Mask hack: can you blow a candle out through your mask?

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — In Shelby County, masks are required for anybody older than 12.

It doesn’t seem like masks will be going away anytime soon, so there’s never been a better time to buy a few extras.

RELATED: Face masks mandatory in Shelby County, officials announce

But with so many stores selling them now, how do you actually know what works and what doesn’t?

You may have seen demonstrations on Facebook where people try to blow out candles while wearing masks. They say if you can blow the flame out, or even move the flame, too much air is escaping from your mask and it may not be effective.

RELATED: Memphis releases mask ordinance protocols

FOX13′s sister station in Boston interviewed Glenn Gaudette, a biomedical engineering professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He agreed. He said a tight fit was key and a mask should be flush against your face to keep air droplets carrying the virus from entering and exiting your mouth and nose.

Gaudette said adding a coffee filter inside your mask isn’t a bad idea, either. He compared it to a tightly woven chain-link fence, preventing things from getting in or out.

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“The virus is kind of like the size of a golf ball, so a golf ball can get through a chain-link fence, but if you start adding more and more chain link fences, now it’s going to be harder and harder for that golf ball to exit or enter,” he said.

In the video above, you can see FOX13′s Leah Jordan demonstrating the candle test with an N95 mask, a surgical mask, and a homemade mask.

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