If you’re an experienced nurse this is the problem many have had. You start your day with a freshly washed pair of scrubs only to find that by the time your 12–14-hour shift is over it’s been splashed with stains. Buying a new set of scrubs can add up quickly! As a busy travel nurse, you might not want to spend your free time buying new scrubs. After working with many travel nurses, we have come up with a few helpful tips and tricks for keeping your scrubs fit, functional, durable, and clean.
How do I keep my scrubs from fading, shrinking, or pilling?
To keep your scrubs looking and feeling like they did when you first got them it starts with a good wash! Start by separating your scrubs from your regular laundry to prevent thread damage from other fabric types you may have. Make sure to also turn your scrubs inside out and set your washing machine to the settings listed on the tag. But since fabrics vary and tags often fade, here’s a good guide to reference in case you are over in doubt.
Try this 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 to dry
- Polyester/Rayon/Spandex blend – wash in warm water ad hang to dry or dry on low heat
If you can’t avoid drying your scrubs in your dryer, make sure the heat is on the lowest or medium setting to help avoid your scrubs from shrinking. Taking these steps each time, you wash your scrubs will help you delay your scrubs from pilling, tearing, shrinking, and fading before you’re ready to say goodbye to your favorite pair of scrubs!
Pro Tip! Before you wear your new scrubs for the first time, make sure to prewash them in a mix of cold water and half a cup of plain white household vinegar. Doing this prewash treatment on your brand-new scrubs will help keep your colors and patterns vibrant!
How do I get touch stains off my scrubs?
As you know as a nurse, stains happen, your best bet to remove them is by treating them as soon as possible. The longer you leave the stains on your scrubs the harder it will be to remove! No matter what kind of ointment, bodily fluid, food, or other substance finds its way to your scrubs, there can be something you can use at home or even at work that can help. If you don’t have a Clorox or tide pen on hand, keep this in mind for treating scrub stains effectively with natural and everyday items. Make sure you prioritize regular upkeep and maintenance of your scrubs to keep them out of the toss/donation pile.
Is it better to hang or fold scrubs?
You may not think so but how you store your scrubs affects how fast they crease or wrinkle. We found that it is best to hang your scrubs! Having the extra airflow will help keep them presentable, fresh and help you keep your matching tops and bottoms together!
Of course, as travel nurses, we know that your housing may not come with a closet or dresser. The trick is to stay neat and organized. If you’re living out of your suitcase, to avoid the disorganization of your scrubs being bundled up (this will work in a dresser as well), try the Marie Kondo method by rolling them! This will allow you to see every pair you own and easily grab your favorite pair!
It’s important to look and feel great in your scrubs
Taking the time and care to maintain your scrubs will keep them looking better for longer. As you know scrubs are an investment, so follow these tips and tricks to look and feel like fresh and flawless healthcare professional every day!