With the current COVID-19 pandemic going on, it really pays to be on the safe side especially when your health is at stake. That is why safety precautions are being taken all over the world to protect themselves against the virus, and that includes the wearing of face masks and the use of sanitizers.
Unfortunately, the supply being created is not able to catch up with the demand by both the public as well as the health workers whose use of these items is critical to their functions in treating the infected.
While face masks and sanitizers are in short supply, you can still make some at home to protect you and your family. Creating these items are quite easy to do, and while they may have some shortcomings when compared to medical grade products or those sold by stores, a little prevention is better than nothing. Here are some things that you can do to create your own face masks and sanitizers at home.
Face masks are intended for both those who are infected by the virus as well as for those who do not want to be infected by them. Face masks work by preventing the droplets that contain the virus from getting to your nose or mouth.
As droplets can stay in the air for minutes to hours on end, and with droplets from sneezes capable of being carried several feet, face masks are your first line of defence against COVID-19.
The recommended material for face masks are cotton fabrics and something that you call fusible interfacing. In a pinch, though, you can use any type of fabric. Keep in mind, though, that fabrics are not medically accepted to prevent infection, but it should work in a pinch. You can also insert a few layers of toilet paper under the material to increase its protection level.
Some stores provide free materials for face masks, especially if you would like to create some with the purpose of donating them. Search around your neighborhood for such establishments, and you can create medically acceptable face masks while also manufacturing some for your own use.
The face mask must completely cover your nose and mouth. The best fitting masks are the ones that cover you the bridge of your nose, under your chin, and around your jawline. The fit must be snug and the mask should not flap around.
You can fashion ear loops made out of elastic or cloth that you can place around your ears. You can also use other types of material that you can sew at the top and bottom of your mask and tie at the back of your head. You have to make sure that the knots will not come loose in order for it to be effective.
Experts recommend hand sanitizers to be made up of at least 60% alcohol in order to be effective. While you can create your own sanitizers at home using everyday items that you may be able to find at home, it is not actually recommended unless in extreme situations where not having any on hand poses a high risk of infection to you. Using the wrong formulation can also pose some risks, so proper care must be undertaken to prevent further harm.
In order to create a makeshift sanitizer, you would need some alcohol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, and some distilled water. You can substitute glycerin with aloe vera gel if the former is not available.
You can also add some essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender, or eucalyptus in order to add some fragrance to your formulation. If distilled water is not available, then you can simply boil some and let it cool before adding it to your concoction.
You can start by adding 12 ounces of alcohol to 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel or glycerol. You can then mix in 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide as well as some water. The water that you will add in will depend on the strength of the alcohol that you have on hand, or depending on how strong you would like your formula to be. Take note that too much alcohol can dry out your skin as well as make it extremely flammable.
A formulation that yields a 60% to 75% alcohol concentration is more than enough to suit your needs. You can also add a few drops of oil to make your sanitizer more fragrant and unique. If you are using a diluted alcohol solution, then you may skimp on the water. Better yet, use alcohol directly instead.
Make sure that you have sanitized your work area as well as your tools before preparing your DIY sanitizer. You should also let it sit for 48 to 72 hours so that it can kill any bacteria of viruses that may have been inadvertently introduced into the mixture.
It is also important to use your homemade sanitizer sparingly at first to see if you would have any violent reactions from it.
Take note that creating your own face masks and sanitizers are only temporary and partial solutions, and in no way does using these items give you the permission to go out and break quarantine or other safety precautions your area has placed in order to prevent the spread of disease.
Social distancing, minimizing travel, sanitizing your immediate surroundings, and frequent handwashing are still the best and recommended practices in order to prevent infection. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has definitely impacted the lives of people all over the world.
It has also opened the eyes of many with regard to their own personal health and safety. While items such as face masks and sanitizers were disregarded before the pandemic struck, right now they are almost literally worth their weight in gold. As such, it may be prudent to stock up on these items in the future should crisis strike again.
Your safety should be your utmost concern, and having these essential items as well as the knowledge on how to create these products will allow you to do your part in keeping you and your family safe.