If you wear scrubs, your job probably brings you and your clothes in close contact with "stuff" that's just plain gross and has the potential of leaving unattractive stains. Here are some tips for removing nasty scrubs stains before they become permanent problems. And good news! You already have many of these problem-solvers available to you at work or in your own kitchen.
Test Before Treating
Remember to test for colorfastness before applying any of these stain remedies. Also, the sooner you treat a stain, the more successful you'll be in removing it.
Hydrogen peroxide is a protein stain remover that can be used to treat bloodstained scrubs. Work a little hydrogen peroxide into the bloodstained area, then let stand for several minutes. Launder the garment immediately.
Apply a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a chocolate stain. Blot with an absorbent cloth. Then drench with water to flush out the stain. Launder as usual.
Coffee Stain or Tea Stain
The important thing is not to let a coffee stain or tea stain set. Sprinkle a little baking soda on a wet cloth using cold water, then blot. Do not rub. Rubbing can spread the stain and work it deeper into fabric fibers. Another option is to use a stain stick. Allow it to penetrate the stain before rinsing.
Ink stains (nonpermanent) can be removed with rubbing alcohol or household ammonia; apply directly to the stain. Don't rub or the stain may spread.
Experienced RNs and LPNs recommend keeping a Scrub-A-Dub stain stick in the pocket of your scrubs to treat medication stains as well as stains caused by blood, grease, most inks and food stains. Launder as soon as possible after treating the stain.
It's best to treat a milk stain before the milk dries. Sponge the wet stain, then work in dishwashing liquid, rinsing with cool water as you go. Another option is to use a mixture of one part alcohol and two parts water. Work this into the stain with an old toothbrush. Rinse and launder.
Add 1 to 3 scoops of OxiClean to a bucket or basin of water. Immerse the poop stained scrubs in the solution; let sit for 10 minutes, stir occasionally. The oxygen in the powder activates in the water creating bubbles that make the stain more water soluble. OxiClean doesn't contain chlorine bleach so it should be safe to use on both white and colored scrubs.
Pour vinegar over yellow sweat stains. Gently agitate the stained area. Repeat these two steps until the sweat stain disappears. For stubborn stains, try rubbing salt on the area and letting the treated scrubs dry in the sun. Launder as usual.
Fill a spray bottle with 2/3 water, 1/6 Simple Green, 1/6 ammonia. Test the solution on the garment for colorfastness. Spray and work into the stain. Let sit for a few minutes, then wash. This solution should take out both the urine stain and smell.
Promptly remove the big chunks. Rub in warm water with a tablespoon of ammonia. Rinse, then apply a stain stick. Blot and rinse again to remove the ammonia. Launder as usual.
If Your Scrubs Can’t be Cleaned