have MANY pros over Mask. Some are as followed
- Keeps you from constantly touching your face to adjust a mask
- Easier to clean with a little soap and water
- Provides more surface protection (nose, mouth, AND Eyes)
- People can read your lips while you are talking (my biggest problem snice the mask started, I can not hear people good, and I rely on their lips to help fill in the gaps of the words I may have missed)
- Lets people know you are smiling
- Easier to breathe! For the young, or people who have a hard time breathing this is the best option.
If you need a mask, or faceshield we still have them for online sales (curb side, delivery, or USPS) Click here for more information
If you need something from any store, and you can not wear a mask, almost all stores will accommodate you. Most grocery stores have online ordering and touchless pick ups. Most local and small stores who do not have online ordering will be happy to get your order over the phone, and have you pick up curb side. We still have our online ordering avaible for facemask and safety gear but we will be happy to take any order you have over the phone, and have it ready for a curb side pick up. (please call 919-688-4321 and ask for Lauren) I will gather all supplies you need from any part of the store. For those who prefer to text and receive pictures of the items they are looking for you can text - 919-321-2505