How Do Reusable Face Masks Work

Reusable Face Masks

Reusable face coverings have become the essential new accessory for 2020 allowing you to save money and waste by not wearing disposable face masks every time you have to leave the house. So how do they work?

Reusable face masks also allow you to express your individuality. After all, if you are going to have to wear something every time you go to the shops you might as well enjoy it. But they are also washable meaning you don’t have to throw them away after every use.

Instead they can be put in the washing machine to get rid of any nasties between uses, helping to protect you and others around you from airborne illness.

Reusable face masks work by stopping particles escaping into the air around you when you exhale, talk or cough limiting the opportunity for viruses to spread. By wearing a mask you are protecting other people, and when other people are wearing a mask they are protecting you.

Wearing a mask in public places where you are in close proximity with people you don’t live with can help to stop the spread of airborne illnesses such as COVID-19. This is known as source control as the masks act as a simple barrier to stop respiratory droplets getting into the air and onto other people.

The protective effects of wearing a mask are unclear so wearing a mask is more about stopping the spread than preventing you from catching something. This is because most face masks do not have a fine enough filter to stop virus particles from getting through if they are already in the air.

How to Correctly Wear and Use a Reusable Face Mask

Using a face mask correctly is just as important as wearing on in the first place and plays a big role in determining how well they work. In order for a reusable face mask to be effective it must:

  • Completely cover your nose, mouth and chin.
  • Fit snugly without gaps.
  • Be made of two or more layers of breathable fabric.

When putting on your mask you should wash your hands first or use a sanitiser and avoid touching the mask or the rest of your face while you are wearing it. When you have to take the mask off you should touch only the straps or ear loops if possible and fold the mask in half. You should then wash your hands immediately being careful not to touch your nose, mouth or eyes.

What About Filters?

Filters add an extra layer of protection to your reusable face mask. The PM2.5 filtres also protect the wearer from pollutants such as dust, smoke, allergens and pollution. The filters cannot be cleaned and as such should be replaced every few days depending on the level of use.


Next Up: How Long Do Reusable Face Masks Last?

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