Homemade cloth face masks: When they help & how to keep them sterile
Are you wondering if homemade face masks are a good idea? The CDC recommends that homemade cloth masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in a community. Masks can limit the spread of germs from the mask wearer to others by helping block large droplets from coughs and sneezes.
University of Utah Health is partnering with Latter-day Saint Charities and Intermountain Healthcare to provide you with information and resources. We are also launching ProjectProtect, an initiative to make PPE face masks for our health care workers. Together we can stem the spread of COVID-19.
Face mask dos & don’ts
- Don’t hoard clinical masks. Our health care workers need clinical masks to help take care of our community.
- Don’t stop social distancing. A face mask will not completely protect you from the coronavirus. However, a homemade face mask can provide light protection and remind you not to touch your face. It also helps prevent the spread of germs from you to others.
- Do donate homemade face masks, PPE equipment, safety glasses, hospital gowns, or other donations. Please do so following these guidelines.
- Do wear a face mask if you have symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, shortness of breath, a new cough, and muscle aches.
- Do wear a face mask if you are in a high-concentration area of COVID-19 cases.
- Do wear a face mask to remind yourself not to touch your face and to help prevent spread of germs from droplets.
- Do follow all the guidelines for proper use of a face mask.
- Do wash your hands. Cleaning your hands is still your best protection against COVID-19.
How to make a face mask
Facemasks need to filter out particles but still be easy to breathe through. Experts recommend using 100 percent cotton fabrics or cotton blend fabrics. T-shirts and pillowcases are examples of cotton or cotton blend fabrics.
How to use a face mask
To make sure your mask is sterile, you need to clean it properly. You also need to be careful how you put it on and take it off.
Sewing & receiving homemade cloth face masks
If you are sewing face masks, be sure to sanitize your work station beforehand. Also, when you finish the masks, place them in paper bags and let them sit for three days before delivering.
When you receive a face mask, wash or disinfect it before wearing.
And—you know the drill—wash your hands!
Remember that social (or physical) distancing, washing your hands, and staying home if you are sick are the best ways to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Wearing and using homemade cloth face masks is another way you members can help support our health. As we work together as a community, we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Want to help?
Our community is our greatest asset, and whatever help you can give, we are truly grateful for.
ProjectProtect is a collaborative effort between University of Utah Health, Intermountain Healthcare, Latter-day Saint Charities, Utah non-profits, and volunteer sewers across the state to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our frontline caregivers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The collaboration is producing face shields, medical-grade masks, and reusable isolation gowns to provide our dedicated health care workers with the protection they deserve.
Photo courtesy Justin Dahle