Condensation Drips from a Respirator Mask

Moisture dripping from your facemask can be a problem. Here are some suggested work-arounds. July 28, 2008

I have a Bink’s mask and a 3m respirator mask they both work well. The only problem is after I'm spraying for a while a nice drop of moisture is left on a piece that I have just finished. I have tried putting a piece of sponge in the bottom of my mask to stop the drip but it usually falls out when I take it off. Any help would deeply appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor L:
I use cotton balls and Kleenex. Fresh pre-filters and cartridges usually keep this to a minimum with my mask.

From contributor R:
Have you tried tightening up the lower straps of the face plate?

From contributor D:
Are you sure that you're wearing the proper size and style respirator? If the respirator is fitted properly, there should be no water leaking from the mask. If water is leaking out, dust and fumes are getting in. Many folks assume the size of their face and/or head is how they should choose the size of respirator and that isn’t so.

The shape of your face is what is usually the deciding factor. Some people cannot be properly fitted with a half face respirator, and have to use a full face respirator. Going down to the Sherwin Williams store, Lowes, etc., and picking one off the shelf is not the way to select a respirator. You should be fitted for one by a qualified safety person who can perform the appropriate smoke and chemical sense tests. Most industrial hygienists can do this testing. This takes more time and costs more, but how much is your long term health worth?

From contributor E:
My MSA Comfo Classic captures all the face water I can make. The seal is very soft, so it shapes well on the face.

From contributor R:
To contributor E: Which filters do you use?

From contributor E:
MSA 464031 Organic Vapor - I get them in a 10 pack. So far they've been between 45 -50. The dust covers come in 10 sets (20pc) separate order at around 14-18 I think, but a Lowes model will fit if you need. The mask is around 28-35. A 4pc filter load is seven dollars, give or take, so not bad for how good it is.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor B:
My 3M mask does the same thing. It is not a leak. It happens when you breathe out. The flap on front pushes forward and releases condensation. This will not allow dust or vapors into mask since as soon as you start to breathe in, the flap closes again. I've never tried to shove anything in there. From time to time I just wipe it out while blowing hard to catch any liquid that might be on the verge of falling out.