According to Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, 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.”

When it comes time to clean your face mask, we recommend either using a UV sterilizer or delicately laundering it. If your mask came with a dust bag, we suggest placing your mask in its dust bag prior to placing it in the wash.

It is important to emphasize proper mask use is key to preventing self-contamination.