Back on the topic of the Occupy Central demonstration taking place in Hong Kong in protest for electoral democracy, little progress has been made to resolve the situation, though there have been reports of planned talks between the government and representatives from the protesting group. More than a week has passed since the Occupy protesters started camping at several locations, staying put despite assaults from opposing factions and refusing to budge even as the police brought in tear gas and pepper spray.

As complete outsiders, we have no say on how things ought to be handled, and we’re definitely not taking sides, but if there’s one thing we could all learn from this protest, it’s how to make your own DIY tear gas mask. A YouTuber from Hong Kong shows us how!

Personally, I have never experienced the effects of tear gas, but judging from the stories of tear gas survivors who lived to tell the tale online, it hurts and burns and basically ravages your respiratory system. Which is why a gas mask would be tremendously useful in such situations, even if you’re not a protester.

Although called “tear gas”, the product is more commonly made up of dust-like particles, which, although isn’t as dangerous as it would have been as a true gas, can still travel quite a distance with no defined route or boundary. That goes to say that even if you just happened to live in the vicinity of the gassing location, there’s a chance that you’ll be affected by the particles floating in the air too.

Hong Kong-based YouTuber Lok Tung (Neat Freaks Diary) demonstrates how you can make a primitive budget tear gas mask with just a few items.


  • Things you’ll need:
    A N95 face mask
    A 2-litre PET bottle
    Duct tape/masking tape
    A marker
    A penknife/craft knife

Step 1: Carefully cut off the bottom part of the bottle using the penknife.


Step 2: Using the marker, draw guidelines for cutting out the opening for your face.


Step 3: Cut along the guidelines to create the opening.


Step 4: Cover the cut edges with duct tape to ensure the sharp edges wouldn’t hurt your face when you’re wearing the mask. Put the bottle over your face to see if it fits. Layer more tape over ill-fitting areas to achieve an air-tight seal so that the tear gas isn’t going to get in through these gaps. (Optional: Tape in thin strips of sponge along the edges for enhanced safety and fit.)


Step 5: Cut off the elastic bands attached to the mask. Put them aside, you’ll need them later!


Step 6: Place the face mask inside the bottle. Make sure you can still breathe in it! Tape the edges of the mask to the bottle to secure it in place.


Step 7: Using the penknife or scissors, make two slits about a centimeter away from the edge of the opening on both sides of the bottle. Try to make them level as this is where the head strap will be.


Step 8: Put one end of the elastic band through the slit and tie a knot to keep it from slipping through. Do the same for the other side with the other end of the band.


And there you have it, your very own tear gas mask!


▼ Watch the whole process! (Cantonese only)

Some netizens have suggested that stuffing a ball of cotton soaked with vinegar into the mouth of the bottle will help to neutralize the tear gas. Do note that the N95 mask works wonders against particles, but will not do anything to neutralize gases, so this DIY gas mask is only good for situations such as tear gas, haze or spring cleaning! It’s not going to save your life if an assassin released poisonous gases into your room.

If you have any ideas to further enhance the functionality of this budget gas mask, go ahead and share them in the comments section below!

Source: Neat Freaks Diary via ETToday
Images: YouTube