In all my years, I never thought that the average conversations of adults would revolve around toilet paper and face masks and the like. But, here we are. And thankfully, because things like this are becoming so commonplace, folks are constantly revising and life-hacking everyday to make items like this as comfortable as possible.

Recently, according to NPR, researchers at Northeastern University discovered that by adding a layer of pantyhose to your hand-sewn mask, it's safety/efficiency goes up dramatically. A homemade mask can sometimes filter less than 30% of particles. Adding the nylons made them anywhere from 15% to 50% more effective.

The trick is, you take old nylons and cut a ring out of one leg that's about 8-10 inches from the top/bottom. Then, put your mask on like normal, and slip the ring over your head, covering you all the way around the back of your head. This creates a tighter barrier that makes it more difficult for particles to pass through the material.

Loretta Fernandez is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University who was part of the team who did all this research. she said this to NPR:

Adding a layer that keeps the mask tight to the face is going to improve the function of any of these masks, because how well they protect us is not only a matter of what material we're using to do the filtering but also how well [the mask] seals to the face, so that we're trying to avoid air making it around the mask into our breathing zone.

While it would be nice if everybody could have an unlimited supply of N95 masks, it's just not gonna happen. But with the CDC recommending folks wear masks in public, and most folks making their own, it's great news to be able to take yet another thing that's just lying around the house and use it to make us even safer.

Besides, there must be plenty of households with tons of worn out, old stockings lying around. While they do make a great lint catcher for the dryer, and an occasional disguise for a bank robber, those old pantyhose can be repurposed in a beneficial way. But guys... unless they're yours, don't decide which ones aren't good anymore....

More From WWMJ Ellsworth Maine