A No Sew, No Fog Mask Made With a Scarf and a Sanitary Napkin

I’ve posted this on my Facebook and Instagram already, but I’m posting it here to provide a bit more information. For the record, I did not invent the idea to use a sanitary napkin as a filter and moisture collector. It is something that was done by some in Africa during the Ebola crisis. I’m just reminding people of this option, and providing a possible design.

To make this, you need a long scarf, about the size of the average dupatta or pashmina or shoulder shawl, a couple of large safety pins or a safety pin and an elastic clip, and an “ultra” (thin superabsorbent) sanitary napkin with wings.

The reason to opt for a scarf over a brief mask is a combination of comfort and containment. A scarf isn’t going to chafe as much, and your mouth and nose are fully covered at least by cloth regardless of the direction you turn your head. Sweat will also be caught and wicked away from your skin, making it less likely that you’ll want to touch your face, reach to scratch under the mask, etc. It may be good for kids or people who tend to forget.

A big problem with most masks is fogging. It makes using a conventional mask useless for me because within a few minutes, I can’t see. If you are wearing glasses and/or goggles or a face shield, you need a pad that will really suck and divert moisture away from the eye area.

No Sew No Fog Mask 1

You need a scarf and a sanitary napkin and pins or a pin and an elastic clip.

No Sew No Fog Mask 2

Remove the backing and stick the pad in the scarf a few centimeters from the center top edge of the scarf.

No Sew No Fog Mask 3

Fold the top edge down so it covers one of the wings, but leaves the center of the pad uncovered.

No Sew No Fog Mask 4

Pleat along the bottom edge 4 or 5 times so you have what to grab. These folds are going to be what you clip or pin.

No Sew No Fog Mask 5

Estimate about where behind one of your ears or the back of your head would be and pin or clip there depending on which you opted for. Make sure you’ve grabbed all the tops of the pleats or it’ll be dangling unevenly.

No Sew No Fog Mask 6

Place the scarf so that the center of the pad is over your nose and mouth, and clip or pin it to a comfortable tightness. It needs to stay on, but should not cut off circulation. The back should be just below or just above the “hump” of the back of your head.

No Sew No Fog Mask

Bring the outer edges of the scarf around to the front by crossing them. You can make further adjustments. Make sure you can breathe freely. Then pin the scarf in place under your chin.

At this point I’ve been wearing it over an hour, and my glasses aren’t fogging up at all. Feel free to use this design and invent your own. Be safe and well out there everyone.  Ashe!


My pronouns are whatever you're comfortable with as long as you speak to me with respect. I'm an Afruikan and Iswa refugee living in Canaan. That's African American expat in Israel in Normalian. I build websites, make art, and assist people in exercising their spirituality. I'm also the king of an ile, Baalat Teva, a group of African spirituality adherents here. Feel free to contact me if you are in need of my services or just want to chat.

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  • You’ve read the article, now get the t-shirt! :-D