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TIPS: How to make sure your homemade mask is effective

The CDC is recommending people wear a cloth face mask with materials you could find around your house - but some materials could be better than others.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Once again, the coronavirus crisis has caused the CDC to change its recommendations — officials now say people should use a face mask in public settings - whether you feel sick or not.

“Even if you drop your risk of catching the coronavirus a little bit, that’s a good thing," Dr. David Geier said.

Geier says the move also serves as a deterrent.

"Masks can also be helpful to prevent you from touching your mouth or your nose, which seems to be at least here in the United States one of the key methods of transmitting the coronavirus," Geier said.

So out of all the spare material you have lying around your house, whether it's a t-shirt, a pillowcase, an old scarf, a bandana or a towel, Geier says which to pick is a balancing act.

“The thicker it is, the fewer particles that are going to get through it," Geier said, "But that’s balanced out a little bit by, you need to be able to breathe comfortably."

Even if you do choose the thicker towel or pillowcase over the thinner bandana, Geiger says the key is how you’re wearing it.

RELATED: How to make your own face mask without a sewing machine

“Something that works in a rectangular or square fashion and ties in the back would be better than one that sort of hangs free,” Geier said.

Geier says the material needs to be as snug on your face as possible.

“You want it to seal off above the mask, basically air getting in around your nose and above your cheeks, in the sides, and up from the bottom," Geier said. "You could supplement it by putting clear gauze tape or something like we often do as surgeons.”

Geier says whatever material you choose could ultimately help you from unknowingly spread the virus.

“All of these masks are better than nothing," Geier said. "See what works best for you."

RELATED VIDEO: How to make your own face mask without a sewing machine


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