How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

The world we live in today is one in which everything can happen, and that means that planning for various survival situations is imperative. Being prepared even in the most dangerous situations is equivalent to knowing how to make all kinds of homemade DIY items that can save your life in the event of a disaster.

One of the skills you have to master is how to make a gas mask quickly, because there are a series of dangerous events that occur frequently, such as a fire or a terrorist attack, when having a gas mask can make the difference between life and death. .

Principles of the construction of a sound gas mask

As such, a gas mask is something that filters toxins into the air using the principle of adsorption and the principle of safety. The items bought in the store have these characteristics, and some of the most competent are better when it comes to adsorption and security, since they can filter out more foreign substances and be more effective even in increasingly toxic environments.

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

On the other hand, DIY gas masks are just makeshift items, and given the fact that you do not have top quality materials or state-of-the-art tools at your disposal to make sure everything is airtight and works flawlessly, you may encounter problems . When it comes to both adsorption and safety.

That said, a quick analysis of these two key principles will help you understand how to make a better homemade gas mask.


There is an important difference between absorption Y adsorption. The first term refers to the process of encapsulating a substance, while the adsorption refers to the deposit of a certain substance on a surface. In other words, you do not want your gas mask to be absorbent, but absorbent, which means that it is able to filter out all kinds of dangerous particles and gases that might otherwise get stuck in your nose or lungs and damage your respiratory system, leaving you unconscious

The adsorption can be increased with the appropriate chemical reactions, taking into account that some substances interact and repel or attract each other. As such, if the air particles you want to counteract have a positive charge, you must use a substrate with a negative charge for your gas mask, such as activated carbon or zeolites. The effectiveness of this principle has already been confirmed even in the most common situations: in case of fire, it is good to know that covering your mouth and nose with a damp cloth is a good idea.

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

Conversely, this principle works only when it comes to particles that are the direct result of combustion, such as a fire or an explosion, but it does not work as well when it comes to toxic gases or pathogens in the air.


The absorption also has an important role in the construction of a gas mask, since the filter not only has to separate dangerous substances from the air, but must retain them. So, if the filter is not very absorbent, the durability and resistance of your gas mask can be compromised.

As such, if the filter can not absorb more dangerous chemicals or particles, it will no longer protect it, which means that it will be the same as having no masks. That is why it is advisable to place some type of sealing cap on the air filter to avoid damage. But age, humidity and heat are also factors to consider when it comes to the safety of your gas mask, as they change the chemical composition of the filter.

For example, you can build a gas mask today and you do not need to use it for a few years. But even if you have not used it at all until then, it can still be damaged due to the factors listed above. So it is better to check the functionality of your gas mask, so as not to risk it becoming totally useless. Even the oldest military gas masks degrade over time, so do not count on the efficiency of a very old item, which may not have been kept in the best condition, as it can put your life in danger instead of save it

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

In addition, it is always better to keep up with news about dangerous substances, since scientific discoveries are constantly being made, and a substance that was considered safe a few decades ago could be dangerous today. It is the case of blue asbestos that was introduced in the filters of the gas masks used in World War II, of which we now know that it is dangerous and can cause lung cancer. In addition, chromium is another substance that can lead to cancer.

Therefore, even if you do not make your own gas mask and do not buy one in the store, or if you only buy a filter to replace the old one, it is best to check if it does not contain asbestos or another dangerous substance. However, even if that is not the case, some gas masks, for example, may use rubber in their construction, which, while not dangerous in itself, will be damaged over time. This can cause cracks and leaks, making their gas masks completely unusable.

There is one more thing that can alter the safety of your gas mask, especially if it is a standard: your facial hair. That’s because it makes it less tight, no matter how long or short the facial hair is.

When do you need a gas mask?

Good things happen to good people all the time and today’s world is not exempt from different natural disasters or caused by man, when dangerous substances are produced or used, such as:

  • A fire. Dust and ash can easily get stuck in your nose and lungs, causing you to faint before you get safe.
  • An earthquake Fires are more likely to occur during an earthquake, but you may also be immobilized with a lot of dust around you due to the collapse of your office building or your home. Having a gas mask on hand can save your life.
  • Terrorist bombings. In Iraq 2007, a group of terrorist terrorists used chlorine gas in their attacks, which managed to injure a few hundred people. Who says that can not happen to us? Even if some gases are not necessary lethal, they can make you very sick. Otherwise, it is better to be safe than sorry and be prepared.
  • Unrest CS gas and tear gas are often used to dissuade protesters from continuing their actions, and if you get stuck in the middle and unfortunately have asthma or other lung conditions, these gases can be lethal to you.

All these circumstances require something to keep your respiratory system protected in various emergency situations when air pollution occurs due to:

  • Smoke
  • Particles
  • Infectious agents.
  • Airborne diseases.
  • Chemical products

But you can use a gas mask even in more peaceful conditions, such as when you need to paint your garage door.

Buy a gas mask or make one on your own?

It is no secret that someone can even buy military-grade gas masks at various stores, whether online or not, but they have some disadvantages, such as the high retail price and the need for regular maintenance.

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

The good thing is that they offer the guarantee of quality and safety. However, even if you buy the best gas mask that exists, you can not take it with you wherever you go, because that would generate suspicion in other people, not to mention that it would be quite uncomfortable, it simply can not. put it in your briefcase since it would not fit.

The alternative to buying a gas mask is to make one on your own, using materials that you probably already have in your home and that are quite affordable in case you do not. On the opposite side, a DIY gas mask can protect it to some extent against fire or dust particles, but it is not as effective as a standard or military gas mask when it comes to biological or chemical attacks.

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

The filters, fibers, vents and valves used by top-notch military gas masks can filter even the most dangerous chemicals in the air, but a home-made one is only a last resort that will never have the same quality.

However, a homemade gas mask can be a fun project and can help you in some circumstances when you need protection.

The best ways to make a gas mask.

The gas mask soda bottle

This is a good DIY project, which offers some benefits:

  • Protection of a large number of dangerous substances.
  • Easy and quick to do – less than 15 minutes.
  • You do not need many materials.
  • You do not need much experience.
  • It’s cheap – less than $ 5.

The items you need are:

  • Sharp cutting tool.
  • Permanent marker.
  • glue
  • A bottle of half a gallon soda.
  • Insulating strip of foam covered with rubber: minimum 1 inch wide.
  • A mask of particles N95.

The steps you must follow are:

  1. Clean the plastic bottle and remove the labels.
  2. With the marker, draw a U-shaped area that should be large enough to fit your face. It should not be bigger than that, so that the mask is airtight, but neither should it be uncomfortable.
  3. Cut around the U-shape with a razor or an exact knife, and also remove the bottom. Adjust the shape until it fits perfectly.
  4. Place the foam rubber insulation on the edges of the bottle to create a seal.
  5. Make a circle of foam insulation inside the bottle, where you will place the N95 mask that acts as a filter.
  6. Place the N95 mask 2 inches above the peak.
  7. Cut the edge of the N95 mask carefully, leaving enough to seal the edges.
  8. Place the N95 inside the neck of the bottle, pointing the filter outwards and downwards towards the peak.
  9. Use the elastic bands of the N95 mask to attach the gas mask to your face.

For safe maintenance and best maintenance, put the finished gas mask in a sealed plastic bag or in an airtight container.

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

To make sure that your filter is not contaminated, and that you can use it with confidence in emergency situations.

Making the air filter for your gas mask.

To protect it even more from dangerous gases, you can make an air filtration system to accompany the gas mask of the soda bottle.

How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

Certainly, it will not be as high quality or as efficient as military quality, but it will better filter some toxins and particles in the air, offering better protection against tear gas, for example.

The items you need are:

  • 2 bottles of one quart each.
  • Razor blade.
  • Activated carbon.
  • Pillow stuffing. If you do not have pillow stuffing, use rags from old shirts, socks or cotton balls.
  • Scotch tape.
  • Rubber hose or old vacuum hose.
  • Soap and water

The steps you must follow are:

  1. Cut the top of the bottle, using the razor blade to leave a cylinder open.
  2. Fill the bottom of the bottle with 3-4 inches of activated carbon. This will absorb harmful gases, efficiently filtering the air from chlorine and carbon-based chemicals.
  3. Cut the bottom of the other bottle, cutting 1-2 inches with the razor blade. Remember to leave the lid on.
  4. Place 3-4 inches of pillow stuffing inside the top of this bottle. The pillow filling works well to remove air pollutants such as dust, ash and tear gas.
  5. Slide the bottles together and use masking tape to close them. It will create a seal and finish the air filter.
  6. With the razor blade, make some holes in your filter, at the end where the carbon is, to allow air to enter. Do not do this until you really need to use the filter, or else activated carbon will. It only absorbs moisture from the air, making it totally inefficient when you really need it most.
  7. Clean a rubber hose or old vacuum hose with soap and water.
  8. Use the rubber hose to connect the bottom of your air mask to the filter. Use masking tape to seal the closed ends.
  9. Remove the lid of your filter only when you need to use it. Otherwise, the carbon will absorb the moisture in the air and the filter will become useless.
  10. Replace the activated carbon each time you use the filter. Each use means that the activated carbon will absorb chemicals and will be filled and, therefore, will be inefficient.

The gas mask of 1942.

Apparently, chemical warfare was a big problem in 1942, and people learned how to protect themselves from that by making their own gas masks, for which they needed:

  • Can or ordinary can.
  • Swimming cap. This is the mask that comes on your face.
  • Elastic
  • Tissues
  • Fly the thugs.
  • Charcoal and soda. This is wrapped in two layers of tissues and packaged in the can.
  • Puff pastry box. This has a transparent cover, and it is the window through which the user looks.
  • Scotch tape.
  • Respirator tube
  • Knife
  • Cable
  • Plastic wrap.

The steps you must follow are:

  1. With a knife, make an X shape on top of the soda can.
  2. Pass the tube through the hole, but do not push it completely.
    • Drill a hole through the fins of the can and the end of the snorkel tube.
    • Insert a wire through the holes and bend the ends of this wire to secure the assembly.
    • Wrap the end of the can and the joint with the tube with adhesive plastic and tape.
    • Crush the charcoal, mix it with water or soda lime until it becomes a paste, then dry it.
    • Place one handkerchief on the base of the can and another one on top of it to prevent carbon dust from entering the tube and your lungs.
    • Put the coal in the can.
    • Glue a handkerchief over the end of the can and cut the excess.

    In conclusion, if you do not have enough time to make a better gas mask because you have just started a fire or if you have been trapped under the rubble caused by an earthquake, you can improvise a very rudimentary gas mask from a T shirt. This can potentially save your life, as it manages to block some of the dust or ashes in the air.

    How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

    To do this, all you need is a shirt or other item of cotton clothing, which is torn to cover your nose and mouth with the strips. If you can moisten it before it actually covers your airway with it, it will be even more efficient.

    If, on the other hand, someone has been firing tear gas, use cider vinegar instead of water, because it will protect you from inhalation. It will not protect you for long, if it is stuck somewhere, but if you are moving to a safe place and can escape from the dangerous area, you can do the trick.

    In conclusion

    Even though you are not in immediate danger, knowing how to protect yourself in the event of a gas leak is definitely very useful information.

    How to Make A Gas Mask: Basic Principles And Methods

    Hoping that we have been able to help you with the necessary information, we await your opinion in the comments.


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