A Guide for your Scrub Care

  • Apr 11, 2023

How to Care for Your Medical Scrubs to Extend Their Life ?

We all know that how we care for our possessions determines how long they will last, and this is especially true for nursing or medical scrubs. So, what’s the big deal, you ask? Simply toss them in the washing machine and hang to dry. Not so fast! By properly caring for and laundering your scrubs, you will keep them looking great and extend the life of your nursing or medical uniforms.

With all of the abuse and wear and tear they endure on a daily basis, keeping your scrubs looking fresh and clean can be a challenge. You never know what can get on your uniform when dealing with germs and bodily fluids. To keep yourself and your patient’s safe, it is critical to disinfect your scrubs and remove germs. Taking proper care of your scrubs can make or break the longevity of your uniform and keep it looking sharp and crisp.

Whether you are in medical school or a practicing nurse or doctor, wearing clean and tidy medical scrubs is essential for a professional appearance as well as the safety and health of your patients. Keeping your medical clothing in good condition and making it last longer takes a little more effort and care than your regular wardrobe. Knowing how to care for your medical scrubs will help them look better, last longer, and keep bacteria away from you and your patients.


How to Keep Your Scrubs Looking Great for a Longer Period of Time?

The only way your medical clothing will last a few seasons is if you take care of it. The standard wash, rinse, and dry method will not work for your medical scrubs. They require special attention and maintenance on a regular basis. Scrubs are worn almost every day and may eventually wear out. The only way to make your scrubs last is to spend the extra time and effort disinfecting and reconditioning them for your next shift.


Care Instructions can be found on the label.

You may believe that discussing it is pointless, but you would be surprised at how many people fail to read the instructions. Care instructions provide detailed instructions on how to wash and care for your scrubs.


Before washing, turn the garments inside out!

Turning your garments inside out before washing is a tried-and-true method of preserving the fabric’s colour integrity and longevity. This prevents excessive pilling or abrasion of the fabric’s surface. Pilling is caused by the garment’s normal wear and tear. Even if it has no effect on the functionality of the medical uniforms, pilling can make the garments appear unsightly and worn out. It is also critical to dry the scrubs inside out to reduce the likelihood of colour fading.


Never wash your scrubs with chlorine bleach!

Medical scrubs should always be washed separately. Never use chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide to clean your scrubs as this will cause them to fade. Instead, use a regular detergent to clean medical uniforms.


Avoid over-drying your nursing scrubs.

Avoid over-drying your scrubs as it can cause your scrubs to lose their sheen, leading to extreme colour fading and fabric shrinkage. It is especially bad for bright coloured medical scrubs. Over-drying can also severely weaken the material fibres of the garment. Ensure you don’t let the scrubs in the dryer for too long and under a high heat setting.


Treat stains as soon as possible.

Don’t let the stains sit on your scrubs for a long time. You might not have time to treat stains at work, but make sure you wash your scrubs at the earliest. If you are hard-pressed for time, use alcohol wipes or a wet cloth to prevent the stains from setting in permanently into the garment.


Separate your scrubs from the rest of your washables.

Separating your scrubs from other washables before loading the washer is always a good idea. Used scrubs may contain bacteria and other germs that can easily spread from the surface of your scrubs to other clothes and the rest of the house. You can prevent germs and bacteria from contaminating the rest of the laundry by washing them separately. It will also help to keep your scrubs from becoming damaged or discolored as a result of other clothing.


Don’t Forget the Hot Iron

Even if your scrubs appear to be neatly pressed and tidy, don’t skip the hot iron. In healthcare settings, there are numerous microorganisms. Heat has the ability to disinfect clothing. After washing your medical scrubs, heat pressing them will help eliminate any bacteria that may have clung to them.


Before folding your scrubs, thoroughly inspect them.

Examine your medical scrubs carefully. Examine your nursing clothes carefully for any missed stains, loose threads, or holes. Cut any loose threads and darn the holes if necessary. Make a note of the stains so you can work on them the next time you wash your clothes.


Only wear your scrubs to work.

Because most nurses are pressed for time, they prefer to put on their scrubs before heading to work. However, it is preferable if you only wear your nursing scrubs during working hours. Furthermore, only change into your scrubs after reaching your unit’s changing room. Before leaving your unit, change into your regular clothes. Before leaving for the day, carefully store the sterile garments. You can either hang them up with a special plastic garment bag or store them in a separate drawer until it’s time to wash them so they don’t contaminate the rest of the laundry.


Do Not Spray Perfume Directly on Your Scrubs!

Make certain that you do not spray the perfume directly on your scrubs. The perfume may leave unsightly stains on your medical attire. Also, don’t get lotion on your scrubs because it can cause difficult-to-wash stains.


How to Remove Stains from Scrubs?

After a long day at work, you arrive home exhausted, awake only long enough to take a quick refreshing shower before falling asleep! Does this sound like a typical day? There’s only one thing you almost forgot to do: treat those stains before going to bed. You understand that getting stains on your medical uniform is unavoidable. Your scrubs have seen it all, and they require immediate attention to remove them from your uniforms.


Before washing, use a color-safe stain remover.

For medical professionals, stains on scrubs are nothing new. When attempting to remove stains from your medical uniforms, use a color-safe stain remover. It will assist you in retaining the colour integrity of your scrubs while removing stains. While at work, your medical uniform can pick up a variety of stains. Knowing how to remove stains, depending on their nature, can be beneficial. Let’s take a look at some of the most common stains and how to remove them.

 Blood  Wet the stain with cold water and rub it with a bar of soap. While rubbing, run cold water directly over the stain until it fades. Try dabbing hydrogen peroxide directly onto the blood stain to make it magically disappear.
Sweat  Sweat stains can be easily removed with a mixture of 1 tablespoon vinegar and half a cup of cold water.
Vomit / Feces  Begin by rinsing with cold water and removing any solid particles. For a while, soak the stain in a solution of 1 litre warm water and 1 tablespoon ammonia. Brush the stain gently with a toothbrush. You’ll notice the stain gradually fading away. After completely removing the scrubs, thoroughly rinse the garments to remove the ammonia. If necessary, repeat the procedure.
Urine  Soak the urine-stained scrubs in a solution of cold water and ammonia for several hours. It should be sufficient to remove the urine stain and odour.
Ointment  Begin by removing any excess ointment from the garment. Then, liberally sprinkle and rub corn starch into the mixture until completely absorbed. Finally, cold water should be used to wash the garment.
Coffee The sooner you remove the coffee stain from the garment, the better for your clothes. Blot the stain immediately with a hand towel or tissue to remove any excess liquid. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain. Avoid rubbing.
Oil-Based Medication Stain Sprinkle baby powder on the stain to remove excess oil. Alternatively, you can use regular dish soap on the oil before washing it.
Ink In a dish, combine equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. Dab the mixture on the stain with a spray bottle or a piece of rag. Continue dabbing until the garment appears completely saturated. Allow a few hours for this soaked garment to dry before washing. Ink stains can also be removed with regular hair spray.

How to Wash Scrubs Depending on the Fabric Type ?

  • Cotton – Wash your scrubs in cold water if they are made of 100% cotton. Because most cotton fabrics shrink, tumble dry your scrubs on the lowest setting to reduce shrinkage.
  • Polyester / Rayon – If your nursing uniforms are made of polyester/rayon, a gentle cold water cycle will be ideal. You can simply hang the clothes on a line because there is no need to worry about shrinking.
  • Polyester / Cotton – Washing scrubs made of polyester/cotton blend fabric in warm water will do the trick. You can either use a low heat setting in the dryer or hang them to dry.
  • Polyester / Rayon / Spandex – Warm water should be used to wash your scrubs made of polyester/rayon/spandex. When drying, use the lowest heat setting on the dryer or hang them on a line.

Final Thoughts – Start caring for your medical scrubs from the first wash – don’t wait until they’re filthy to clean them. While it may appear time-consuming at first, you will be able to appreciate how effective it is in the long run. It is unavoidable that your medical scrubs will become dirty or stained. It is possible, however, to thoroughly wash them and remove the stains. Scrubs are typically made of stain-resistant fabrics. Although they do not wear out as quickly as regular clothes, they are exposed to a wide range of germs, bacteria, and contaminants. To ensure that your scrubs last as long as possible, keep them clean, disinfected, and reconditioned for your next shift.

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