Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the ion capture filter efficiency last and how can it be regenerated?
Unlike conventional face coverings that must be disposed of after a single use, ION Clairety products are reusable and maintain high levels of filtering efficiency after more than 50 launderings. The laundering process removes particulates bound to the ionic fabrics while at the same time killing filtered microbes. Laundering restores the high filtration efficiency more economically and environmentally sustainable than single-use conventional masks.
We recommend gentle, hypoallergenic detergents using a “normal”, warm water wash cycle and a warm dryer setting, conditions sufficient to kill and remove more than 99.9% of microbes and other particles. When washing the ION Wrap, attach/close the "hook & loop" to avoid snagging to the fabrics. When washing and drying, a mesh bag is recommended to protect the garment from damage from other items in the laundry. Our garments will function after more than 50 washes using hot, sterilizing wash and dryer conditions of approximately 160°C as are prescribed for reusable medical garments. You may air dry.
Do not use bleach, fabric softeners, or anti-static dryer sheets. Do not dry clean. Do not wash with heavily soiled clothes.
Continued exposure to hot laundering conditions may shorten product lifetime.
See our Care Instructions for more information about machine and hand washing and drying.
How often must I launder your products?
Laundering removes bound particles and regenerates the ion capture functionality while killing more than 99.9% of bound microbes. Wash frequency depends on particle type and its concentration. Daily laundering is recommended after significant exposure to or by persons with active respiratory infections or when working in conditions with high levels of industrial or environmental airborne contaminants. Filtration efficiency greater than 90% is maintained after more than 20 hours of wear time between washes. Microbes bound to the fabric do not significantly dissociate when touching, but to minimize concerns of contamination we suggest turning the garment inside out when removing it from the face.
For those wearing face coverings on a daily basis, we recommend purchasing additional garments while used ones await laundering.
Application of a small spot of your favorite fragrant essential oil to the garment label can help to control any odor. Use of a small amount (less than 10% of the recommended quantity) of in-wash scent pellets such as Downy or Arm & Hammer will provide a subtle, pleasant sensation that is not overwhelming.
Do not use fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as they can cause a reduction of filtration efficiency.
See our Care Instructions for more information about machine and hand washing and drying.
What is your Return Policy?
Our products are tested to be free of material defects, disinfected and sealed in sterile packaging. Due to the personal use nature we cannot accept returns. If your garment does not fit as well as desired we suggest giving it to someone who it will fit better. See our Return Policy.
If you receive a damaged product or the product is not what you ordered, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The special ionic fabrics are sheer and will show signs of wear particularly if exposed to harsher wearing and washing conditions. Replace your garment when there are signs of wear that might compromise fit and filtration.
How do I select the correct size?
Optimal filtration performance of the ION Gaiter and ION Wrap requires a snug but comfortable fit around both the face and neck. Two measurements are considered in optimal sizing: Head Circumference and Neck Circumference. See our sizing charts for both products, ION Gaiter & ION Wrap.
Current sizes offered are: XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL.
Some wearers are more tolerant of snug fitting devices around the face and neck. Our experience with most people objecting to face filtering devices is that tolerance can be learned or conditioned. Persons with psychological objections to tighter fit can consider wearing the next larger size as it will still provide a high level of protection.
How does ion capture filtration compare to conventional particle size-exclusion masks?
Most masks on the market since COVID-19 are not certified by the FDA & NIOSH. Many make claims of high filtration efficiencies measured under conditions of a perfect seal around the periphery. In actual use a perfect fit cannot be maintained such that practical efficiencies are much lower. See our testing comparisons of filtration efficiencies of dozens of commercially available masks.
Beware of cloth mask designs with removable, non-woven filter inserts that claim high filtration efficiency determined under "Perfect seal" conditions rather than an actual use fit. Such designs lack a tight seal around the face and the addition of a filter insert further restricts breathing to the point significant air escapes around the edges of the insert paradoxically resulting in much poorer filtration than claimed.
Will touching the outside of the fabric result in contamination of my hands?
In theory microbes captured on the fabric could be transferred to the hands by touching the face covering. This is termed fomite transmission. Experimental evidence indicates fomite transmission is a very minor source of respiratory disease transmission. Fomite transmission can be greatly minimized by how one dons and removes our garments. If fomite transmission is a concern, gloves and handwashing are recommended.
How well do garments minimize shedding of infectious agents when worn by infected persons?
Effective face coverings should not only protect uninfected persons from airborne contaminants (infiltration) but should also minimize microbes shed by infected wearers (exfiltration). Good fit is required to achieve highest levels of both infiltration and exfiltration protection. Avoid respirator designs with 1-way air flow valves intended to improve breathability. Those designs offer little if any exfiltration benefit and give very minor relief from heat and moisture. Exfiltration efficiencies show the superior performance of the ION Gaiter and ION Wrap when compared to conventional face masks and respirators.
What types of particles are filtered?
Most conventional masks are tested for filtration efficiencies using aerosolized salt particles in sizes ranging from 0.3 microns and greater. This testing assumes salt particles are filtered at about the same efficiency as hazardous environmental particles. It should be understood that virus particles have sizes in the range of 0.01 micron or 30 times less than the smallest salt particles used to certify filter efficiencies. We make no such assumptions and instead we measure filtration efficiency on relevant airborne agents to include bacteria, virus, mold, fungus, pollen, and several other dry particle industrial dusts under simulated wearing fits and conditions. See our Industrial/Environmental Testing results.
How do I best fit your three styles?
N95 respirators approved for medical use require training on how to fit and performance of a fit test each time the device is donned. ION Clairety designs because of their superior breathability are easily pulled up over the face and do not require training or fit testing to assure the highest level of filtration.
Is ion capture the same as electrostatic filtration?
Ion capture is a different mechanism. Some mask designs claim added filtration efficiency due to negative electrostatic charges such as those generated by rubbing materials together also termed “Tribo Electric Effect”. Increasing the electric charge on a filter matrix can aid in the attraction of oppositely charged particles. However, it should be understood that environmentally generated electrostatic charge is quickly dissipated by the moisture in breath or other high humidity conditions and does not significantly increase filtration efficiency beyond the size exclusion mechanisms of conventional masks.
Beware of manufacturers claiming electrostatic filtration unless practical data under actual wearer conditions is provided. ION Clairety technology is based on fabrics with permanent positive and negative charges in the fabric’s molecular structure that are not dissipated by moisture and breathing. Virtually all airborne particles have inherent positive and/or negative charges and it is because of this that our ionic fabrics filter superior to conventional non-woven, size exclusion filters. See our video Ion Capture Technology.
How do your designs improve on objections to comfort such as face irritation, heat/moisture buildup and fogging of eyewear?
Because we use relatively open weave ionic fabrics, the breathability measured as pressure drop is 6 to 10 times better than a tightly fitted N95 respirator. With less air flow resistance, inhaled and exhaled air will go through the fabric rather than around the periphery as we see with conventional non-woven filter material. When comfort is problematic, we see people wearing masks improperly and thus failing to achieve good filtration. Our design uses comfortable foam across the face with easy-to-position elastic bands sewn under the fabric for a comfortable and secure fit.
Some people complain about sensations of insufficient oxygen when wearing any face covering. We performed studies of the physiological effects of mask wearing by measuring respiration and heart rates and blood oxygen levels using human subjects. Very tightly fitted, non-woven respirators like the N95 measurably increase heart and respiration rates to the point that subjects with related health issues may not be able to wear them. Our breathable fabrics insignificantly affect heart and respiration rates and as such should enable better wearer compliance.
Despite what should be insignificant physiological affects, some of our volunteers still reported anxieties when covering their faces. These psychological affects have been described in various papers and represent a valid objection to conventional mask wearing. In our efforts to understand how to deal with these objections many of the subjects with psychological objections were able to successfully adapt to our designs after some practice and conditioning.
Are you a US company and what are your policies towards environmental sustainability?
ION Clairety LLC is fully owned and operated by US citizens who developed and patented the technology. Our materials of necessity come from overseas. “Cut & sew” operations are currently performed in China but final performance of critical manufacturing steps of quality control and sterile packaging are performed in the US. As for environmental sustainability, first and foremost our garments are reusable. This means you will not likely see them littering a parking lot or filling up dump sites or requiring incineration for proper disposal.
When compared to single-use disposable designs like the N95 respirator and surgical masks, our designs offer a much lower cost option when factoring that each garment can be washed and re-worn more than 50 times.
What is the difference between your 3 garment designs: ION Gaiter, ION Wrap & ION Scarf?
The ION Gaiter and ION Wrap are designed for maximum protection. The ION Gaiter simply pulls over the head and can be worn around the neck when not needed. Some wearers wish to avoid pulling over the head due to hair, makeup or jewelry. The open-ended ION Wrap goes around the neck joined with a VELCRO®-like “hook & loop” attachment in the back. Like the ION Gaiter, it is worn around the neck until needed and simply pulled up over the nose to provide a secure comfortable foam fit.
The ION Scarf is intended for more casual and fashionable use in public settings like public transportation, shopping malls etc. when a serious health risk from known airborne contaminants is not believed to be significant. Because the ION Scarf is not as tightly fitted over the face and neck, it may not filter as well. In our experiments, the ION Scarf gave filtration efficiencies ranging from 70% to 90% compared to >95% for the ION Gaiter and ION Wrap. As such, the ION Scarf filters more efficiently than conventional surgical face masks and multilayer cloth masks which provide only around 40% infiltration efficiency.
Are your fabrics treated with anti-microbial agents like silver, copper, or zinc?
Our products are not treated with toxic metals or other antimicrobial agents. There is no evidence such treatments kill bacteria and virus during the short millisecond exposure times as breath passes through the fabric. Periodic laundering of our products is sufficient to remove and kill any microbial contaminants and is more effective than relying on chemically impregnated fabrics that may be toxic to the wearer and environment.
Do all gaiter-like designs provide acceptable filtration for the general public?
Our designs have exceeded the highest level of performance criteria for public use as endorsed by the FDA in the ASTM F3502-21 testing standards. This testing was performed by an independent accredited laboratory testing service.
Gaiter-like designs constructed from a single layer of spandex or LYCRA® marketed pre-COVID-19 were designed for UV protection and warmth and do not provide good filtration of small particles. Other multiple layer gaiter-like designs on the market even with non-woven filter inserts are not as efficient as our ion capture technology. See our mask comparisons results.
Are your designs approved by the FDA and NIOSH?
Our designs were tested following performance criteria espoused by the FDA and published in ASTM F3502-21 standard testing methods. Data from an independent certified test laboratory confirmed high filtration efficiency, high breathability and freedom from allergic reactions. See these Independent Lab test results for Bacterial Filtration, Particle Filtration, Breathability Differential Pressure, Flammability and Injection Sensitivity, Sensitivivazation & Toxicity under Technical Performance Data on Our Technology page. These results confirmed the highest (Level 2) performance for devices intended for use by the general public.
Our devices have not been approved for medical use or for all industrial settings.
We are in the process of filing for FDA & NIOSH certifications but certification of next-generation devices using non-traditional filtration physics will take time to achieve. Regulatory agencies use testing apparatus and specifications that evolved around conventional size-exclusion filtration of the N95.
We are working with the industry stakeholders to obtain independent validation of ion capture devices. Until regulatory agencies can certify our devices, we are not allowed to recommend replacement of conventional devices approved for medical or industrial venues.
How much does shipping cost?
Standard shipping and handling are free to addresses within the United States. Expedited shipping to United States addresses can be selected and will be added to the cost of the product at checkout. For customers with only a PO Box address, we can only ship through the United States Postal Service. We are currently only shipping to addresses within the United States and Canada. A $25.00 USD shipping fee will be added to shipments to Canada. See our Shipping Policy.
How well do your products protect against environmental and non-infectious particles?
We have tested filtration against various airborne particles such as mold & fungus spores, pollen, smoke, and cutting & sanding dusts from silicon, wood, paint and drywall and have demonstrated the same high levels of filtration efficiency exceeding N95 respirators. We recommend our product for poor outdoor air quality, for yard work and home hobbies generating airborne particles.
When and where should I wear a face covering?
Face filtering devices can reduce health risks. Unfortunately, difficult to fit designs like surgical masks, N95 or KN95 masks together with inherent comfort objections limit the benefits of face coverings. Our data shows conventional surgical mask designs because of large gaps around the edges only filter about 40% of the airborne microbes. The N95 and KN95 designs while inherently more effective, do not practically achieve 95% filtration efficiency due to breathability restrictions such that about 20% of air avoids filtration even when properly fitted.
While we cannot wear even more comfortable face covering designs all the time, anything we can do to reduce the time of exposure and resultant dosage of the airborne agent can reduce the likelihood of getting disease and its severity. This logic applies not only to airborne infectious disease agents but to environmental and industrial hazards.
1. Wear in crowded environments like public transportation venues.
2. Wear in doctor offices and other medical facilities.
3. Wear when you are ill or symptomatic. The filtration of exhalation microbes will greatly reduce the spread to family, work associates as well as the general public.
4. Wear a well-designed face covering during outdoor activities with high levels of airborne particulates like pollen, dust, mold spores and smoke encountered during lawncare, gardening, and landscaping etc.
5. Wear in work environments to reduce inhalation of industrial, construction, and chemical dusts.
6. Immune compromised or individuals with strong allergies may want to extend wearing times and venues.