Protecting yourself with homemade masks

Hope that you are keeping safe and healthy!

We understand and agree with what most governments and health authorities globally say about using surgical masks only when unwell, so that we can prioritise the usage for all our frontline healthcare heroes.

With the new advisement by Singapore’s Prime Minister, based on evolving knowledge on Covid-19, there are indications that some positive results from using even reusable or simple homemade masks. Whenever any 2 persons meet, simple home-made mask can provide some form of barrier for the nose and mouth. This could help to further reduce the risk of infection.

There are literally hundreds of postings and suggestions globally on how to make your DIY masks. We have sifted through many of these suggestions, and experimented with them so that we can share what we believe to be relatively easy to make, while at the same time, provide at some level of protection.

After testing out many of them, we would like to recommend 2 of them:

A) Paper Masks (80 to 90% efficacy)*

The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital and the Hong Kong Science Park have collaborated to come up with a cheap and easy to make a homemade mask with easily available material. They can serve as a temporary measure for those without surgical masks.

According to the deputy hospital chief executive, after the homemade masks were proven to achieve 80 to 90 percent of the function of regular surgical masks for the filtration of aerosol and droplets. However, they are not meant to serve as a permanent substitute or replacement for surgical masks.

You may like to watch the step-by-step video here.

Required items

  • kitchen roll
  • strong tissue paper
  • elastic bands
  • a hole punch
  • paper tape
  • scissors
  • plastic-coated steel wire
  • a pair of glasses
  • plastic file folders and binder clips

Preparation

For the mask

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean your items
  2. Put one piece of kitchen roll, with proper hygiene certification, on top of another
  3. Place a piece of tissue paper, which will act as the bottom layer of the mask, on top of the two pieces of kitchen roll
  4. Cut the stack of paper into two
  5. Use the paper tape to seal off the two sides of the mask
  6. Make two holes at each sealed side with the punch
  7. Attach the metallic wire with paper tape to the top edge of the mask to make the nose bridge wire
  8. Tie four rubber bands through the holes on the mask’s sides

For the protective shield

  1. Cut the file folder into two pieces
  2. Attach one piece on the edge of the glasses with binder clips
  3. The shield can be reused after disinfection for each usage

B) No-sew Mask using a handkerchief #

Japan Creations have created a template for creating homemade masks with just a handkerchief, and only 2 hair ties only!

Preparation

Just follow these 10 simple steps and you have a lovely mask that is simple to make, reusable and washable.

  1. Place the handkerchief face down.
  2. Fold the top to the center.
  3. Fold the bottom to the center.
  4. Flip over.
  5. Fold the top to the center.
  6. Fold the bottom to the center.
  7. Flip over.
  8. Thread the ends of the handkerchief through the hair ties.
  9. Fold the sides of the handkerchief.
  10. Flip over. You have a pleated face mask!

You may like to watch the step-by-step video here.

We hope that these simple suggestions may be helpful during this period. #mask4all

Also remember, mask wearing alone is not sufficient. It has to be combined with good personal hygience and social distancing as a holistic approach to combat Covid-19. Let’s do this together!

Stay safe and healthy!

Team Recherché

Sources:

* Referenced and copied from South China Morning Post (https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3050689/how-make-your-own-mask-hong-kong-scientists)

# Referenced and copied from Japanese Creations Blog, No-sew Pleated Mask using a Handkerchief and Hair Tie (http://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie)

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