Basics of Cleaning Medical Scrubs
How To Properly Clean Your Medical Scrubs? This article describes how to properly wash and disinfect your medical scrubs. It’s important for healthcare professionals like nurses, to look good in their medical uniforms at all times. Historically medical scrubs were made of cotton fabric and came in two colors, white or green. (see Blog on Types of Scrubs). Today, with their advancement, they come in many colors and blended fabrics. Because medical scrubs/uniforms can get exposed to many stains and bacteria, it is a common myth that healthcare workers, including nurses, should wash their uniforms in hot water in order to properly disinfect them. This article will explain how to properly wash and disinfect uniforms at home to help them last longer and look better. This will save you valuable time and money in the long run. Before we get into the Nitty Gritty details, let’s discuss some basics:
- Change out of your scrubs as soon as you end work, and if possible before you leave your job.
- Have a designated disposable bag to store them in until you are ready to wash them.
- Separate your scrubs from your regular clothing, to avoid the spread of germs and bacteria.
- Turn them inside-out before washing. Helps to avoid fading and abrasions from other fabrics
- Remember to always check the fabric content before washing your scrubs and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Below is a helpful chart to guide you through the washing process.
|Cold (Cotton), Warm (Blends)
|Low (Cotton), Medium (Blends)
Quick Reference: How to Wash Medical Uniforms
Now that you have the basics of how to get started, let’s get into the Nitty Gritty.
Heavy-Duty Detergent: Examples include Tide and Persil. Contains the necessary enzymes to break apart stains. White vinegar/ ½ cup baking soda: adding this will help to brighten, reduce odors and soften your uniforms without using harsh chemicals like softeners. Make sure to choose distilled white vinegar. For softening your clothes, add vinegar to your fabric softener dispenser. To fight mild odors, add it directly to the washing machine basin during the rinse cycle. Though laundering your clothes with vinegar is a cost-effective, natural way to soften and deodorize fabrics, avoid using it in your washer too frequently and ALWAYS dilute it with water. Just as it does in a dishwasher, vinegar can harm rubber parts inside a washing machine, which will eventually lead to leaks.
Pre-treatments, like Amodex: The sooner you can pre-treat stains before washing, the better. This can be done by soaking or using a steady stream of cold water on most stains, like blood, urine, feces, and vomit. For oil-based stains like makeup, use warm water. Once you feel you have removed as much as possible, blot or dab in some heavy-duty detergent and let stand for 5-10 minutes, and then wash as usual. Amodex is trusted to remove ink and even permanent markers like Sharpie, and it works. It can also be used as a stand-alone stain remover:
- Apply a few drops of Amodex to your stain.
- Rub in well with your Amodex brush, a toothbrush or a clean cloth.
- Continue rubbing stained area until the stain disappears. Be careful not to rub too hard on delicate surfaces.
- Rinse the Amodex. …
- Rinse thoroughly.
Oxygen-based bleach, like Oxiclean: It is the dye added to these meds that causes a problem. Mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach and cool water. Submerge the stained garment and allow it to soak for at least one hour, longer is better, or up to eight hours. This will remove the dye and is safe for all colors and types of scrub fabrics. Wash as usual.
Keep in mind that most uniforms sold today are a blend of fabric (cotton and polyester) and can be washed in warm water. This is the best temperature for washing uniforms in order to avoid fading, shrinkage, and wear-tear. Avoid hot water washes that can set many stains and decrease the life of your cotton/polyester scrubs. Cotton/polyester blend scrubs can be dried on the regular heat dryer cycle or line dried.
For pieces of cotton, use the lowest setting to avoid additional shrinkage and fading. For Polyester and blends, ok to use normal temperatures. See chart above.
Tips and Tricks
- Never rub with a cloth, this only pushes the stain further into the fabric.
- Avoid getting lotions, makeup or perfume on your scrubs, this may cause discoloration.
- Avoid hot water can make stains set more easily and hard to remove
- You should always have an extra set of scrubs in case of damage. Always wear high quality scrubs to ensure they will last.
- Ironing your scrubs will not only give your scrubs a neat and crisp appearance, they will also kill more germs.
- Scrubs can be disinfected by adding ½ cup of Pine-Sol along with your regular detergent.
- Always remember to follow the instructions on the label.
- Use pocket guards if you have a habit of keeping pens and other messy tools in your uniform pockets.
- Washing scrubs in a separate load from your regular clothes can help stop the spread of infection in your household.
It’s also important to know when it’s time to just visit a scrub shop and replace a worn-out set of uniforms. If you’re wondering, “Where can I find scrub shops near me?” Scrubs To The Rescue has you covered. We are a retailer of fashionable and trendy medical apparel located in Houston, Texas. You can also visit our website at www.scrubstotherescue.com to find the best selection of scrubs anywhere, shipped throughout the US. We are an approved retailer of Amodex Products.