How Often to Wash Scrubs Know Complete Guide to Wash your Scrubs

Ever thought about how to wash your scrubs? Or how often to wash your scrubs? Or how to wash your scrub for the first time? The process of washing scrubs not only removes stains but also ensures a clean and sterile work environment. When washing scrubs, make sure you’re turning them inside out, washing them with a mild detergent, washing with like colors, and pre-removing the stains on them. Make sure you’re washing your scrubs after each wear to extend their lifespan and maintain hygiene. If you’re washing scrubs for the first time, follow the same steps as above to preserve the quality and lifespan of your scrubs.

In this guide we’ll explore the importance of having clean scrubs, how often you should wash your scrubs, best practices, the pros and cons of machine vs. hand washing, and how to dry your scrubs.

The Importance of Clean Medical Scrubs

Clean scrubs are not just about appearance, it’s also important for maintaining a clean and hygienic environment. A clean scrub plays a critical role in infection control and patient safety. Washing scrubs after every wear is necessary as healthcare professionals are exposed to bacteria, viruses, and many contaminants every day. Regularly washing your scrubs ensures a clean and hygienic environment, proper infection control, and improved patient safety and outcomes.

How Often Should You Wash Your Scrubs?

You should wash your scrubs after every shift. But how often you wash it depends upon how often you wear it, the nature of your work, and potential exposure to contaminants. Washing scrubs after every shift promptly removes the bacteria, viruses, and contaminants you encountered during your shift, giving you a clean scrub to wear the next time. You must keep a routine of washing your scrubs to ensure patient safety, maintain hygiene standards, and contribute to the overall professionalism and positive image of healthcare practitioners.

Best Practices for Washing Scrubs

Remove stains

One of the best practices of washing your scrubs is to start with pretreating the stains on your scrubs. Remove the stains on your scrubs with a spoon, or a cloth and prevent the stain from getting deeper into the fabric.

Separate your scrubs

Separate your scrubs from regular clothing, or keep it wrapped in a plastic bag and use a disinfectant to avoid cross-contamination.

Use the right detergent

Use the right detergent that removes bacteria from your scrubs.

Use warm water

When washing your scrubs make sure you’re using warm water to remove the contaminants from your scrubs.

Following the above-mentioned practices for washing your scrubs helps increase the longevity of your scrubs while maintaining standards of hygiene and safety.

Machine Washing vs. Hand Washing Your Scrubs

When washing your scrubs, machine washing, and hand washing each has its pros and cons.

The pros of machine washing are that it saves time and energy, you can wash more scrubs and clothes in one setting, and have different wash cycles for different types of fabrics. However, the cons of machine washing are that it can damage your scrubs, can be costly, and can be harmful to the environment. Like machine washing, hand washing also has its pros and cons. The pros of hand washing are that you can wash your scrubs more frequently, use less water, and can be gentler on your clothes. But the cons of hand washing are that it can take more time and energy, and you won’t be able to thoroughly wash your scrubs.

Drying Scrubs

Once your scrubs are clean, how you dry them matters too. Air-drying is often recommended to prevent shrinkage and maintain the fabric's quality. If using a dryer, opt for a low-heat setting to minimize the risk of damage.


Can scrubs be washed in a washing machine?

Yes, scrubs can typically be washed in a washing machine. It is recommended to check the care instructions on the label of your scrubs for specific guidelines. In general, using a washing machine provides a convenient and efficient way to clean your scrubs, but ensure you follow any specific temperature or detergent recommendations to maintain the fabric's quality.

Is there a special way to wash scrubs?

While scrubs can be washed in a standard washing machine, it's advisable to follow some best practices. Turn your scrubs inside out before washing to minimize friction and protect the outer surface. Washing in cold or lukewarm water is often recommended to prevent colors from fading, and using a mild detergent helps maintain the fabric's integrity. Always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

How often should scrubs be washed?

The frequency of washing scrubs depends on usage and exposure to contaminants. In a healthcare setting, where cleanliness is crucial, washing scrubs after each wear is recommended. This practice helps prevent the spread of infections and ensures a consistently hygienic work environment.

Should I wash scrubs inside out?

Yes, washing scrubs inside out is a good practice. It helps protect the outer surface and any embroidered or printed designs, minimizing friction and potential damage during the washing process. This step can contribute to the longevity of your scrubs, especially if they have specific embellishments or features.

Do I need to wash my scrubs every day?

Yes, it is recommended to wash scrubs after every use. Healthcare professionals work in environments where exposure to germs and contaminants is common. Washing scrubs daily ensures a clean and sterile uniform for each shift, contributing to both personal hygiene and the maintenance of a sanitary workplace.

How often should scrubs be changed?

Scrubs should be changed daily or more frequently if they become soiled. Changing into a fresh set of scrubs for each shift helps maintain a professional appearance, prevents the spread of contaminants, and reflects a commitment to cleanliness in healthcare settings.

How should scrubs be washed?

Scrubs are typically washed in a standard washing machine. Use cold or lukewarm water, turn them inside out, and opt for a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach, as it can damage the fabric and compromise the color. Following the care instructions on the label is essential to ensure proper washing and maintain the quality of your scrubs.

Can I wear the same scrubs every day?

While it's technically possible to wear the same scrubs every day, it is not recommended for healthcare professionals. Regular washing and changing of scrubs contribute to a sterile environment, prevent the spread of infections, and adhere to hygiene standards. Rotating between multiple sets of scrubs ensures a fresh and clean uniform for each shift.

How should I wash scrubs for the first time?

Washing your scrubs for the first time is crucial for setting colors and ensuring longevity. Follow these steps: separate colors, pre-treat stains, turn scrubs inside out, use mild detergent, choose a cold water wash, avoid overloading, opt for a gentle cycle, and air dry or use a low-heat setting in the dryer. This process helps maintain fabric quality and prevents shrinkage.