Back in 2019, if you’d heard someone talk about washable face mask or querying how to make a face mask, you would’ve thought we were talking about skincare. You know, like overnight face masks, or the ones you buy from Mecca.
It’s now 2021, and when someone mentions face masks, there’s a 99% chance they’re referring to those worn as a barrier from COVID-19 infection. Advice from the World Health Organisation is to “make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people”.
If you’re wondering how they work, and how they protect you and those around you, we’ve got you covered (pun intended). Face masks act as a physical barrier that catches respiratory droplets – how COVID-19 is thought to be transmitted – preventing them from spreading and potentially infecting others.
The Latch has rounded up the four best washable face masks, as well as advice on how you can make your own face masks. Just remember, WHO advises that masks need to be used, stored, and cleaned appropriately to make them as effective as possible.
GANNI’s washable face masks
Arnsdorf’s washable face masks
Zjoosh’s washable face masks
The Iconic’s washable face masks
The Iconic has a range of face masks, but our favourite washable face masks from them are the ones from H-Wood. They offer multi-pack washable masks in a variety of colour and prints, which means while one is in the wash, you won’t be scrambling around for another.
Making your own face mask
If none of the above washable face masks take your fancy, you can always make your own face mask. Just remember, they need at least two layers of fabric to work effectively.
Spotlight has a step-by-step guide to making your own reusable, washable face mask – with free, easy-to-follow patterns.
You don’t need to be a whiz on a sewing machine, you can make them using your hands and a sewing needle. Make sure the base layer (the one closest to your face) is soft, so try and use a cotton-based fabric. The middle layer acts as the “filter”, so a cotton-polyester blend is best. The outer layer is the layer everyone sees – jazz it up! This should be a light-weight fabric like polyester, nylon or blended fabric.
You don’t have to go out of the house to find these fabrics, you can use leftover fabric or old clothes you may have lying around the house.
Whether you buy a reusable mask (here are some that support small businesses), or make your own make sure you’re wearing them properly. Your mouth and nose need to be completely covered, the mask should be extended down to the tip of your chin, and it should sit close to your face – so they’re not too much air being let out at the sides.