1. Make a Loose Face Mask Fit Better
Wearing a face mask that is too loose on the face almost defeats the purpose of wearing one, to begin with, as the germs will be able to escape and get in through the sides of the mask. However, there is an easy trick that only takes a minute that will be able to make any face mask fit perfectly. This trick has been suggested by Olivia Hui, doctor of dental medicine, who posted it in a Tiktok video recently. “In absence of N95s, this might be a good alternative,” Cui says in her video. In order to do this trick, follow these steps:
- Fold the mask in half.
- On the ear elastics, tie a knot on each side, making sure it's as close as possible to the mask itself.
- Open the mask: there should be little openings on the sides near the ear loop. Tuck those in under the elastics on both sides.
- Your mask is ready to wear and should fit your face more closely.
2. No More Foggy Glasses
Foggy glasses are a real nuisance that can be dangerous, especially when driving, but many people admit that they struggle with the issue every time they wear a face mask. Now, this is a real problem that may discourage you to wear face masks altogether, but luckily it can be easily fixed by using just a drop of dishwashing liquid. Yes, you heard us, use a drop of dish soap and rub it thoroughly on both sides of the lenses before rinsing off the glasses. The dishwashing liquid will create a transparent coating that will protect the lenses from temperature changes and will prevent the clouding.
In addition, you should also make sure the face mask fits your face on top, as the very reason your glasses are fogging up is an ill-fitting mask. For tips on how to make a mask more comfortable for glasses wearers, read our previous article titled 6 Practical Tips to Make Face Masks More Comfortable.
3. How to Motivate a Child to Wear a Face Mask
Kids may be reluctant to wear a face mask, no matter how cute it looks. This kind of makes sense, as wearing one is not a particularly pleasant experience. If you can't convince a child to wear a face mask, what you could do is lead by example and make everyone in the house, all family members, and even their favorite toys wear a face mask.
You can even use their favorite toys to roleplay an educational situation explaining why wearing a mask in public spaces is important. Since kids learn through fun, this little exercise may help them grasp the importance of mask-wearing, even if they can't understand the full severity and dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic due to their age.
4. Ironing Can Help Disinfect a Reusable Mask
Wearing reusable cloth face masks is great, as you're not wasting money on purchasing new masks, but you're also being kinder to the environment and saving the single-use masks to people who might need them more, like essential workers and medical staff. That said, reusing a mask means making sure you're cleaning and disinfecting it properly before use, and washing doesn't always kill all the germs from a reusable mask.
You need to apply high heat while drying the mask in a tumble dryer for at least 20 minutes to get rid of all the microbes, but by far not everyone has one at home. If you're air-drying face masks, like many of us do, especially in the summer, you ought to give them a quick iron afterward to make sure all of the pathogens are long gone before you wear them mask again.
5. A Good Way to Store Face Masks
Storing used face masks in a plastic bag is a common mistake, and a dangerous one, too, as the plastic will trap in all the germs in the mask and won't let it air out in-between uses. A much better container for a used mask is a paper lunch bag or a breathable container, according to the CDC.
A container like paper is better because it's more breathable, making it a worse environment for pathogens to survive, plus they're easy to assess, as paper lunch bags are available in virtually every supermarket. So, instead of plastic bags, use any clean paper bag to store used face masks.
6. An Ordinary Headband Can Make Wearing a Mask Easier
Wearing a face mask for hours every day can really irritate the ears and make them ache and burn, which can potentially discourage you from wearing a face mask every day. Instead of giving in, though, try wearing your face mask in a smart way that doesn't hurt the ears. To do so, all you will need is a headband or a hat, a couple of buttons and a needle and some thread. What we will do is sew on a pair of buttons on each side of the headband or hat and attach the ear loops to the buttons instead of your ears.
To do so, all you will have to do is wear the headband or hat, hold the face mask on your face and measure out the placement of the buttons by stretching out each ear loop over the hat or headband so that the mask fits the face properly when it's not fastened at the ear. Sew on the buttons in the places you measured beforehand, this will typically be back of the headband, for example, and attach the face mask to the buttons. Final tip - for a neater look, attach the buttons to the inside of the headband or hat, so that the buttons are invisible from the outside. With this trick, you'll be guaranteed to experience no more ear pain.
7. Using Rubber Bands to Create a Better-Fitting Mask
To make a surgical mask fit your face as tight as an N95 mask, you can use 3 rubber bands and follow these steps:
- Create a chain from the three rubber bands.
- Put on the surgical mask, take the middle link of the rubber band and stretch it to fit around the mask, forming a tight seal around your nose and mouth.
- Secure the two remaining rubber bands at your ears.
For a visual demonstration of this technique and a method to test the effectiveness of the mask, watch the video below.
8. How to Add a DIY Filter to a Cloth Face Mask
Many reusable cloth face masks available today have a pocket on the inside. Well, it turns out that this pocket is where you ought to insert a filter, otherwise the mask will not be as effective as it should be.
Though inserting a HEPA filter is the most effective way to prevent the inhalation of pathogens, you can also make do with the following DIY filters in its absence. You can use a coffee filter cut out to fit the mask instead of a special mask filter, for example, which was found to filter out over 60% of airborne microbes, but a double layer of paper towels or tissues will also work in a pinch, offering a little more than 30% filtration of pathogens, too.
9. Your Phone's Face ID Doesn't Recognize Your Face in a Mask? Here's a Solution
If you're using the Face ID function on your smartphone, you may have noticed that your phone isn't recognizing your face when you're wearing a mask. This is really annoying, as pulling down a face mask in order to unlock your phone could spread germs to the mask and your face, so that's a bad option. Luckily, there is a way around this issue, and that trick is to upload additional appearances to your Face ID database.
In order to do so, simply go to the Settings of the Face ID feature, find "add alternative appearance" or similar option on your phone, click on it, and take 2 new pictures: one with a mask folded in half over one side of your face, and another one with the opposite side covered with a mask, and you're done. Now, please keep in mind that not all phones will have that option, but it's definitely worth a try.
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