Graphic by Hannah London on Canva

Masks have now become a part of our everyday lives, and just like with many other everyday things, there are ways to make it simple. Here are 10 simple life hacks that can help you get through some common annoyances of mask-wearing.

  1. Criss-Cross Applesauce: For those with smaller faces, you can twist the straps in a criss-cross pattern to make the mask fit snugly on your face. You can also tie them into a knot for the same effect, and prevent air from escaping at the sides. 
  2. Lace It Up: What if your face is larger? Then you can tie strings or shoelaces to the back of your mask and extend its length. 
  3. Look Mom, No Ears!: If you find your ears become irritated by wearing a mask all day, you can wear a headband or hat with buttons on the inside. Hooking the straps of the mask to the buttons at the sides can prevent your ears from getting rubbed raw. 
  4. Paperclips Aren’t Just For Assignments: Another way to give your ears a break is to use a paperclip. Link the mask’s straps to the back of your head, securing it without having the ends scratch your ears.
  5. And Soap Isn’t Just For Hands: A common mask hack for glasses-wearers is simply using soap to wash your lenses. It prevents the glass from fogging, and it makes sure they’re as clean as your hands should be. 
  6. For Extra Protection: If your mask has a pocket inside of it, you can give yourself extra protection by slipping a coffee filter into it. Paper towels are also an effective filter for germs. 
  7. It’s Like an Oven: Putting your mask in the dryer for twenty minutes on high heat can kill a lot of germs that may linger on it. Even better, ironing your mask can kill those germs much faster.
  8. Some Assembly Required: If you have a pressure cooker on hand, you can also use it to clean your masks. With 2⅛ to 3 cups of distilled water, depending on the size of the cooker, up to three masks in a paper bag, and a rack above the water, all you’ll need to do is set the cooker to “sous vide” at 140 degrees for 30 minutes, and you’ll have clean masks. Be sure to give them time to dry. 
  9. Open Up Those Airways: Stretching your shoulders occasionally and other areas of your upper body can actually help you breathe better with a mask on. Make sure to take breaks to breathe openly, too. 
  10. Final “Essential” Hack: If you have some on hand, essential oils can be dabbed on the sides of the mask to combat “mask breath.” Just be careful not to use too much! One or two drops are enough.

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