Do Scrubs Shrink After Washing? Get the Complete Detail

Well, it does depend on the material of the fabric used in the making of the Scrub. Whether or not the scrubs shrink after washing depends on various factors such as the fabric composition, washing method, and drying method. Scrubs are made of cotton and can shrink easily when washed.

Understanding the Fabric Composition of the Scrub

The composition of the medical scrubs varies right from cotton blend to polyester. However, most scrubs are made from a blend of synthetic and natural fibres to achieve durability, comfort, and ease of care.

  • Cotton: Pure cotton scrubs are known for their comfort and breathability, but they are also prone to shrinkage, especially if they are not pre-shrunk or if they are washed in hot water and dried at high temperatures. Cotton fibres tend to contract when exposed to heat, causing the garment to shrink.
  • Polyester: Polyester is less prone to shrinkage compared to cotton because it is a synthetic fibre that does not absorb moisture as much. However, blends of polyester and cotton can still shrink to some extent, especially if the cotton content is high.
  • Spandex/Elastane: Spandex is highly resistant to shrinkage due to its elastic nature. It helps garments retain their shape even after multiple washes. Scrubs with spandex content are less likely to shrink significantly.
  • Rayon/Viscose: Rayon is a semi-synthetic fibre that can shrink when exposed to heat and moisture, although typically not as much as cotton. Blends of rayon with other fibres may experience some shrinkage, depending on the specific blend and care instructions.
  • Blended Fabrics: Scrubs made from blended fabrics, such as polyester-cotton or polyester-rayon blends, may exhibit varying degrees of shrinkage depending on the proportions of each fibre in the blend.

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Factors Affecting the Shrinkage of Scrubs

The shrinkage of medical scrubs is influenced by various factors including material composition, creation, laundering situations, chemical remedies, stretch homes, and production strategies. Fabric composition, with natural fibres like cotton or synthetic blends, dictates how much the material may shrink. Laundering strategies, inclusive of temperature and drying techniques, play a crucial function in figuring out shrinkage levels. Additionally, the presence of stretch fibres and production methods can impact the cloth's resilience in opposition to shrinkage. Managing these elements ensures keeping the favoured health and sturdiness of medical scrubs, essential for healthcare experts' consolation and functionality.

What Could Be Done if the Scrub Shrunk?

  • Stretching Techniques: If your scrubs have shrunk in size lightly, you could strive to stretch them again to their original length. Gently pull the cloth in the areas which have shrunk, together with the sleeves or waistband, even as the fabric is damp. Be careful not to overstretch the cloth, as it may cause damage.
  • Professional Alteration Services: If the shrinkage is sizable or if stretching techniques don't repair the scrubs to a comfortable fit, take into account taking them to a professional. A tailor can adjust the scale of the garment to suit your body nicely, making sure comfort and simplicity of movement.
  • Consideration of Future Purchases: When buying new scrubs, keep in mind buying a size larger than your traditional size to account for possible shrinkage. Additionally, opt for pre-shrunk in-size fabric or blends that are less susceptible to shrinking. Reading reviews or asking for tips from colleagues also can assist you choose scrubs which are much less likely to shrink.

Tips to Prevent the Shrinkage of Scrub

One can follow the below-given tips to prevent the shrinkage of the scrub.

  • Following Washing Instructions Carefully: Always adhere to the care commands furnished provided by the manufacturer. These instructions commonly include recommended washing temperature, drying approach, and any unique precautions to save you shrinkage.
  • Use of Cold Water and Gentle Detergent: Washing scrubs in cold water with a moderate, gentle detergent can help prevent shrinkage. Hot water can cause fibres to settle, leading to shrinkage, so opting for cold water is ideal.
  • Air Drying vs. Machine Drying: Air drying is the best approach to save you shrinkage as it minimizes exposure to heat. Use your scrubs to dry on a clothesline or drying rack instead of using a dryer. If the usage of a dryer is important, pick out a low-hardest place.
  • Avoiding Overcrowding within the Washer and Dryer: Overcrowding the washer or dryer can prevent the material from properly agitating or circulating, leading to choppy shrinkage. Wash and dry your scrubs in small masses to make sure they have enough room to transport freely and maintain their shape.


What are scrubs made of?

Scrubs are usually crafted from a mix of fibres such as cotton, polyester, spandex, and rayon. These blends are selected for their durability, comfort, and simplicity of care.

Do scrubs shrink?

Yes, scrubs can shrink, especially if they include natural fibres like cotton or rayon. Factors such as washing temperature and drying technique can affect the degree of shrinkage.

How can I limit shrinkage in my scrubs?

To minimize shrinkage, comply with the instructions given by the manufacturer. Washing in cold water, the usage of a gentle cycle, and air drying or drying on low heat can assist reduce shrinkage.

Are there particular material blends that decrease much less?

Fabrics with a higher percentage of artificial fibres like polyester or spandex tend to decrease much less as compared to people with higher chances of herbal fibres like cotton or rayon. Blended fabric provides stability consolation and sturdiness at the same time as minimizing shrinkage.

How can I preserve the size of my scrubs over time?

In addition to following the instructions, avoid washing scrubs with abrasive materials or harsh chemical compounds, as those can affect the cloth and contribute to shrinkage. Hang or fold scrubs well after washing to keep their shape.