How to Wash Your Medical Scrubs

Precision and hygiene are very important parts of healthcare, it is so important that the cleanliness and upkeep of medical scrubs have become an integral part of the professional practice of most medicos. Your medical scrubs stand for your commitment to patient care and safety, which means they’re more than just a uniform. As you navigate the challenges of your noble profession, you’ll realize that proper care and washing of scrubs are a very important part of your routine as a medical professional.

Think of this blog as a guide on how to properly wash your medical scrubs. We’ll also provide insights into the best practices for maintaining hygiene and expanding the life span of your scrubs. Because we want to preserve your professional image to instill confidence in both your patients and colleagues.

Understanding Your Scrubs

The diversity of the fabric adds another layer to the components of scrub care. Understanding your scrubs is the first step towards taking proper care of them. Let’s discuss various fabric types used in medical scrubs and unravel the mysteries of scrub maintenance:

Different Types of Medical Scrubs Material


Known for its breathability and comfort, cotton scrubs are favored for their softness against the skin. However, they may be prone to wrinkles.


Durable and resistant to wrinkles, polyester scrubs are recognized for their longevity. They also offer moisture-wicking properties, making them suitable for high-activity settings.


Combining the strengths of viscose and polyester, blended scrubs aim to provide the best of both worlds, offering comfort and durability.

Care Instructions Provided by Manufacturers

Take a careful look at the wash guide, also called care instructions provided by the manufacturers before washing your scrubs.

Manufacturers often provide details of the fabric and wash guide on the label of the scrubs. These instructions are very useful in preserving the life of your scrubs.

Pre-Wash Preparations

Make sure you’re taking care of these things before you put your scrub to wash:

  • Check the pockets

Make sure no personal items are left behind in your scrub pockets.

  • Turn your scrubs inside you

Before washing your scrubs, turn them inside out to protect the outer surface of the fabric to preserve its color, and minimize the friction between the scrub’s surface and other garments. (speaking of other garments, make sure you’re washing scrubs with scrubs, not your home clothes as it can spread infection)

  • Take care of stains

Stains on your scrubs can get ugly, and get deeper into the fabric, make sure you remove stains of blood, vomit, and other chemicals with a spoon before you put it to wash.

  • Separate the colors and fabric

You must have seen the wash guide from your manufacturer that says, “Wash with like colours” So wash with like colors and fabrics. Doing this ensures the maintenance of your fabric quality and also the color of your scrubs.

  • Gentlemen/women use gentle stain removers

Treat your scrub gently. Use stain removers that are gentle on the fabric, but also highly effective to break down the stains.

Washing Guidelines: Mastering the Art of Scrub Care

Done with all the pre-wash preparations? 

Now before you go wash your scrub, you need to understand the proper guidelines to wash your medical scrubs to preserve their integrity.

Follow these tips to ensure effective scrub washing:

  • Machine washing vs. hand washing

When you’re washing your scrubs through a machine, use a gentle cycle to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the fabric. Use cold or lukewarm water to prevent the color fading, especially if you’re washing vibrant or dark-colored scrubs. You must also turn your scrubs inside out before placing them in the machine to minimize friction and protect the outer surface of the scrub.

When hand washing your scrubs, fill the basin with cold or lukewarm water and add a mild detergent. Soak the scrubs in that water for a short duration and gently rub the fabric to remove stains, or dirt by paying extra attention to high-stress areas. Rinse the scrub thoroughly with cold water to remove the residue of the detergent.

  • Appropriate Water Temperature

When washing your scrub it is very important to refer to the wash guide and wash your scrub with the right water temperature. Do not use hot water to wash your scrubs, because it’ll lead to shrinkage and it can be harsh on certain fabrics. Always use cold or lukewarm water for washing and also to kill the deadly bacteria and viruses present in the scrub.

  • Choosing the Right Detergent

Choosing the right detergent is the entire game when it comes to washing your scrubs. Make sure you’re washing your scrubs with a mild, color-safe detergent that is designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach, or harsh chemicals as it can compromise the color and integrity of your scrub fabric.

  • Avoiding Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners can reduce the effectiveness of moisture-wicking properties in certain scrubs. It's advisable to skip the fabric softener when washing medical scrubs.

  • Separating Colors and Fabrics

Continue the practice of sorting scrubs by color to prevent color bleeding during the wash.

Separate scrubs based on fabric type to cater to specific care requirements.

  • Rinsing Thoroughly

Whether machine-washed or hand-washed, always rinse scrubs thoroughly to remove any remaining detergent.

That’s all folks. Now you know how to wash your medical scrubs. Remember to use a mild detergent, wash with like colors, and with cold or lukewarm water.


Can I wash my medical scrubs with regular laundry detergent?

It's recommended to use mild, color-safe detergents designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach to preserve the integrity of your scrubs.

How often should I wash my medical scrubs?

Wash your scrubs after each wear to maintain hygiene and prevent the buildup of contaminants. Regular washing also helps extend the lifespan of your scrubs.

Can I use fabric softener when washing medical scrubs?

It's advisable to skip fabric softener, as it may reduce the effectiveness of moisture-wicking properties in certain scrubs. Opt for detergents specifically formulated for delicate fabrics.

Is it necessary to turn the scrubs inside out before washing?

Yes, turning scrubs inside out helps protect the outer surface, minimizing friction and preserving colors during the washing process.

Can I wash my scrubs in hot water?

To prevent shrinkage and color fading, it's recommended to use cold or lukewarm water for washing. Refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for the ideal water temperature.

How should I treat stubborn stains on my scrubs?

Swift action is key. Identify the type of stain and pre-treat it with an appropriate stain remover. Enzyme-based stain removers are effective for organic stains, while hydrogen peroxide may work well for blood stains.

Can I machine-dry my medical scrubs?

While machine drying is possible, air drying is gentler on fabrics and helps extend the life of your scrubs. If using a dryer, opt for a low heat setting to prevent damage.

Are all scrubs machine washable?

Most scrubs are machine washable, but it's crucial to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some specialty fabrics may have specific washing requirements.