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How to Wash and Disinfect Your Medical Scrubs

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How to Wash and Disinfect Your Medical Scrubs

As a medical professional, you’re probably glad to see the days of those monotonous green scrubs gone and a range of styles, colours and patterns introduced. But with these modern day, stylish scrubs becoming more popular, you’re also likely to be looking for ways to increase the longevity of the uniform you’re now proud to wear and maybe even feel fashionable in. So, how do you keep them looking clean and tidy when you’re constantly coming into contact with a range of germs and fluids likely to stain? We’re here to answer just that! 

Although we don’t claim to be medical professionals by any standard, Lee T shirts have been in the fabric and garment trade for well over 50 years and understand what products and washing styles are best suited for a range of materials. We’re not going to give away all our secrets right here in the intro though, so you’ll have to read on to find our quick tips on how to wash and disinfect your medical scrubs. 

Tip #1: Using bleach and other alternatives 

Surely you’ve all heard the rule that you should wash your new  clothes before wearing them? Well, the same stands for your medical scrubs. Washing separately from your other laundry items, add half a cup of vinegar to a cold water wash. This will set the colour and prevent them from fading, preserving the appearance and extending the life of your scrubs. 

When it comes to washing your scrubs, consider one of the below options to help sanitise and disinfect your load:

  • Add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • Add 1/2 cup Pine-Sol
  • Add 3/4 cup of bleach to your washers bleach dispenser. Alternatives include filling your washer then adding bleach as well as colour-safe bleach options at your local store for any coloured scrubs. 

Tip #2: Cold water versus hot water 

If you’ve been washing your scrubs in hot water and tumble drying in the hopes it’ll disinfect your scrubs – stop now! 

For pure cotton scrubs, cold water and regular detergent is where you need to start. We always recommend turning your clothes (scrubs and even general streetwear) inside out before washing and hanging to ensure colour brightness doesn’t fade. 

After a cold wash, check there are no stains left on your scrubs. If there are a few spots still noticeable, we recommend treating them again with a stain remover. If there are no stains, you can now send them through another wash, this time with warm water and bleach (for white scrubs) or other alternatives (for colours scrubs) to help disinfect during the cycle. 

Tip #3: Drying your scrubs

As a general rule, for all clothes, try to avoid using hot water as it can set stains and never assume that the dryer is hot enough to disinfect. Autoclaves in hospitals reach much higher temperatures (with added humidity and pressure) than your average household dryer.

That being said, if you are using your home dryer, select ‘sanitise’ or consider purchasing one that has this option. 

Bonus Tip: Keep the dirty scrubs separate! 

On a daily basis, the probability of a medical professional being exposed to a high level of bacteria and viral infections is almost certain. It goes without saying that any germs you come in contact with are likely going to end up on your scrubs too so it’s best to keep your scrubs separate from all other dirty laundry. The chances of people handling the dirty scrubs catching the disease is generally quite low though you can never be sure if someone already has a compromised immune system. 

Contact us 

With over 50 years of experience in the industry, we have learned the best techniques for creating long-lasting products and we appreciate those who take the time to care for what we produce.

Contact us today for more information or to receive an obligation-free quote on our range of services.