How to make homemade masks more effective…

candicecoverAs there is a shortage of N95 masks that should NOT be hoarded by non-medical care providers, there is a growing movement to make homemade masks.  Such masks are just not as good as the manufactured medical grade masks, but are better than nothing.

As an inventor and technologist, I’ve been thinking for the past several days how to make homemade masks more effective and protective using materials available in many homes or at least easily available at most supermarkets. I believe I have an easy solution. The masks need to be laundered after wearing to maintain cleanliness… but they should be HAND laundered in very hot water using real soap such as Ivory Soap bars then rinsed in dilute white vinegar. This will leave a film of lipids on the fibers as the acetic acid in the vinegar will convert the soap to a chemically neutral lipid that will cling to the fabric. (making the cloth feel softer, a nice bonus) Here’s why this will work to protect the wearer. Corona viruses are spheres of RNA surrounded by a lipid coat. That’s why washing one’s hands with soap and water works, soap tears that lipid coat apart allowing the RNA to be destroyed. The mask fibers treated with real soap and then vinegar will have lipid coatings that will chemically bond to the lipid coating of the virus particles, trapping the virus, FAR better than conventionally washed fabric.

I’ve been asked what fabric they should be made from:  The best choice is smooth tight knit, fuzzy yarn (but NOT terry) white cotton tea toweling.  Avoid dyed and especially print cloth.

Please share this widely. It could save lives.