It’s a tale as old as time. You start the day with freshly washed scrubs only to come home 12-14 hours later splashed in stains. Scrubs can quickly add up! And as a busy travel nurse, you need to get the most out of them each day. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for keeping all brands of scrubs fit, functional, durable, and clean.
How do I Keep My Scrubs from Fading, Shrinking, or Pilling?
It all starts with the wash! Start by separating your scrubs from your regular laundry piles to prevent thread damage from other fabric types. Turn your scrubs inside out and set your washing machine to the settings listed on the tag. But since fabrics vary, and tags fade, here’s a good guide to reference if you’re ever in doubt.
If your scrubs are made of:
- 100% Cotton – wash in cold water and hang dry or dry on low heat
- Polyester/Cotton blend – wash in warm water and hang to dry or dry on low heat
- Polyester/Rayon blend – wash in cold water on the gentle cycle and hang dry
- Polyester/Rayon/Spandex blend – wash in warm water and hang dry or dry on low heat\
If you can’t avoid drying your scrubs in the dryer, make sure the heat is on the low or medium setting to help avoid shrinking as much as possible. These little steps can all help delay your scrubs from pilling, tearing, and fading before you’re ready to say goodbye.
Helpful Tip! Before wearing your scrubs for the first time, be sure to prewash them in a mixture of cold water and half a cup of plain white household vinegar. This pre-treatment on freshly purchased scrubs will help keep fun colors and patterns vibrant.
How Do I Get Tough Stains Off of My Scrubs?
Stains happen, and your best bet at removing them entirely is by treating them sooner rather than later. No matter what kind of food, ointment, bodily fluid, or substance finds you, there is bound to be something on hand at home or at work that can help. If you don’t have a Clorox pen handy, keep this infographic in mind for treating scrub stains effectively with natural, everyday items. Prioritizing regular upkeep and maintenance of your scrubs will keep them out of the toss/donate pile for much longer.
Is it Better to Hang or Fold Scrubs?
How you store your scrubs may seem unimportant, but it affects how fast they crease and wrinkle. Overall, it’s best to hang your scrubs! The extra airflow will keep them presentable, fresh, and help you keep matching tops and bottoms together.
Of course, we know that as a travel nurse, your housing may not come with a closet or dresser. The trick is to stay neat and organized. To avoid the disorganization of your scrubs bundled up in a dresser drawer or suitcase, try the Marie Kondo method and roll them! This way, you can see every pair you own and easily grab your favorite pair on the go.
It’s Important to Look and Feel Great in Your Scrubs
Learning how to care for and maintain your medical scrubs will keep them looking better for longer. Scrubs are an investment, so follow these tips and tricks to feel like a fresh and flawless healthcare professional on each new assignment.
Now it’s time to hear from you! What are some scrub maintenance secrets that you’ve learned from experience?