If you’re using any kind of face mask, you need to first make sure it doesn’t become one more contamination zone.

It’s very important that you always wash your hands before you put a mask on, before you take it off, and after you take it off.

This article, which cites Dr. Winslow of the World Health Organization (WHO), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, details the right way to wear a face mask. Following it’s suggested steps are a good way to avoid self-contamination.

Here are the suggested steps amended for Pandemic Couture Company face masks:

  1. Wash your hands before touching your mask
  2. When you put on the mask, make sure it covers your nose and mouth and fits comfortably around your face
  3. While you have the mask on in public places, avoid touching it and replace it if it feels damp
  4. When you’re done with the face mask carefully take it off from behind or by the straps. Do not touch the front of the mask.
  5. When your mask is soiled, either launder it delicately in its dust bag or decontaminate it with your UV sterilizer.
  6. Wash. Your. Hands.

While some recommendations may suggest you wash your mask daily, we tend to agree with Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, who has stated while there are “no hard and fast recommendations,” it’s generally safe to wear one multiple times without washing it.

A weekly wash should be fine if it’s not soiled, he said, adding: “You shouldn’t be using them all that frequently. You’re only going out to the pharmacy and supermarket.”