How to Make a Surgical Mask at Home Easily (2020 Guide)

A surgical mask is a necessity during these days where there’s a pandemic that continuously spreads in the world. Now, if you are running out of surgical masks, do not panic. We are here to guide you on how to make a surgical mask at home. For more survival guides, please visit Survival Habit.

how to make a surgical mask at home

Do you also feel comfortable to go out knowing that you wear a surgical mask? Well, it is a normal reaction, especially when we are fighting against an invisible enemy, and it is the Coronavirus. Let us all discover what a surgical mask is and the relevant information that you must learn to create your mask.

What is a surgical mask?

Medical masks are more popular as surgical masks are made for the consumption of healthcare personnel. They often use surgical masks during nursing or surgery to prevent the contamination of liquid droplets.

Why people should wear a surgical mask

In East Asian countries, a surgical mask is typical to wear by the general public. It is common. They are using it to avoid the spread of airborne diseases and to avoid directly inhaling the air that has airborne dust particles due to pollution. 

The global coronavirus outbreak is deadly. And you can’t tell if the people you encounter are infected or not. Therefore, you must always wear a surgical mask to be protected from the liquid droplets that any infected person can splash.

When you go outside, you must wear a surgical mask. It is vital not just because we are experiencing a pandemic disease, but it also prevents us from getting other viruses that may cause illness. 

Being in a public place, you either want to protect yourself from getting ill, or you are protecting others against the disease that you have. Either way, wearing one will protect everyone.

Aside from wearing surgical masks outside your home, make sure that you stay clean and healthy! Check out our guides for making your own disinfectant and hand sanitizer at home.

Types of surgical masks

If the basis is the function of a surgical mask, it includes the N95 and other ordinary masks. However, there are three types of surgical masks based on the ways to secure it. These three types are the tie-on, earloop, and headband. 

  • Tie-on- this mask has four non-woven straps. The users are allowed to adjust the length of the strap and ties it behind his head.
  • Earloop- is the most popular type of surgical mask. This is the mask that has a string-like material placed behind the ears. It is comfortable to wear.
  • Headband- has an elastic strap. The strap is secured behind the head to avoid discomfort.

How to make surgical masks or handmade face masks?

Running out of stock of surgical face masks is not a problem. You can make your mask with a surgical mask in the comfort of your home. Homemade face masks are easy to make even if you don’t have a sewing machine. You can also make an alternative face mask using a bandana and elastic bands. Follow the instructions below to make you homemade mask:

diy face mask
  • Create a pattern to determine the size of your desired mask.
  • You can make a pattern from N95 masks as it is ideal to fit your face. 
  • Add a portion as a pocket to put a filter on the material that you will use for your mask. 
  • Cut the material/cloth according to the pattern you made.
  • Sew and combine the clothes manually or using a sewing machine.
  • Add the strap on both sides of the mask. Make sure it is measured according to the length of the head if you will make a headband or tie-on type of mask. 

There is no scientific basis that masks can perfectly fit the face to tighten it enough and seal your face for protection. Also, it is not proven that the materials can filter effectively. That’s why we are encouraged to do other precautions like washing our hands and having a proper social distance aside from wearing surgical or other improvised masks.

How to determine if a surgical mask is real or fake

There are surgical masks that look like the original one, which is just disposable 3-ply non-woven masks only. A 3-ply mask is not an indication of a surgical mask even if it has no melt-blown layer. Here is how to determine if a surgical mask is real or fake:

  1. Tear the face mask to see if it has 3-ply layers. 
  2. Check if the face mask is a melt-blown filter layer.
  3. It should be a disposable fluid-resistant mask.

Fashion masks are made from washable cotton or reusable sponge. It can be used for air pollution or pollen allergy only. Regarding the transmission of viruses or bacteria, fashion masks are useless. 

A 2-ply hygiene mask made from non-woven material or fabric is also disposable but doesn’t have a melt-blown filter layer. It is also not applicable to use when you want to be protected against viruses, haze, or bacteria. The major difference of a surgical mask to other ordinary face masks is its melt-blown layer.

surgical mask icon

Use of homemade mask other than protection against COVID-19

Fashionable face masks made to make a person at an ease of wearing it and to breathe in large particles are not suited to protect you against COVID-19. However, according to the CDC, these masks can help slow down the spread of the virus. These masks can help if there is no surgical mask available.

Disclaimer

The face masks we are suggesting do not intend to replace the real surgical face masks. The goal of this article is to provide an alternative plan in case there’s a shortage of surgical masks in the market. The surgical masks and proper wearing of it is still the best method to prevent the virus.

Are barbershops and salons closed until further notice? Don’t worry! We have simple and easy guides on how to cut men’s hair and remove acrylic nails that you can do at home.

How to choose a good mask

Because of the shortage of surgical masks, the market released many kinds of fashion and hygiene masks. These masks are not sufficient to prevent acquiring viruses unless you have checked if it is a 3-ply surgical mask. 

Including the hydrophobic mask, the surgical mask is made of 3 layers and a melt-blown layer in the middle. Its inner part is a soft absorbent non-woven layer. Here are the functions of each layer:

  1. Outer layer- repel blood, water, and body fluids.
  2. The middle melt-blown layer- serves as a filter to stop the bacteria from entering the mask.
  3. The inner layer- absorbs sweat, water, and spit.

N-95 respirators are similar to the effectiveness of a 3-ply surgical mask. If you can still find that a mask has a melt-blown layer, it could also be useful. Here are the three steps to identify a melt-blown layer:

  1. Melt blown-layer looks like a white paper which is different from the two transparent non-woven layers.
  2. The Melt-blown layer only melts with fire with high flammability, unlike with an ordinary paper. 
  3. The Melt-blown layer has static electricity. You will feel the static adsorption effect if you tear the melt-blown layer into strips. And on stainless steel, you can also adsorb the melt-blown layer.

How to wear a surgical mask properly?

The factor that we need to make sure is to cover the entire nose and mouth when wearing a mask. It must also fit underneath the chin. The effectiveness of a face mask is useless if you remove it in a crowded place. Before going outside, adjust the covering of your face. Here is the importance of the proper wearing and using surgical masks as well as other masks:

girl wearing face mask
  1. Make sure that your hands are clean before holding the mask to put it on your face. Use alcohol-based for sanitizing your hands or soap and water.
  2. Check if there are no gaps between your face and mask when covering your mouth and nose with your face mask. Some masks have folded to expand the mask and cover the entire nose to the chin of your face.
  3. Do not touch your mask while you are using it. If you need to do so, clean your hands with alcohol or soap and water before doing it.
  4. Do not reuse single-use masks. Replace it once it is damp.
  5. Remove your mask from behind and do not touch the front part of it. Put it on a closed bin when disposing of it. After disposing of the face mask, clean your hands again with alcohol or soap and water. 

Is a face mask reusable?

Face masks made from cloth fabric are washable. The medical masks are for single-use only. 

Masks made from your home can protect you or others

One out of four people infected with the Coronavirus may be asymptomatic. Meaning, they have mild to none symptoms at all. It is according to the American Lung Association. The improvised face masks or cloth face covering can help to block the large particles that you may release from coughing or sneezing. This can slow down the transmission of the virus to others if ever that you’re not yet aware if you are infected.

FAQs

???? How to make a surgical face mask at home?

Running out of stock of surgical face masks is not a problem. You can make your mask with a surgical mask in the comfort of your home. Homemade face masks are easy to make even if you don’t have a sewing machine. You can also make an alternative face mask using a bandana and elastic bands. Follow the instructions below to make you homemade mask:
> Create a pattern to determine the size of your desired mask.
> You can make a pattern from N95 masks as it is ideal to fit your face. 
> Add a portion as a pocket to put a filter on the material that you will use for your mask. 
> Cut the material/cloth according to the pattern you made.
> Sew and combine the clothes manually or using a sewing machine.
> Add the strap on both sides of the mask. Make sure it is measured according to the length of the head if you will make a headband or tie-on type of mask. 

???? How to determine if a surgical mask is real or fake?

There are surgical masks that look like the original one, which is just disposable 3-ply non-woven masks only. A 3-ply mask is not an indication of a surgical mask even if it has no melt-blown layer. Here is how to determine if a surgical mask is real or fake:
1. Tear the face mask to see if it has 3-ply layers. 
2. Check if the face mask is a melt-blown filter layer.
3. It should be a disposable fluid-resistant mask.

????????‍⚕️ Why should you wear a surgical mask?

You must always wear a surgical mask to be protected from the liquid droplets that any infected person can splash.

Going outside, you must be wearing a surgical mask. It is vital not just because we are experiencing a pandemic disease, but it also prevents us from getting other viruses that may cause illness. 

Start creating the protection your family needs

We just need to clarify that making surgical at home is not a hundred percent assurance that you will prevent transmitting the virus, especially in this high-risk situation. Being in a crowded place cannot predict the form of transmission of the virus. It does not only rely on the surgical mask that you will wear.

But with the help of your face mask, you can slow down the spread of the virus. Just be aware that after going outside, if necessary, dispose properly of the mask that you used and clean yourself by washing your hands with soap and water or by taking a bath.

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