How To Disinfect Scrubs: A Nurse’s Guide To Sanitizing Scrubs Properly
Scrubs are not just a work uniform, but they also represent a symbol of a profession. Another purpose of the scrubs is to ensure the safety of the patients through proper hygiene. The difficult task is to keep them clean without bacteria. It takes much effort especially for nurses who run a hectic shift.
Nurses have much responsibility to prevent compromise of patients’ health by ensuring that they wash their scrubs properly and disinfect them. Disinfection of scrubs cannot be on dirty linen, and it is essential to clean the scrubs thoroughly before disinfecting.
How to Wash and Disinfect Scrubs1.Separate scrubs from other clothes
Scrubs are dirty because they gather man contaminants at work. It is essential to separate and wash them separately from regular clothes. The right way is to separate the scrubs soon after arriving home by placing them is different laundry bag or hamper. Make a habit of carrying a freezer bag and store your scrubs in it n the way home if you change to regular clothes at the workplace. It is efficient in sealing the dirty scrubs until the time to laundry.
You can wait to accumulate several dirty scrubs before washing to conserve water and energy. Separating a large heap before cleaning is necessary because a washing machine will clean well if there is adequate room from clothes to move around. It will not clean thoroughly if the scrubs are squeezing too much.2.Check the scrubs for stains
Scrubs are likely to have stains, and it is essential to remove them before washing. Different stains require a particular thing to remove them. A small amount of vinegar or bleach on blood stains will help to clear. A mixture of vinegar (one part) and two parts of water will remove the coffee stains.
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You should wash the scrubs should be in cold water and detergent. Ensure that the setting is at normal. The first wash should clean the scrubs inside out to prevent abrading. Check them for stains after the first wash is complete because they can set during the second round of washing that needs hot water. You can proceed with a second wash after determining that there is no residual. It might be necessary to soak the scrubs for proper disinfection if the stains are still visible. The soaking should not be for too long because the bleach mixture has properties that might damage the fabric.4.Use bleach for stains in the washer
Bleach helps to clear stains, and you can use it in a laundry machine with a bleach dispenser. It helps to dilute the bleach before adding it to the laundry load. Some washers do not have a dispenser, but you can still use bleach by filling the tub with hot water before adding ¾ cup of bleach. Remember to add it to the washer before the scrubs. It is essential to avoid using full strength bleach on the scrubs because it might weaken the fibers and completely remove the color.
The regular wash with warm or hot water and spinning in the dryer will eradicate most germs, but it is efficient as disinfecting. Taking an extra step of disinfection is essential. White cotton scrubs need disinfection by adding sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) to a wash cycle. Do not directly pour bleach on the clothing. Pour chlorine bleach into a washer bleach dispenser or dilute it with water before adding to a washer drum.
Oxygen-based bleaches do not provide any disinfectant qualities when you use them the for home laundry process.
Pine oil disinfectants are suitable for colored scrubs or those that are not cotton material. You should add them at the start of a wash cycle and are more effective in warm and hot water. The product should contain 80% pine oil for maximum efficiency. Phenolic disinfectant is another superb alternative for disinfecting colored scrubs5.Tumble the scrubs dry in high heat
Wash the scrubs using the highest heat setting and tumble the dry for about 30 minutes to help in killing the bacteria. Cleaning scrubs in the regular laundry steps, adding disinfectant and machine drying kills any virus and bacteria on the fabric. By following regular laundry steps, adding a disinfectant, and machine drying, any virus in question, even the AIDS virus, will be killed.