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Scrubs Stain Removal 101

Sweat Stains The old standby, vinegar, works well on yellow sweat stains and stains caused by caramelization (sugar-based stains). Pour vinegar over the stained area to neutralize the affected area. Gently agitate the stain. Repeat until it disappears. If you’re dealing with a stubborn stain, try rubbing salt on the area. Let the treated scrubs sit in the sun to dry, then throw in the wash.

Pee Stains Fill a spray bottle with 2/3 water, 1/6 Simple Green and 1/6 ammonia. Work the solution into the spot (after testing the garment for color fastness), let it sit for a bit, then wash as normal. This solution will take out the urine, and the smell, from your garments.

Chocolate Stains Apply a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the stain. Blot with an absorbent pad. Flush with water or launder as usual.

Coffee or Tea Stains Act quickly…don’t let it set! Sprinkle a little baking soda on a wet cloth (cold water) and blot. Don’t rub; it will not only spread the stain, but push it in deeper. If you have a stain stick handy, you can use that, too. Give it a minute to penetrate the stain, then rinse well.

Vomit Stains Quickly scrape to remove the chunks. Rub in warm water and a tablespoon of ammonia. Rinse as well as you can and apply a stain stick. Then blot and rinse again with water, making sure to remove all of the ammonia.

Milk Stains Get to the milk before it dries. Cool water is essential to stop it from setting. Sponge the milk stain as much as possible and then work small amounts of detergent into the stain, rinsing it as you go. You can also dilute rubbing alcohol with two parts of water and work into the stain with your fingers or a toothbrush.

Blood Stains A more advanced protein stain remover is hydrogen peroxide (use with caution). Use hydrogen peroxide on wet scrubs, work it in and let it set for a few minutes, then immediately wash the garment. For colors, we recommend a pre-treater.

Random Stains If something appears on your scrubs and you don’t know its genesis, try starting with warm water with soap. You can also add stain remover spray as a booster to the wash to help the soap do its job better. Wash all stains ASAP on the hottest temperature possible and check to see if a stain is gone before placing your scrubs in a dryer. If it hasn’t come out, do not dry! Heat will set a stain. Your scrubs may need multiple washes to slowly and gently release the stain.

Poop Stains Add one to three scoops of strong detergent (we recommend an “oxygen bleach”) to a bucket or basin of water. Then immerse the stained scrubs in the solution. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chemical will “attack” or “eat” the stained area. The “magic” is the oxygen in the powder, which is released and becomes active in water. The bubbles help remove the stain by making them more water-soluble.

Medication Stains Treat immediately with a stain stick (every nurse should keep one in his or her work bag!).It works on blood and most medical stains, grease, most inks and food stains, and cleans uniforms, lab coats and stubborn scrubs stains. Launder as usual as soon as possible.

Ink Stains Nonpermanent ink can be removed by applying rubbing alcohol or household-grade ammonia directly onto the stain. Avoid rubbing the stain as it will encourage the stain to migrate to other areas of the garment. Always test for color fastness before applying to the stain.

What are some of your stain removal tips and secrets?

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