The Reusable Eco Face Mask Guide

Here at Leftover Threads, all of our masks are designed and made by taking into consideration the latest information and research available on materials and filter efficiency. There are still debates if face coverings is working against COVID-19 but if you are reading this, you have probably made up your mind about this.

If you want to learn all about the ins and outs of different fabrics and mask styles, check out our write up  “What Type of Face Mask is Best For Me?
But knowing how to use your mask properly is as important as choosing the right mask made with the right materials and filter. If not used properly, wearing a mask can be worse than not wearing one at all.

The video below explaines about sizing, straps vs elastic, fabrics we use, filters, and how to care for your mask. 

00.00-2.10 : Sizing S-M or M-L? 

2.10-4.00: How to use jersey straps. 

4.00-5.00: What are the masks made from?

5.00-6.30: Face mask filters

6.30-7.00: Where are the masks made and who benefits? 

7.00-7.50: How to insert filters and how to wash them

7.50-8.25: How to care for your mask.

How To Use A Cloth Mask/ Face Covering?

As viruses can live on the surface of the mask, please take note of the following recommendations:

  • Don’t touch the front of the mask when wearing it and be mindful when taking it off.
  • Each individual should have at least two masks- wear one, wash one.
  • Depending on your routine and habits, you may want to consider having a larger set of masks so you can change them more frequently.
  • Although masks are washable and reusable, each person should preferably have their own designated masks.


Extra precautionary measures:

  • Children under 2 should not wear a face mask.
  • Children ages 2 and up should be supervised at all times when wearing a mask. (In the UK, children under 11 years don’t have to wear a mask.)
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing, or unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask. 




How to wash your mask 

Washing machines do a great job at cleaning masks.

40c-60c with detergent will kill viruses.

You can wash your mask with your normal laundry.

They can easily be washed by hand too.

Soak your mask in very hot soapy water for at least 15 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly.


Our non-woven fabric filters can also be washed and reused.

Up to 90C but 40c-60c is sufficient. 

Wash in machine:  As they are quite small they are better washed in a mesh wash bag.

By hand: Simply boil the kettle and pout hot water over filters. Wait til the water cools add a small amount of detergent, wash and dry. No need to scrub.




How to wear your mask

  • Wash your hands before handling your mask
  • Insert the filter if using one
  • Ensure the masks fits your face- make it tighter by knotting the elastic ear loops smaller
  • Once on, try not to touch your mask or adjust it. If you must, wash your hands before and after.


How to remove your mask

  • Wash your hands before handling the mask.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and moth when taking the mask off.
  • Hold the mask by the ear loops and pull it away from the face.
  • Put the mask straight into your laundry basket or other designated container.
  • Wash your hands afterwards.


How often should I change my mask?

After every use. Or at least daily.

 What can I use as a filter?

Our masks are made with high quality fabrics that provides some filtration so they can be worn as is. But they also have a filter pocket so a filter can be inserted if wanted. New research is emerging everyday on what material can filter particles as small as the Coronavirus.

We use heavy weight melt blown non- woven interfacing fabric for our filters. This material is readily available in fabric shops and is similar to polypropylene which disposable masks are made from.  This fabric can be washed up to 90c which makes it possible to sterilise and reuse them. Washing them at 40c is sufficient.

Like with many other fabrics on the market, no research or tests have been conducted on the effectiveness against COVID-19.

Kitchen roll or tissue paper, both materials easily found at home, are also good alternatives. If soaked in salt solution, they are even more efficient.

You can learn how to make your own saline soaked filters here. 


masks donated

Since we started our mask project in April 2020 we have given away 100’s of masks to those in need. When we launched our online collection we did a “buy one donate one” scheme. For every mask you bought we gave one to someone in need locally. Front line workers, volunteers, high risk and vulnerable people on low income.

We have been working with local charities and volunteer groups to get the masks where they are needed the most.

Southdown Housing

East Brighton Food Cooperative

The Carer’s Centre For Brighton and Hove

Time To Talk – Befriending   plus many more smaller groups and individuals.

purple community fund

It has now got to a point where we can’t keep up with the mask making at our Brighton studio. We are a very small team and there aren’t enough hands here to create more masks.

So from the 19th of May 2020 onwards we will instead be donating 15% of our masks takings to our favourite charity Purple Community FundThis works out about £1- £1.50 per mask which goes a long way.

The money raised from of one of our masks will provide 6 masks or 2kg of rice in Tondo Manila. 

PCF is an incredible charity doing amazing work in the Philippines supporting the most vulnerable communities.

We know that the funds goes directly where they are needed and it is not run by greedy CEO’s.

If you want to know more about our personal connection to this charity and Sibel’s voluntering adventure in Luzon, check out this blog post.

Currently all the donations raised from our mask sales goes towards helping the children in these communities continuing their studies as Covid has had a big impact on this. 

I really recommend checking out their website, follow them on social media and keep up to date with what they do. They also make incredible upcycled products. The perfect ethical gifts.

pounds raised

Infinity Foods– Brighton

Waste Not Shop – Brighton

Harriets of Hove – Hove

The Float Spa– Hove

ESSE Spa and Retail– Melbourn Cambridgeshire

Natures Corner– Newbury

Jarr Market– London

 Have you purchased a mask from one of our stockist?



For every mailing list sign up we donate an extra 50p to Purple Community Fund.  

We don’t send any spam don’t worry.

Leftover Threads is committed to ethical design and high standards.  In the time of COVID-19, this means following recommendations from experts, try to keep up-to-date with the latest research, and making the right choices. However things are changing daily, so always do your own research and make up your mind on what is right for you. 
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