In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) commissioned the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) to look into other options for disinfecting homes and workplaces. This was undertaken to mitigate global alcohol shortage, and cope with the sudden surge in demands of alcohol disinfectant at medical facilities as well as home and workplace environments.
Lab studies conducted by METI/NITE have proven that some cleaning actives also known as surfactants, when used at the right levels, can be effective against SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19. Test findings by Japan’s NITE have confirmed that there is a significant reduction in the virus count on items or surfaces that are exposed to a surfactant diluted to 0.05%-0.2% for twenty seconds to five minutes.
According to the review committee of experts, these seven types of surfactants are commonly found in household products like dishwashing liquids.
Sodium linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (0.1% or more);
Alkyl glycoside (0.1% or more);
Alkylamine oxide (0.05% or more);
Benzalkonium chloride (0.05% or more);
Benzethonium chloride (0.05% or more) (newly added on May 28, 2020);
Dialkyldimethyl ammonium chloride (0.01% or more) (newly added on May 28, 2020); and
Polyoxyethylene alkylether (0.2% or more)
With this research confirming more accessible ways to disinfect your homes and workplaces, dishwashing liquids containing these ingredients can benefit Filipinos and serve as a reliable substitute to alcohol-based disinfectant. This would mean convenience and better value for money given the product’s multi-purpose use of disinfecting various items, not just in the kitchen but other household items as well.
New solution to disinfecting against SARS-CoV-2
Japan METI/NITE recommends the solution ratio of one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid mixed in 500ml water. To sanitize, wipe all items or surfaces with a cloth soaked in this solution. Ensure to squeeze excess liquid out of the cloth to prevent the liquid from dripping. Wipe firmly in one direction to prevent spreading dirt and virus. Leave the items or surfaces to rest with the mixture for about five minutes. Then, wipe off the soap solution with a cloth soaked in water. Finally, wipe dry all items and surfaces with another clean cloth.
About a month ago health experts said face mask should be worn only when necessary (mag mask ka lang kung may ubo at sipon ka). But wearing face mask has now become necessary to be worn when going out because of the pandemic.
The lack of supply in the market has driven many to make their own face mask using different types of colorful fabric.
Depending on your method, you might need some or all of the following:
Needle and thread
Sewing machine (if you have one)
Rubber band or elastics
The ideal fabric is tightly woven 100% cotton
Try to avoid anything with too much stretch
In a pinch, if you don’t have cotton, you can use pillowcases, tea towels, thick T-shirts or vacuum bags
Scarves and bandannas also work
How to make a mask with fabric without sewing:
Use a square scarf or a cut a large square out of a T-shirt (at least 20 inches by 20 inches).
Fold two sides of the square in to meet each other in the middle then fold this in half lengthwise. You should be left with a long rectangle with the edges sandwiched inside.
Grab two hair ties (or rubber bands) and pull one around each end of the long rectangle, roughly breaking the rectangle into thirds. (It should almost look like a candy wrapper.)
Fold each outside third of fabric into the center.
Pull the mask on by fitting the hair elastic around ears and making sure the end tails of fabric are against your face so the mask stays put.
How to make a face mask with fabric using needle and thread:
Cut two pieces of fabric that are equally sized (measure your face to see how wide/long you need them to be).
Take the two layers of your 100% cotton fabric or substitute. If you’re working with patterns, face the two sides together (like you’re making a sandwich).
Place the elastic or ties (*see instructions below) in between the layers and sew them into the corner. For elastics, sew one at each end so it creates a loop on each side. For ties, use one piece at each corner so there are four total.
Make three staggered pleats lengthwise on the mask, as if folding a paper fan. Then sew all the way around. This will make a rectangular mask.
How to make a face mask with fabric using a sewing machine:
Cut four pieces of fabric that are equally sized (measure your face to see how wide/long you need them to be).
Pair up two of the four pieces together so they are symmetrical. Sew the center seams (curved part that covers your nose) together. Repeat with the remaining two pieces.
Get your ties ready (*see instructions below). Take one tie from the 11-inch piece and one from the 9.5-inch piece. The longer piece will go on the top of the mask (where it would touch your nose) and the shorter will go on the bottom.
Place the two sewn pieces of fabric on top of each other (like a sandwich) so they’re symmetrical. Place ties on the corners of one side of the mask. They should meet the edge of the mask and then go inside of the mask.
On the edge of the mask, you should see the following: one layer of mask, the ribbon/tie and another layer of mask. Sew the edges so they are all sewn together.
Next, repeat this step for the other side with your remaining ties, making sure to pair ties up so they’re the same length and are symmetrical on both sides. Sew around the mask but keep one side open so you can turn the mask inside out.
Turn it inside out and sew the gap closed.
How to make elastics for your mask:
To make your elastics, you can use ribbon or more of the fabric you’re using for the mask.
You will roughly need one 11-inch and one 9.5-inch long strip of fabric, both of which are 1 inch in width.
Cut the two strips in half and place them aside (follow sewing instructions for the mask above).
Images and steps in doing the face mask is not mine.