While designing my own face masks, I came across a lot of great resources and learned a lot about how to properly wear and maintain reusable masks.
I wanted to share what I've collected so far and also a few tips on wearing my inomnom face masks if you happened to buy one to wear!
☁️ Sections ☁️
🛁 Before wearing a new mask - wash it first!
Face masks can be machine-washed or hand-washed - I recommend putting the mask in a mesh laundry bag to keep the ear loops from stretching. For me, I prefer to hand-wash my masks as it's more gentle on the mask and I can be more thorough with washing it!
Hand-washing the face masks:
- In a small wash basin, add a small amount of laundry detergent and warm water.
- Place your face mask into the wash basin to let it soak for a few minutes.
- Gently scrub the face masks for at least 20 seconds.
- Drain the detergent water and rinse the mask in clean water until it is no longer soapy
- Allow the mask to dry completely - if you are hanging the masks, avoid hanging from the ear loops so that they don't overstretch
🌫️ Using the PM2.5 filter
Some reusable face masks you come across will have an extra "pocket" inside the mask for PM2.5 filter inserts. The filter is an extra layer of protection from pollutants.
For masks that do not have a pocket for filters, WHO recommends that non-medical face masks should have at least 3 layers of fabric to be effective, depending on the material used.
😷 Wearing your mask
A well-fitted face mask:
- Should comfortably stay in place and not shift around on your face, ideally covering from the bridge of the nose to under the chin
- Stays close to your face, with minimal or no gaps allowing any droplets/particles to come in or go out
It took me a long time to find a manufacturer that made masks in the shape that I wanted and also let me add extra features like filter pockets and metal nose wires to it - thankfully I found them!!
The metal nose wire is super important for me - my fellow glasses-wearers will 100% relate - this really helped seal the mask around the bridge of my nose and keep my glasses from fogging up!
👍 Adjusting your mask for a better fit
Masks are usually one size fits most, but unfortunately if you're like me, most masks are just a little too loose or big - no worries, read on for some tips on making them fit better on your face!
✔️ Use elastic hair bands to adjust ear loop length
If you find your face mask tends to slide down your face because the ear loops are too long, you can use elastic hair bands to easily tighten it up!
This method is especially handy if your ear loops are elastic, as over time the bands can become overstretched and you can retie the elastic bands easily to adjust.
Here's a quick visual on how to figure out how of the ear loop to shorten (recording this gif made me feel like I'm demonstrating how to put on an oxygen mask on an airplane LOL)
- Wear your mask, and pull the ear loop back until the mask feels snug against your face, and the ear loops are sitting comfortably against your ear.
- Pinch the excess ear loop together and take your mask off - this will be the visual guide for where you'll tie the elastic band.
- Tie the elastic band around the spot that you're pinching on the ear loop, making sure to loop around multiple times to keep it tight.
- Repeat the same steps on the other ear loop.
✔️ Tuck in chin fabric to close out gaps
For the face masks I designed, my face was a tad too short so I had a small gap under my chin from my mask. Luckily with this mask shape I can easily fold and tuck the fabric under my chin, which really helped keep the mask snug there!
Definitely worth trying out if you run into the same thing with your masks as well!
🗑️ Removing & cleaning your mask
When you're taking off your mask to eat or you're done using it for the day, always use the ear loops to take off your mask - avoid touching the outside of the mask, it's spent all day filtering out all the bad stuff for you!
A few quick reminders:
- Remember to remove any filter inserts, removable pieces and elastic bands before throwing it into the machine to wash or hand-washing it.
- Important: The disposable PM2.5 filters included with each inomnom face mask are NOT meant to be washed, and should be replaced when needed!
- Wash your face mask after each use - it's good to have a few handy to cycle through while some are being washed :)
Thank you so much for reaching the end of this! I know it was super long, but hoping that it gave you some tips to get a better fit with masks and caring for them - whether you just ordered one from us or anywhere else!