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I know from reading threads in the first 2 or 3 month of Covid lockdowns, when everyone was either making or trying to buy masks, that Happy Masks were highly recommended on here.  Is that still the mask to get?

We had a few new, but old, N95's that I wear to my dad's apartment building an for in any risky situations.  I am looking to find a good washable mask, that hopefully fits well, to take it's place when they wear out.  And...also for DH and my boys.

Any thoughts/other recommendations?

Thanks so much!

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6 hours ago, mlktwins said:

I know from reading threads in the first 2 or 3 month of Covid lockdowns, when everyone was either making or trying to buy masks, that Happy Masks were highly recommended on here.  Is that still the mask to get?

We had a few new, but old, N95's that I wear to my dad's apartment building an for in any risky situations.  I am looking to find a good washable mask, that hopefully fits well, to take it's place when they wear out.  And...also for DH and my boys.

Any thoughts/other recommendations?

Thanks so much!

 

Imy family is still happy with our Happy Masks (made in Taiwan with Nelson Lab certification) — we have “basic” which may or may not still be available— There is a slight gap for me under my chin which I can shut with medical tape or kinesiology tape

 

I am also happy with a Cambridge Pro Mask . It is hotter and heavier than the Happy Mask, and less easy to breathe in—but fits more tightly due to adjusters and foam. It also has a carbon filter so is more protective against smoke than the Happy Mask.  When weather was still hot the Happy Mask was much more comfortable due to how light and cool it is. Now that weather is down toward freezing at night and fairly cool in daytime I am finding the Cambridge more comfortable. 

 

(It is possible that electrostatic charge can be achieved after washing by rubbing with a ballooon. Idk for sure. It is also possible that some external sprays may increase mask protection.  .... ) 

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I should probably add that with a goal

of preserving them as long as possible, I have been decontaminating my Happy Masks and the Cambridge as I would an N95, not thus far washing them.   So presumably whatever they have that scored well in Nelson Lab testing should be preserved as long as I can achieve that.

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I'm happy with my Happy Masks. They are much lighter in general than my other masks and they fit well without sagging. I'm using them for indoor situations when I feel more at risk and using my cotton masks outside to preserve their life.

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Well none of my peeps who wear Happy Masks have gotten sick with covid, but that's not scientific as I don't know that any of my peeps who don't wear HMs have gotten covid either.

I think if you want N95 or KN95s,  you might be happier looking for them. You could buy a few of the HM and see for yourself. Fit will matter. The KN95 I bought off a friend from her large order was HUGE. I was like a swimmer in one of those face masks, the whole face, haha. Not really, but it was way bigger. Maybe that's equivalent to a *large* of the HM? The HM come in sizes. 

And yes, the HM are dramatically easier to breathe in than the KN95 I tried. But I can't say it's safer. You'd have to read their data and decide for yourself. Since I can't fit that KN95 and can't tolerate it, doesn't matter. 

Edited by PeterPan
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6 hours ago, maize said:

N95's are available here:

https://easternppeimports.com/

No washable mask can do what disposable respirator masks do because they can't retain an electrostatic charge. This video explains why the charge is important:

 

Thanks for sharing that video! I watched that (or similar) a couple months ago, but lost it. I use a middle layer of medical polypropylene non woven fabric for an electrostatic filter  (along with one layer woven cotton and one flannel, which also has properties which help catch particles, in particular the nap), but I make a new, unwashed mask if we need a really good one. My dh had an urgent medical issue come up and had to go to the doctor yesterday, so I made him a fresh one for that. And with ties. We (my family) require ties for masks in higher risk situations, rather than ear loops. 

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

I should probably add that with a goal

of preserving them as long as possible, I have been decontaminating my Happy Masks and the Cambridge as I would an N95, not thus far washing them.   So presumably whatever they have that scored well in Nelson Lab testing should be preserved as long as I can achieve that.

Do you mind sharing how you decontaminate them?  Thanks!

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My husband's a high school teacher and back to full classes (only he's teaching from home this week because of an outbreak at his school 4 days after they went back full time 🙄....but anyway....), and after trying a bunch of different things he's settled on a happy mask doubled with a surgical mask, as being relatively comfortable and seeming to give pretty good protection. he likes the way the happy mask has the cone shape and doesn't sit right against his mouth and how light it is. 

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4 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

I've been using the Castle grade.  I usually wear another make over it because it's ugly.

We have a couple of the Castle masks for situations where we really need to be indoors for a lengthy amount of time. I haven’t worn it yet except the one time we went dog walking to test it out. 

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15 hours ago, aaplank said:

Do you mind sharing how you decontaminate them?  Thanks!

 

During summer I was using sunlight plus time. First outer side sunned, then inner.  Usually direct sun — but inside a window when ash was a problem. 

As weather is changing I will likely go to an iodine solution mist or Hydrogen Peroxide mist plus time.  (Possibly dependent on mask color—One May stain, the other bleach, but both should inactivate virus.  H2O2 is one of the things being used to extend N95 use iirc) 

The Happy Mask company did not know if these would be safe for the masks, however. 

Cambridge Pro is silver impregnated apparently which should itself help inactivate virus.

 

Or I may try a UV light type gizmo. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, rebcoola said:

I've been using the Castle grade.  I usually wear another make over it because it's ugly.

 

3 hours ago, crazyforlatin said:

We have a couple of the Castle masks for situations where we really need to be indoors for a lengthy amount of time. I haven’t worn it yet except the one time we went dog walking to test it out. 

 

How do you find these for comfort?

and do they have a plastic like odor? 

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On 10/20/2020 at 9:05 PM, aaplank said:

Do you mind sharing how you decontaminate them?  Thanks!

 

Update: I was using an iodine (just a couple drops in 5ml saline) nebulizer and tried misting it on light blue Happy Mask — result: at least with single use it still looks light blue and inside still yellow, has not gotten brown or orange stained...   the nebulizer makes a very fine mist so it isn’t getting a concentrated drip of iodine anywhere 

I went with the iodine because it tested well (better than H2O2) as the active ingredient in  mouth wash and nasal rinse small studies reviewed by DrBeen tonight. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Pen said:

 

During summer I was using sunlight plus time. First outer side sunned, then inner.  Usually direct sun — but inside a window when ash was a problem. 

As weather is changing I will likely go to an iodine solution mist or Hydrogen Peroxide mist plus time.  (Possibly dependent on mask color—One May stain, the other bleach, but both should inactivate virus.  H2O2 is one of the things being used to extend N95 use iirc) 

The Happy Mask company did not know if these would be safe for the masks, however. 

Cambridge Pro is silver impregnated apparently which should itself help inactivate virus.

 

Or I may try a UV light type gizmo. 

 

 

 

Do you have an instant pot? Or a rice cooker? https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/mask-n95-multicooker-covid/2020/08/14/94544304-dd8d-11ea-809e-b8be57ba616e_story.html
 

 I like this method because it’s been tested and is easy to replicate at home. 

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16 hours ago, kand said:

Do you have an instant pot? Or a rice cooker? https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/mask-n95-multicooker-covid/2020/08/14/94544304-dd8d-11ea-809e-b8be57ba616e_story.html
 

 I like this method because it’s been tested and is easy to replicate at home. 

I've seen this before, but I feel kind of icked out with the thought of making food in the same container that I'm sterilizing masks.  Obviously, you would clean between uses, but as a self-professing germaphobe, I don't know if I could do it.  I would definitely need a separate Instant Pot just for mask sterilization.

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27 minutes ago, aaplank said:

I've seen this before, but I feel kind of icked out with the thought of making food in the same container that I'm sterilizing masks.  Obviously, you would clean between uses, but as a self-professing germaphobe, I don't know if I could do it.  I would definitely need a separate Instant Pot just for mask sterilization.

Yeah, that's what they say to do, and I see why, but I can't actually see how any germs would be left after using it at that heat. A second hand rice cooker could probably be found for the purpose. I personally would likely break the rules and run a high heat cycle after washing well with soap and water and consider it good (and I'm someone who wipes groceries, so go figure).

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