A Guide on Washing Your Medical Scrubs

closeup of washing machine

No matter where you work, it's important to keep your medical scrubs clean and sanitary. Learning how to wash them correctly will help extend their lifespan, save money and look fresh all day long.

Why It's Important to Know How to Wash Your Scrubs

Aside from comfort and appearance, medical scrubs serve another essential objective: to maintain hygiene. Your work scrubs come in contact with bacteria throughout your work shift, and you want to ensure you're doing everything possible to stop the spread of infection. This is particularly the case for frontline workers who are currently in contact with COVID-19 variants.

High-quality scrubs prevent the patient's bodily fluids from coming in contact with your skin, which means you are not coming in direct contact with bacteria, germs, and fluids. However, your scrubs are! Washing your scrubs properly is just one of the many steps you can take to keep both you and your patients safe from disease.

Essential Tips for Washing Your Scrubs

While studies recommend washing your scrubs at work with hospital-grade cleaners, it's not always an option for healthcare workers. Follow the tips below to clean your scrubs at home.

1. Separate Them from Regular Laundry

When you arrive home, change out of your scrubs if you have not already done so at work. You must separate them from your regular laundry, as they are contaminated. Studies show that bacteria can be transmitted from your clothing. Washing scrubs in a separate load from your usual clothes can help prevent the spread of infection.

Utilize a clean linen and handling product such as MIP Cares' Reusable Safetex Laundry Bag, explicitly designed for soiled and infected linen. Its self-opening feature reduces increased exposure to infectious linen prior to decontamination.

2. Read the Labels Carefully

closeup of laundry label

It's important to read the labels on each pair of scrubs carefully, as instructions can change from one manufacturer to another.

3. Wear Gloves

Wear gloves while handling your dirty scrubs to prevent transferring germs. This is especially good practice if you or someone in your household is immunocompromised.

4. Pretreat Any Stains

Like any other laundry item, pretreatment is a crucial step for ensuring your scrubs are stain-free and ready for sanitizing. Here are some helpful tips to follow when washing your scrubs. They will not only help you look professional but will also protect both you and your patients' health!

Bloodstains: To remove blood from your scrubs, start by rinsing the stained area with cold water. This will help to get as much blood out as possible from the fabric. Next, work a small amount of hydrogen peroxide into the bloodstained area, allowing the garment to stand for several minutes. Launder immediately, or as soon as possible!

Feces, urine, and vomit: Scrape off any matter from your scrubs. Pretreat all areas with a stain remover. When you put your scrubs in the wash, you can add a half cup of baking soda to help get rid of lingering odors.

Ink: Blot rubbing alcohol onto the ink stain before washing. Careful not to rub the fabric, as it can spread the ink and make it worse.

5. Tie Your Drawstrings

It would be best if you always tied your scrub bottoms in a knot or bow before you wash them to avoid the drawstring getting pulled out and having to be threaded back with safety pins. This is also great for preventing any string from fraying, becoming discolored, tangling with other laundry items placed together in one load of washing.

6. Dry at the Highest Heat Setting

Even though your wash cycle will kill most germs and bacteria on your scrubs, drying your scrubs at the highest heat possible will help to kill any microbes that may remain. Before transferring your scrubs to the dryer, check for any stains. If any stains are still visible on your scrubs after washing, repeat pretreatments and place them back in the wash.

7. Store Your Scrubs Properly

Once you've thoroughly washed and dried your scrubs, we recommend you hang them up in a clean plastic bag. This will ensure they stay as free from bacteria and germs, so the next time you wear them, they are not contaminated with anything on your other clothing.

8. Only Wear Your Scrubs to Work

medical clothes hanging on rack

Wearing your scrubs to and from work makes packing simpler, but it also means they have more time outside the hospital. There will not only be a chance of staining, but there's an even better chance of coming into contact with bacteria. That's why it's suggested you change in and out of your scrubs at work to minimize the risk of contamination.

9. Buy Quality Medical Scrubs

MIP Cares' scrubs are made of a lightweight, easy-care fabric that is soft, breathable, and long-lasting. In addition, our scrubs feature plenty of pocket space, a comfortable design for freedom of movement, and color-coding for easy size identification – all attributes that are critically important for the busiest of frontline workers!

MIP Cares' scrub fabric composition is a 55% cotton, 45% polyester blend – bridging the gap between softness, breathability, and resilience. Our scrubs will keep you feeling comfortable through long shifts and are guaranteed to endure many washings.