Medical Uniforms NZ - February 2023

 Scrub-tastic: Stain Removal Guide

We all know that when we put on our scrubs, that we are bound to get something on them from blood, to vomit, medications or even that splat of mayo at lunch because we're rushing to eat as we update notes.  I know I'm not the only one who gets frustrated at turning up clean, and then going home looking like I've been through a tornado.

Stains on our scrub uniforms can be annoyingly stubborn, but they don't need to be a permanent fixture.  You've just gotta know the tricks.

So, let's demystify removing stains from your nursing uniforms scrubs and medical clothing.

Step 1: Read the Care Label First

Before you begin treating a stain, read the fabric care label in your scrubs.  Understand what type of fabric you are dealing with and how it should be laundered.

Here are the most popular fabric blends for medical uniforms:
-  65% Polyester/35% cotton
- 100% Cotton
-  75% Polyester/21% Rayon/4% Elastane
- 88% Polyester/12% Elastane

Yes, the majority of fabrics contain polyester.  Why?  Because it blocks mould, fungi. bacteria, is lightweight, durable and colour safe.   All the features we want in medical scrubs.

Care label on garment showing how best to launder a garment
Gross Emoji Throwing Up

While some viruses and fungi can perish within a few days, others such as E. coli and salmonella, known for causing diarrhea, can endure for several weeks. Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium responsible for skin infections, can persist for up to a month. If clothing remains damp, such as sweat-soaked work clothes, germs can proliferate in your laundry basket.

Blood Stains

Blood stains are at the top of our list because they are the most common.  They are difficult to remove, but with the right techniques they can be effectively removed.

1. Act Quickly:  The longer a blood stain sits, the more difficult it becomes to remove. So, treat the stain as soon as possible,

2.  Rinse with Cold Water:  Rinse the affected area of the scrubs under cold running water. This helps to dilute the stain and prevent it from setting into the fabric.

3.  Use a Liquid Detergent:  Apply a small amount of liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain. Gently rub the detergent into the stain, making sure to cover the entire area.

4.  Soak: Then soak your scrubs in a solution of cold water and liquid laundry detergent for at least 30 minutes. The detergent and water will work together to break down the stain.

5.  Wash:  Wash your scrubs in cold water on a delicate cycle. If possible, use a stain-fighting laundry detergent. Avoid using hot water, as it can set the stain.

6. Check Before Drying: Before drying the scrub, check to see if the stain has been completely removed. If the stain is still present, repeat the process from step 2.

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Cherokee Allura Black / 3XL Allura  Zip Front Scrub Jacket CKA384
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Vomit Stains

Faecal Stains and Smells

This pair is notorious for being challenging to remove. Vomit stains often contain a combination of substances including food, saliva, and stomach acid.  And faecal stains, well, let's just say it's after everything goes through the stomach.  But both stains can be treated the same way.

1. Blot the Stain: Use a clean dry cloth to blot the stain, removing as much of the vomit or faecal matter as possible. Do not rub the stain, as this will only spread it and make it more difficult to remove.

2.  Rinse with Cold Water: Rinse the affected area of the scrub uniform under cold running water. You're diluting the stain and preventing it from setting into the fabric.

3.  Apply a Solution: Mix a solution of one part white vinegar to two parts water. Apply this solution directly to the stain and let it sit for five minutes.

4. Rub with Detergent: Rub a small amount of liquid laundry detergent into the stain. Make sure to cover the entire affected area.

5.  Soak: Soak the scrub in a solution of cold water and liquid laundry detergent for at least 30 minutes.

6.  Wash: Wash the scrub in cold water on a delicate cycle. Use a stain-fighting laundry detergent, if possible. Avoid using hot water, as it can set the stain.

7.  Check Before Drying: Before drying the scrub, check to see if the stain has been completely removed. If the stain is still present, repeat the process from step 2.

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