Nursing scrubs have to put up with a lot as nursing is a physically demanding job involving lots of chemicals and bodily fluids. It is important to know how to take care of your scrubs, or you will be wearing stained, frayed, or torn scrubs which are less than professional looking. You may find yourself having to spend a lot of money on replacements, which nobody wants to do, no matter how much money you are earning. Here are 8 top tips to help you keep your nurse tunic in great condition and to help you look your best on the job, but always check your workplace uniform care guidelines before washing your scrubs yourself:
1. Wash your scrubs separately from other clothes
Nursing scrubs need to be washed more thoroughly than your standard clothes as they have to be disinfected, and you are likely to encounter more stubborn stains, so wash them separately from the rest of your clothes.
2. Pre-treat stains before washing
It is best to try to get rid of stains before putting the scrubs in the washing machine. To get rid of stains, you should apply colour-safe stain remover to the stain itself before you put it into the washing machine.
3. Wash in cold water with detergent
There should be two stages to washing scrubs, and the first is to turn them inside out and wash them in cold water and detergent. It is best to set the machine to a large load but not to overload the drum so that the scrubs can move during the cycle. Before moving to the next stage of washing, check that all stains have been removed.
4. Wash in hot water
When the scrubs are stain-free, it is time to disinfect them with a hot wash with colour-safe bleach. A high-quality nurses outfit can withstand washing at high temperatures as this is required to remove stains and disinfect the fabric. If there are any residual stains at this point, the hot wash will make them even tougher to get rid of.
5. Dry in a hot tumble dryer
Now that the scrubs are clean and stain-free, it is time to dry them. It is best to put them in a tumble dryer on high heat (for at least 30 minutes) to kill off bacteria that are still clinging on.
6. Iron the scrubs – even if there are no creases
Your scrubs may appear to be crease-free, but it is still important to iron them on high heat. This is yet another opportunity to kill bacteria that might still be present.
7. Check before folding and storing
Your scrubs have now been through a tough wash cycle, so you should look over them for any loose threads or holes which might be developing so you can fix them before they become bigger. Click here for tips on repairing holes in clothes.
8. Only wear your scrubs at work
While it is a personal preference, it is recommended that nurses do not wear their scrubs to travel to or from work. By saving your scrubs for when you are at work only, you are reducing the chances that you will spread harmful bacteria outside the workplace and minimising the chances that they will be damaged.