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Cloth masks do a good job at keeping in large respiratory droplets that can spread a disease like COVID-19 — the kind of droplets you spit out when coughing or talking. That's why in April the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised "the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others."
But there's another possible benefit to wearing a mask: protecting yourself from droplets. But masks, both homemade and made by vendors, vary in how good they are at keeping out pathogens.
If you're looking to boost your mask's ability to filter out small particles, we've got three tips from researchers who've been testing mask materials in light of the pandemic — including a hack that involves a pair of pantyhose.