The following information was included in #MutualAidMasks' #COVIDKITS4TheHouseless, our first community outreach project in the Spring of 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic and the initial quarantine of our county. It was a joint effort between two local Bloomington businesses, Cardinal Spirit's Distillery and The Mad Optimist Soap Company, and #MAM. Together we distributed about a gross of #COVIDKits to the houseless community in Bloomington, Indiana.
First, we want to say, THANK YOU for wanting to help keep ALL of us safe by wearing a #MutalAidMasks Bandana Mask! Next, We really hope this #COVIDKIT4TheHouseless will help you out during these tough times. #MutualAidMasks put them together for you with donations from your community to help keep you safe and let you know that you matter to us and we have not forgotten you even though most of us aren’t around right now. These kits hopefully contain things that will help make your life a little safer right now. They are in a reusable toiletry bag that will hopefully remain useful to you after the pandemic passes because one day this will be over!
What’s in a #COVIDKIT4TheHouseless?
(2) #MutualAidMasks Bandana Masks
They are a 2-layer 100% cotton mask, like the CDC suggests, with a removable pipe cleaner nose guard and filter pocket. They are pre-loaded with a filter, sanitized, and ready to wear out of the bag. We made these to help keep you and everyone around you safe. We gave you two, so you can always have a clean one.
When you wash them, don’t forget to take out (and save) your pipe cleaner nose guard and take out your disposable filter! You can put the pipe cleaner nose guard right back in when it’s clean and dried!
(1) Cardinal Spirits Hand Sanitizer (4 oz eye-dropper bottle with pink lid)
To sanitize your hands when you have no access to water.
(1) The Mad Optimist Soapy Soap Company Bar Soap (the soap in a baggie)
To wash your hands when you are by water, so you can conserve your sanitizer.
You can also use this soap to wash out your masks if they get dirty and you can’t do laundry, but remember this does not necessarily kill the virus.
(1) week of extra DISPOSABLE Blue Shop Towels (baggie of blue folded filters)
These are inexpensive tested filters. These are pre-folded so you can just slide them right in the bandana.
We’ve included more information about them below in the RESOURCES section.
They are disposable and should be used no more than one day.
(1) #MutualAidMasks DIY Mask Spray (spray bottle with pink hearts)
This is a 2% citric acid solution made from food-grade citric acid crystals for canning tomatoes and distilled water.
It mimics the antiviral outside coating of some N95 masks and could help to kill the virus.
We included this as added protection especially since it’s so hard to wash clothes for y’all.
You spray it on the outside (facing the world) of the mask. If virus particles land on the mask it can help kill them.
More information about the spray and a recipe is included below.
These kits were put together by #MutualAidMasks and funded by the community through donations from individual Bloomington community members including but not limited to members of #NoSpaceForHate’s (#NSFH) Monroe County Area Mutual Aid For COVID-19 Group on FaceBook, Cardinal Spirits and The Mad Optimist Soapy Soap Company!
#MutualAidMasks is sewing masks for folks in Monroe County regardless of their ability to pay and we wanted to make sure to include the houseless in our outreach! If you know someone who needs masks whether they’re houseless or not, please tell them to contact us by one of the methods we list in the RESOURCES section below!
We hope you find this #COVIDKIT helpful.
HOW TO USE YOUR #MUTUALAIDMASK BANDANA MASK
These #MutualAidMasks Bandana Masks come to you as sanitized as we could get them and are ready for use. They have been washed in hot water and dried in a commercial dryer that reaches 176F which is hot enough to kill the virus. They were then prepared for you as safely as possible, in a clean environment.
TO USE: Take it out of the baggie and tie on! Adjust the nose guard to fit snugly around your nose & across your cheeks & then tuck the bottom into your shirt!
#MutualAidMasks’ Recommendations for Bandana Mask Use:
It is safest for everyone if everybody always assumes they are asymptomatic carriers or they’ve been exposed & Their mask is DIRTY AFTER ONE USE.
The Blue Shop Towel Filters are DISPOSABLE & should be used for no more than one day, consider them contaminated & dispose of properly.
Save the baggie in the #COVIDKIT so the DIRTY BANDANA can go back in the baggie after it is used until it can be washed.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR #MUTUALAIDMASK BANDANA MASK
#MutualAidMasks Bandana Masks are 100% cotton and can be washed on HOT and dried on HIGH, after the pipe cleaner is removed and the dirty filter is thrown away.
IF YOU CANNOT WASH & DRY YOUR MASK, YOU CAN HAND WASH WITH SOAP PROVIDED IN THE KIT & THEN BOIL IT. ALLOW IT TO DRY IN THE CLEANEST ENVIRONMENT POSSIBLE.
We gave you two so that you can always have a clean one. We recommend following the CDC COVID-19 Cleaning And Disinfecting in Your Homes Guidelines for Laundry⁴:
For clothing, towels, linens, and other items.
Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.
Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
Do not shake dirty laundry.
Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.
INFORMATION ON THE BLUE SHOP TOWEL FILTERS
Shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) occurred. Since then people from all walks of life have been trying to come up with and test alternative available materials. Three fashion designers, who understand fabrics well, were distraught by the idea of people only have two pieces of cotton in their masks. They knew that it was not enough protection. They began testing materials and the Blue Shop Towel Filter was born. During their initial tests, it was the highest-rated, safest, most easily available material and it is versatile, you can even sew it.² Since then they have continued their testing with help from folks who have better testing equipment and newer research suggests that there are even more effective materials, however, Blue Shop Towels are still a good option because of their effectiveness, affordability, and wide-spread availability.³
INFORMATION ABOUT THE #MUTUALAIDMASKS DIY MASK SPRAY
Some N95 masks have an antiviral coating of 1.78% citric acid solution on the outside (facing the world) side of the mask and it is known to kill 99.9% of many strains of Influenza A within one minute of contact.¹ This can be replicated by creating a similar citric acid solution using food-grade citric acid crystals or lemon juice concentrate. Citric acid crystals are sold for many purposes. The most readily available and safest is going to be sold in a supermarket around canning supplies and is food-grade. Here are some photos of the citric acid for canning you will notice that ¼ tsp equal. We make our mask spray from food-grade citric acid crystals because the solution is shelf-stable and does not require refrigeration. Also, the lemon juice mixture can be sticky.
DIY MASK SPRAY RECIPE
Making a 2% w/w solution equals 2g of citric acid dissolved in 100g (or 100ml) of distilled water so it is important to pay attention when measuring. 100ml is equivalent to 3.38 fl oz and we know from the packaging that 1g of citric acid =¼ tsp.
To make this a larger quantity and to make conversion easier for us here in the US who aren’t used to using the metric system, when multiplied by 8 it gives the simple ratio of 2 tsp of citric acid crystals to 27 ounces of distilled or R/O water (27.05 exactly).
When preparing this solution it is important to use distilled or R/O water because tap and spring water has metals in it and it reacts with the citric acid. It's also important to boil the water in a non-metal pot and stir the crystals in until dissolved with a non-metal utensil and store in a non-metal container.
If you would prefer to use the lemon juice concentrate the recipe is just to dilute lemon juice concentrate by 50% with distilled or R/O water. Again, this still has citric acid in it so all preparation considerations still apply, DO NOT use metal to mix, or store the mixture. ALSO THIS DOES SPOIL and requires refrigeration.⁵
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT WHEN MAKING THIS SPRAY REGARDLESS OF CHOSEN METHOD, THE CONCENTRATION MUST BE AT LEAST 1.78% TO BE EFFECTIVE ACCORDING TO THE PROVIDED SOURCES.¹ THIS MEANS THAT IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE GETTING EXACT MEASUREMENTS FOR THE RECIPES MAKE SURE THAT IT IS SLIGHTLY STRONGER AS OPPOSE TO WEAKER. REGARDLESS OF METHOD, THESE ARE ALL FOOD-GRADE ITEMS SO NO HAZARDS SHOULD EXIST.
Facebook at fb.me/mutualaidmasks and Instagram @mutualaidmasks.
You can also reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not have access to the internet or perfer to text/call our phone number is 812-266-0779
If you’d like to join NSFH’s Monroe County Mutual Aid for COVID-19 Facebook Group here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mutualaidmoco/
If you need assistance that you cannot find please fill out the NO SPACE FOR HATE Mutual Aid Request Form found here: https://bit.ly/mutualaidmoco
¹ Some N95 Masks are also treated on the outside layer of the mask (facing the world) with an antiviral agent composed of a 1.78% citric acid solution according to this document validating a new N95 mask to a predicate device.: “ActiproteCtTM UF N95 Respirator is a single use, disposable respirator coated with Virucoatrm on the outer layer (active ingredient: citric acid, 1.8%, a pH lowering agent) and is not an antiviral drug. Actiprotect kills (inactivates) 99.99% of influenza A viruses (tested against influenza A subtypes HINI (2009 pandemic strains not tested)) within one minute of contact with the surface of the respirator. In vitro testing has demonstrated 99.9 9% kill (inactivation) on the surface of the outer layer when tested in vitro against the following influenza viruses (tested against Influenza A subtypes (and strains): HlNl(JPN/35/2007, JPN/36/2007, 2009 pandemnic strains not tested), H2N2 (A2/JP/305/57), H3N2 (Hong Kong 8/68) and including bird flu subtypes: H5N1 (VNH5Nl-PR8/CDCRG.), H5N9 (Turkey A/Wisc/68, Myna)”
²According to Business Insider, Lindsay Medoff, the CEO of boutique Los Angeles clothing manufacturer Suay Sew Shop, her business partner, Heather Pavlu, and her best friend from high school, Chloe Schempf “were appalled by the dozens of mask patterns calling for cotton, a highly breathable, permeable fabric, and became obsessed with finding a fabric better suited for the job. They built a homemade testing facility that could test particle filtration down to 0.3 microns and tested every fabric they could find, from coffee filters to industrial materials. They discovered that by adding two blue shop towels and using a design that produces a tighter-fitting mask, they could make a mask that could block up to 95% of the particles they could test, while the cotton masks blocked 20% to 60% of the particles.” https://www.businessinsider.com/homemade-mask-using-hydro-knit-shop-towel-filters-better-2020-4
³ “While the CDC recommends that a bandana is far better than no mask at all (Kennedy's test found that bandanas filter less than 10% of particles), people in higher risk situations….are still better served by a mask that filters better, Kennedy says... By adding a pocket to the tight-woven cotton mask and putting in two layers of shop towels, their tests showed the mask consistently filtering out 82% of particles, although some of their tests showed it filtering at an even higher level. Filtering depends on many factors, including the mask's fit on the person.” https://www.businessinsider.com/instructions-for-making-blue-shop-towel-surgical-masks-2020-4
⁵The ReaLemon brand was found to contain 4.65% (+/- 0.005) citric acid and an average of 1.24-g (+/- 0.003) of citric acid per 25-mL sample. Compared to the ~5% in the Signature Kitchens brand, it is a decent difference. Based on these results, the ReaLemon brand stays more true to the average regarding citric acid content by a standard deviation of 10.9. The Generic brand varied by a standard deviation of 14, proving to not be very reliable.”
It can be garnered from this information that lemon juice concentrate is roughly 4.5 to 5% citric acid. If you want to make a 2% v/v solution then you would want to dilute the lemon juice concentrate with distilled or R/O water by roughly 50%. It is impossible to know exactly because the lemon juice concentrates vary in citric acid concentrations. Distilled or R/O water is used when making the citric acid solution with crystals to avoid a reaction between the metals in tap/spring water and the citric acid (as citric acid is used as a metal cleaner) and it seems safe to say the same applies here. It's also important not to store in a metal container or stir with metal utensils.