As the coronavirus continues to spread across the world, the likelihood that you’ll encounter an infected person is increasing daily.
Because of this, the CDC has recommended that everyone wear either a cloth face mask or a face shield when leaving the house.
You have two decisions: face shields vs masks. To help you decide which PPE option is best for your workplace, continue reading as we break down the differences between the two.
Cloth face masks
While the most efficient means of personal protective equipment is an N95 or surgical mask, these are being reserved for medical professionals. This is why the CDC is recommending cloth face masks for the rest of the population.
Cloth face masks can be made using various different fabrics and are easily portable. They are to be placed over both the nose and mouth when entering public settings. The purpose of cloth masks is to block the transport of large respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks.
An efficient cloth face mask will fit snugly around your nose and mouth without creating any gaps or suffocating the user. For more information on how to properly wear and remove a face mask, check out our blog post “How to Wear and Remove a Cloth Mask”.
At Functional Face Wear, our cloth face masks are reusable and are washing machine-friendly. This is important because you will likely need to wear your mask more than once, and washing it in hot water will thoroughly clean it so that it’s safe for reuse.
Face shields vs masks
Face shields are another way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help maintain a flattening of the curve. The purpose of a face shield is to provide a transparent and solid barrier between your face and your surrounding environment.
Like cloth masks, face shields can also be cleaned and reused; however, they are not washer friendly and must be cleaned by hand.
Face shields provide an impenetrable layer of protection and are typically worn in conjuction with a face mask. These shields are typically attached to a cap, hat or headband using a velcro strip.
This form of protection is structured to fit snugly on your head (depending on which style you choose) to prevent slipping. At a minimum, face shields should be long enough to cover your entire face (from forehead to chin), and the outer edges should reach your ears.
Cleaning your face shield
Because your face shield must be washed by hand, there are certain precautions you should take when cleaning it:
- Always wear gloves when cleaning your shield.
- Carefully and thoroughly wipe the inside first, using either a sanitizer wipe or a clean cloth soaked in a neutral detergent (preferably one that contains bleach).
- Repeat step two for the outside of the shield.
- To remove residue, go over the outside of the mask again with alcohol or clean water.
- Let the shield air dry or use a clean towel to soak up excess water.
- Take off your gloves and wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.