If You Are Making A Face Mask Out Of Furnace Filters, Here’s What You Need To Know

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Tons of people are making face masks right now. Whether for themselves, or to donate to medical professionals. Pretty soon I feel we may be required to wear them while out in public.

The CDC has already recommended it, and some places are even charging fines for not wearing a face covering. You really can’t buy the ones that truly protect against COVID-19 anywhere, so we are forced to use homemade ones.

Some people are sewing face masks, others are doing no-sew face masks, and some people are even using thongs and mens underwear as face masks.

Then there are questions on what to use as filters in your face masks. Some people are using furnace filters and that raises even more questions. Just how safe is it to use a furnace filter?

So down the rabbit holes I went. Searching for information to try to help us make decisions.

I found some information on the 3M site that answered some of my questions.


3M Filtrete™ Air Filters are designed to be used in HVAC systems. The filter material has never been tested to be used as a face mask for respiratory protection.

Altering any of the 3M Filtrete™ Air Filters is not recommended or supported by 3M or the Filtrete™ Brand.


I also found a doctor that wrote about his own masks on the Instructables website. I love that site!

Anyhow, he said that he found a filter material that would filter 1 µm particles. He used a filter made of non-woven polypropylene. Not fiberglass! This is important! Do not use filters that contain fiberglass!


He urged those that are making masks to select filter material at your own risk. Read the packaging and even contact the manufacturer to check safety.

He then went on to say that the Blue shop towels may be a reasonable filter material choice.


When choosing your filtering material make sure to research as much as you can. You have to weigh the risks and benefits to what is happening right now.

All I know is something is better than nothing, just be smart about it. I think our homemade cloth masks are probably a better option than what you see below.

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One Comment

  1. So are furnace filters cafe up use of they are not against the skin or not. And set they washable?