It seems like there’s someone on every corner selling face masks, but with so many different masks on the market, how can you tell with certainty that your mask will protect you? With some counties experiencing an extended lockdown, it’s more important than ever to wear an adequate mask.
It can be frustrating to tell the difference between an FDA-approved face mask and an ineffective knock-off, but there are a few tests you can perform yourself right at home to measure the quality of your face mask. Here are three surefire methods to test that your mask is engineered for effective protection:
- The Static Test
Medical masks that are certified by the FDA for general usage absorb static. This means that if you were to rub your mask in some feather-light material like tissue or hair, the material would cling to the mask. We recommend cutting up some light pieces of paper and then smothering your mask in the pile- if a few pieces cling to the mask, your mask is good to go. If not, then throw it out!
- Fluid Resistance
The next test measures your mask’s resistance to fluids. Stretch your mask as if you were about to wear it, then pour some water into the soft part of your mask. A certified mask is leak-proof, so no water will spill out from the inner creases. This test is particularly useful because if you’re an asymptomatic carrier, none of your own fluids will escape the mask and potentially infect others!
- Fire Breather
Certified face masks will prevent airflow from escaping, so to test this out, put on your face mask and hold an activated lighter in front of your face. (If you are a child, then please perform this test with parental assistance!) Blow as hard as you can through the mask, and if the flame never wavers, that means your mask is trapping the airflow and your mask is effective. This can also be accomplished by placing your hand in front of your mask and blowing; you’ll feel whether or not any air is escaping.
If these instructions were a little confusing, then watch our reference video below to see these tests performed! Remember, stay safe, and get some FDA-approved medical face masks from our store.