The Wake Up & Fight MasK
Frequently Asked Questions
To watch our Q&A with Dr. Robert Cho, our medical advisor to the mask project, scroll to the bottom.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MASK
How do I use the mask?
Insert a filter material (see below for recommendations) inside of the mask. Place it over your nose and mouth and pull the straps around the ears so it fits snuggly. For best protection place some tape across your nose and cheeks to seal the mask to your face. This ensures the air flows through the mask and filter and not around it.
After use, dispose of the filter and wash your mask in hot water.
Click here to view our HOW TO USE GUIDE
Is this a replacement for N95 Masks?
No, these masks are not replacements for N95 masks. N95 respirators are in short supply. They need to be worn by people at the highest risk such as intensive care doctors or anesthesiologists. If you have an unused N95 mask you should donate it to a local hospital immediately.
WHAT IF MY MASK IS TOO SMALL?
If your mask is too small to comfortably fit around your ears, wearing the mask in a modified way that resembles swimming goggles more than a traditional mask may help solve your issue..
Tie a string around each ear loop, so that it holds the mask from around the back of your head. This should keep the mask taut on your face, but relieve pressure on the ears.
If you'd like to purchase a product specifically for this use, rather than using something at home, we have found a few 'ear saver' extenders online. Examples of these products can be found here and here.
WHAT IF MY MASK IS TOO BIG?
If your mask is too big to fit securely on your face, take the following steps.
First, make sure you’ve washed your mask. This is important for safety best practices and will also help make the mask snug on your face.
Then, the simplest thing to do is tie a small knot on each ear loop to shorten them. This results in some of the excess elastic being tied behind each ear.
Lastly, some customers have modified their masks in way that resembles swimming goggles by tying the end of the string/elastic from one ear loop to the other and tightening it around the back of the head.
Get a household object (shoestring, elastic band, or even a paper clip) and feed it through both ear loops. Then secure around your head to the appropriate tightness level. This should keep the mask taut on your face, but be comfortable to wear.
If you like to purchase a product specifically for this use, rather than using something at home, we have found a few 'ear saver' extenders online. Examples of these products can be found here and here.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY MASK?
All masks should be hand washed, lay flat to dry, and iron as needed, When ironing, DO NOT iron the elastic straps as those can melt under the heat.
We recommend washing your mask before first use and following every wear, to provide the most safety to the wearer.
WHERE ARE THE MASKS MADE?
We presently make our masks in Los Angeles as well as with great partners in South America and Asia. Our LA factory and HQ has always been our flagship location since the beginning but as we have scaled as a company, we have built a network of partners around the world. As the need for masks skyrocketed, we have reached out to all these partners and asked them to open their shops back up exclusively to help us produce more masks rapidly. These partners, both domestic and abroad are vetted to ensure they meet the highest standards.
QUESTIONS ABOUT USING FILTERS
Do I need to put a filter in the mask?
Using a filter helps make a cloth mask more effective at screening out bacteria and small particulates.
We have partnered with a company called Think Crucial to help facilitate your search. Order directly from them and receive 30% off your order. ORDER NOW
What can I use for a filter?
The best option to use is a HEPA filter (make sure the filter you purchase is free of contaminants like fiberglass). There was a study done in 2013 that showed vacuum bags are nearly as effective as surgical masks at screening out bacterial and viral aerosols.
A few of our suggested options are: Vacuum cleaner bag, air conditioner filters, air purifier filters. Even coffee filters and other similar papers can work in a pinch. The key is you can’t just do cloth alone.
Look for these materials at hardware stores near you or online for delivery.
We have also partnered with a company called Think Crucial to help facilitate your search for safe filters. Order directly from them and receive 30% off your order. ORDER NOW
How do I make and insert the filter into the mask?
Once you have your filter material, use this template to trace out and cut the filter to shape. Roll it like to put one side in, then the other side in and flatten it inside. Make sure it goes edge to edge.
Remember to remove and dispose of the filter between uses.
Click here to view our FILTER TEMPLATE
How often can I use the filter?
Use it the filter once and then dispose of it. It’s kind of like toilet paper, would you use toilet paper more than once?
QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO HELP
HOW DO I HELP?
The single best way to help the COVID-19 crisis is to stay home. Stay inside your home and respect social distancing as much as possible. If you do go outside of your house, maintain at least 6 foot distance from any other person. Do not have parties or playdates with any other people outside of your immediate household.
Can I choose where my donated masks go?
Unfortunately, we’re not able to do that at this time. If you have a hospital or healthcare institution where you want these to go, please fill out details on the form on this page, and we can get back to people that way.
How do I get in touch with hospitals to donate masks?
Unfortunately there is no easy way to get a hold of many hospitals at a time. The best way is to try your local hospital and ask for their supply chain manager to see if they have any needs. If they do, please have them fill out the form here specifying the details of their needs.
CAN YOU SHARE THE PATTERN SO I CAN MAKE MY OWN?
Here are some resources that we found to very helpful as we developed our mask:
QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19 & STAYING SAFE
What else do we need to know about being safe right now?
Take social distancing seriously. This means really cutting down on interactions with others. Stay at home as much as you possibly can.
Use hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.
If someone has symptoms, do they go to the ER?
The first thing to do is call your primary care physician. If you don't have one, call your local urgent care. Remember, if you have a cough or mild fever it could be anything, there are still normal colds and flus going around. However, if you have sustained fever greater than 100.4, if you have shortness of breath, and/or a constellation of all the other symptoms, then go to the ER immediately.
Watch our founder Ellen Bennett discussing the mask with Dr. Robert Cho, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at a local children’s hospital:
CLOSING THOUGHTS FROM OUR CONVERSATION:
"Be safe. Be kind. Stay home as much as possible. Wash your hands. Get enough sleep."