If you’re having trouble getting your face mask to fit snugly, get out your pipe cleaners ― this may be the first time you’ve needed them since kindergarten.
Ever since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised every American to wear a face covering in public to slow the spread of COVID-19, each new day has been an immersion course on how to properly wear a mask.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is wearing it too loosely, allowing coronavirus particles to freely travel to and from the nose and mouth. Not only that, but a loose mask is tempting to reach up and adjust ― and we all know that touching your face is a terrible idea these days.
A loose mask is also a problem for those who wear glasses or sunglasses. When warm breath escapes through the top of a loose-fitting mask, it inevitably fogs up lenses, making them difficult to see through. (Check out some additional solutions for foggy lenses here.)
The solution is simple: Wear a face mask fitted with a wire nose piece.
Many DIY tutorials advise inserting pipe cleaners into face masks because their soft, velvety casing is comfortable on the bridge of the nose. Once the wire is affixed to the face mask, one simple pinch on the bridge of your nose can adjust your mask to the contours of your face, providing a closer fit and solving all of the aforementioned problems.
If you’ve already learned how to sew a DIY face mask, making one with a wire isn’t much more extra work ― most patterns can accommodate the addition of a pipe cleaner or craft wire at the bridge of the nose.
If you’d like some specific DIY tutorials for face masks with wire nose pieces, we’ve got three below: two for pleated masks (one made with a sewing machine and one no-sew version), as well as a more fitted face mask (sewing machine required).
Pleated Face Mask with Filter Pocket and Pipe Cleaner Nose Piece (SEWING MACHINE REQUIRED)
Pleated Fabric Face Mask with Filter Pocket and Pipe Cleaner Nose Piece (NO-SEW)
(Note: This isn’t as durable in a washing machine as the sewn version above.)
Fitted Face Mask with Removable Wire Casing (SEWING MACHINE REQUIRED)
This uses a simple craft wire, but a pipe cleaner would also work.
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Experts are still learning about the novel coronavirus. The information in this story is what was known or available as of press time, but it’s possible guidance around COVID-19 could change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most updated recommendations.