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Old 04-06-2020, 09:11 PM
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Default Hand towels as face mask filter



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Looking for an alterative to N95? This is what I am doing - order a cotton mask off Ebay that has a pouch for a filter. The filter will be a shop towel.

https://www.businessinsider.com/home...-better-2020-4

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Inserting two of these towels into an ordinary cotton mask brought filtration up to 93% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, the smallest their machine could test. Meanwhile, the cotton masks filtered 60% of particles at best in their tests, Schempf said.
What I did, I got on Ebay and ordered two masks - one for myself and one for my wife.

Keep in mind we have a case of N95 we are currently using.

Next step is to get some shop towels and cut them so they fit into the mask.

On a side note I am happy to see people looking for solutions. Humanity is faced with a global pandemic, and there are people out there doing all kids of stuff. If you have not done so, go to Ebay and look through the face mask people are making. It is amazing how society is coming together to fight Coronavirus.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:28 PM
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ONE OF the talk show docs was saying one of the best filters you could use for your home made mask was paper towel.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:31 PM
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I have a very solid supply of the yellow micro fiber towels of the type one might find at an auto parts store.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:41 PM
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Personally I would look at hepa filter bags for vacuum cleaners. They can be cut up to fit in masks with pouches like Kev was describing and ‘should’ filter air better.
I looked at some on amazon along with activated charcoal screen material and think that combined it would be a pretty good alternative. Unfortunately amazon haas marked them as not essential so the wait for the delivery to get to you will be quite awhile. Not sure if it’s worth venturing out to see if a store might have the correct filter bags.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfountain2 View Post
Personally I would look at hepa filter bags for vacuum cleaners. They can be cut up to fit in masks with pouches like Kev was describing and ‘should’ filter air better.
.
Now THAT is an excellent idea. On that same note, some of the higher end HVAC air filters such as FPR 10? May have to do a little metal work since there is chicken wire in them. Looks like a minimum FPR 8-9 might work.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:55 PM
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Working in the operating room we use blue wraps for our sterile instrumentation. I keep seeing conflicting information on if those would be useful in a mask as a filter for an n95 type system.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfountain2 View Post
Personally I would look at hepa filter bags for vacuum cleaners. They can be cut up to fit in masks with pouches like Kev was describing and ‘should’ filter air better.
I looked at some on amazon along with activated charcoal screen material and think that combined it would be a pretty good alternative. Unfortunately amazon haas marked them as not essential so the wait for the delivery to get to you will be quite awhile. Not sure if it’s worth venturing out to see if a store might have the correct filter bags.
No need to guess or speculate. The linked Suay Sew Shop got a professional test machine and many different filtration materials and found the Zep shop towels to be the best performer. 2 layers gave the best filtration.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by NW GUY View Post
ONE OF the talk show docs was saying one of the best filters you could use for your home made mask was paper towel.
NOPE. they just repeat the lies just like the ‘masks don’t work’ lies.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AZ_HighCountry View Post
.
Now THAT is an excellent idea. On that same note, some of the higher end HVAC air filters such as FPR 10? May have to do a little metal work since there is chicken wire in them. Looks like a minimum FPR 8-9 might work.
The Kirby bags I ordered on eBay filter down to 0.3 microns so I’m thinking with the two layers of cloth in the homemade mask with two layers of hepa filter bags stuck in the pocket on the masks that should be a pretty decent amount of filtration. I’m working on finding activated charcoal screen material next. Just as an added layer.

My 70 year old mom and her sewing/poker buddies have been sewing masks for local hospitals and churches. She sent me 4 (2 for me, 2 for the wife) and sewed pouches on them after I described what I was thinking.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by leadcounsel View Post
No need to guess or speculate. The linked Suay Sew Shop got a professional test machine and many different filtration materials and found the Zep shop towels to be the best performer. 2 layers gave the best filtration.
Ok. When I run out of real masks, and run out of hepa filtration bags I’m pretty sure I have a few rolls of shop towels I can sacrifice to the cause.
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Old 04-07-2020, 05:11 AM
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These folks tested shop towels on a particulate counter device, and found that a cople brands of shop towels would work almost as good as N95 masks....

https://elexonic.com/2020/04/02/home...ilters-better/
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfountain2 View Post
Ok. When I run out of real masks, and run out of hepa filtration bags I’m pretty sure I have a few rolls of shop towels I can sacrifice to the cause.
Those blue shop towels are pretty tight knit, I have a few rolls of those plus the ones in the big square box. Staple a square of those between folds of a bandanna, good to go.

I had a bandanna on the other day to go food shopping, fogged my glasses otherwise worked well.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:04 AM
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I will try to find a link but I saw video stating that furnace filters - mpr 1900 are the same material as n95. Makes sense since it actually made to remove viruses and let air pass through.

MPR is used for 3m filters only. A mere 13 is equal to a 1500 - 1900. Having yet found exact number on that but 3m actually makes N95 masks.

I do wonder if using such an insert would be counter productive by forcing air to go around it.
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfountain2 View Post
I’m working on finding activated charcoal screen material next. Just as an added layer.
Interior cabin air filters for many vehicles contain activated carbon.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:26 AM
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What fibers are used for shop towels?

I tried to use some woven materials, and learned a fabric woven tight enough to screen out small particles, it too tight to breath through.
I tried a 460 thread count cotton percale weave, and I could not breath through it.
I also tried a 250 TC percale, cotton blend, and it was also a little too tight.
I do not think that any looser a weave of material would screen out small particles.
Also cotton does not builds up a static charge like synthetic fibers.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:43 AM
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I bought a couple of handmade masks on Etsy. They have a filter pocket - what I'm trying is a coffee filter folded in half, it's the perfect size for the filter compartment and it gives me 2 layers. Also.... the seller I bought from included a 'hepa filter' in the pocket (for an additional $10). What I've done with that is basted it onto the inside of the mask. This gives me a 5 layer mask (outside of mask, 2 coffee filter layers, inside of mask, hepa filter). It's lightweight and I can still breathe (as well as in my N95's).

I'll wear the homemade masks in less populated situations.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW GUY View Post
ONE OF the talk show docs was saying one of the best filters you could use for your home made mask was paper towel.
BS! Did he conflate paper towels with shop towels?
Don’t use paper towels, they cause dust.
If you use the right light, you can see a cloud of loose fibers, from the use of
paper towels, and toilet paper is even worse.
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redneck007 View Post
NOPE. they just repeat the lies just like the ‘masks don’t work’ lies.
The rest of the story is, that mask do not work 100% of the time, just 99%? of the time.
And If you are a health care worker, working in a contaminated environment, the 1% is a problem.
But for going to the grocery store, any mask is better than no mask.

Even an Alabama dust mask, a tee shirt pulled up over your nose, is better than nothing.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:36 AM
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I was able to get some of those ToolBox Shop towels today.



I would guess about 5-10% of the people I saw were wearing masks and no one was wearing gloves.


My Montana Masks will have filtration and I will be able to help my friends and family with decent protection.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:39 AM
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Seems to me a coffee filter would work better than a towel.
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