It is now compulsory to wear a face in public and many people are moving away from using disposables and investing in a reusable, cloth alternative.

You are required to wear your mask every time you leave your home, so the question is, how often should it be washed, and, more importantly, what is the safest way to do so?

Here are tips on the best ways to wash your reusable mask:

How often should reusable cloth face masks be washed or cleaned?

At least once a day try to wash you Cloth face coverings, says the Mayo Clinic. While it may not be possible to wash after every use if you are leaving the house several times a day to go to the shops or for exercise.

How should your face mask be washed?

Machine washing is the best and safest way to ensure that your mask is cleaned thoroughly. Regular laundry detergent should suffice, and the wash should be placed on a high temperature setting to ensure all germs are killed. Alternatively, soaking and washing your mask by hand with detergent is OK on days when you are unable to put it in with a full wash. Avoid using bleach to clean your mask.

Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth as you remove your face mask, or if you are pulling it down temporarily, for example to eat or drink. Be careful to avoid touching the inside of your mask if you plan to put it back on. Also ensure you wash or sanitise your hands directly after removal.

To safely store your material face mask, place the mask in a clean or new paper bag before washing your hands thoroughly.