Clean and Care Instructions for Scrubs and Uniforms

Some of you may have the option of a laundry facility where you work. Others of you may not be so lucky, or you may worry about your uniform being damaged or lost in the process. A new study published this year can help inform you on the proper way to wash your scrubs so you can free them of organisms (specific to the study, Staphylococcus aureus) and keep their great color. Below are basic guidelines you should follow when laundering your work clothes.

1. Rinse your scrubs in cold water to get rid of caked on solids
Getting rid of large amounts of debris in a pre-wash will keep the dirt, blood or whatever is on your uniform from circulating throughout the entire wash.

2. Wash your scrubs in hot or warm water
Washing is important in diluting organisms while soaps and detergents help loosen the debris. Using hot water will help kill bacteria as well as get stains out. Washing in water that is at least 130 degrees for at least ten minutes will ensure your uniforms are free of Staph. aureus.

3. Tumble Dry your uniforms
Tumble drying your scrubs for at least 30 minutes may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s proven to lower the viable bacteria on your uniforms as heat helps destroy micro-organisms

4. Iron your scrubs
By the same logic, the heat from the iron will also help lower the pathogens that may lie in your scrubs. The most effective way to ensure your uniforms are clean? Tumble dry AND iron all your work clothes. In the study, this was the only method that left zero viable bacteria after washing.

5. Use ¼ - ½ cup of vinegar if you’re uniforms have developed an odor
Vinegar has long been known to help eliminate odor from clothes and is gentle enough that it won’t hurt your fabrics.