I did not expect this one.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones reports on How To Make a Homemade Mask If You Absolutely Have To.

The result may surprise you …

… but not if you read this post’s title.

(The original paper he discusses is here.)


Of the materials they tested, the humble vacuum cleaner bag is almost as good at catching viral-sized particles as a surgical mask.

Mind you, surgical masks are intended more for bacterial-sized particles so this isn’t a stop-the-presses kind of result but it’s pretty good.

The vacuum cleaner bag material stopped 86% of the particles.

And the surgical mask stopped 90%.

So, pretty damn close actually.

And with quality masks being in very short supply these days, this information may be helpful sooner than any of us would like.

It’s definitely better than nothing.

I hope you don’t need to know this, but just in case now you do.

And from us here in California to the rest of you: Hey America: Shut It All Down. The sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.

Stay inside; stay safe.

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