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Masks, covid (neutral question) 

Does anyone know of anywhere in the US to buy a sampler pack of N95s or equivalent? My teenager will not tolerate the smell of the Aura (even after airing out), and the model that I know worked has been discontinued. I’d like to get a variety pack to find out what works instead.

Masks, covid (neutral question) - one answer 

Two different people on twitter suggested this sample pack:

armbrustusa.com/a/s/products/a

Also I now know why samplers are hard to come by; they aren’t certified by NIOSH if not in original packaging. So Armbrust is selling the bundle to help people find the best choice for them while stipulating that the sampler masks are no longer certified. They claim they’re selling the sampler below cost, FWIW.

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@gannet I get mine from the local hardware store. Specifically Ace.

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@ConsoleWitch do they sell a sample pack? I would like to get one of each of several kinds in a bundle to find one that works well.

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@gannet oh, i misunderstood. No, you're probably going to have to buy some of each or get friends to give you a sample of what they use. Maybe try your local buy-nothing group?

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@ConsoleWitch I have had this suggested: armbrustusa.com/a/s/products/a

Because they’re not in original packaging, they’re no longer certified, but they will at least give us a possible range of masks to try on. (And we’ll try to use them despite the loss of certification)

You’re right that I should ask around my friends and neighbors, too. Thanks for that reminder!

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@ConsoleWitch @gannet yes that is what I'd recommend. We bought a few different types and keep the ones we like less as backups. But maybe you can take advantage of others facing similar issues?

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@chiasm I’ve been informed by two different people that they had good luck with this sampler pack!

armbrustusa.com/a/s/products/a

The masks aren’t NIOSH-certified anymore because not in original packaging, but it’s good enough for checking fit and odor. (And we’ll probably use them anyway.)

And also I will ask some friends if they’re willing to share for this purpose.

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@gannet great! I hope you find a good one! 😁

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@gannet also yeah the Aura smells weird, like industrial pickles. i tolerate them because they're the best fit for my face, but i feel that

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@astra they give my kid migraines, alas.

I’m glad you can tolerate them even though they smell bad to you! I love the fit too.

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@astra thank you! That’s very helpful!

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@gannet Probably not helpful but does washing maybe help?

I did it accidentally a few times, and it came out like new - and with my (weak) detergent smell.

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@lakoja that’s an interesting thought, but I’m not sure one is supposed to wash N95s. Worth double checking, though.

Thanks!

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@gannet The only question is if they survive it. And they should/must if they want to have any protective properties. 🙂

Masks, covid (neutral question) 

@lakoja It turns out that laundering disrupts the electrostatic charge that makes N95s good filters.

menshealth.com/health/a3883207

The recommendation I’ve seen for reusing them is to leave them in a brown paper bag for five days between wearings, which kills the germs. After a while, if they get grubby or the elastic wears out, they have to be replaced.

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