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6 Nursing Scrubs Stain Removal Tips and Tricks

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By Kristen Smith, R.N.

We’ve all been there before. You head to work, prepared to be the best nurse you can be. You’re determined to make a difference in the lives of your patients. And then you spill your overpriced Starbuck’s coffee on your even more expensive Careisma Scrubs by Sofia Vergara. After the end of your 12- hour shift, you most likely had blood and urine on them too. And, oops! Your pen leaked in the front pocket! Not to worry! As a nurse that’s been there, I’ve got a quick fix for these messes and tips to keep those scrubs looking brand new!

1. Blood

Face it, it’s inevitable. Nurses come in contact with blood daily. The best stain removal for blood is hydrogen peroxide. Just rub the peroxide on the stain until it disappears. It even works on white scrubs or cotton fabrics!

2. Coffee

Remember that Starbuck’s coffee I referred to earlier? Throw no more scrubs away due to coffee stains! A quick fix for a coffee stain is beer! Simply rub it in and wash on your usual wash cycle. Of course, if you are on your way to work and spill coffee, you probably don’t have beer on hand. Rubbing alcohol also helps remove the stain.

3. Pen Ink

Rubbing alcohol works well for pen ink. Apply the alcohol to the stain and use a little elbow grease to rub it out. Hair spray also works for ink stains. Just be sure not to DRY the scrubs prior to removing the stain. Drying will set it in the fabric making it almost impossible to remove. Hairspray works, too!

4. Ointment

Ointments and oils can be removed with cornstarch. Leave the cornstarch to soak the grease for 15-20 minutes, brush away the powder and launder in cold water. This also works for Vaseline. Dawn dish detergent is also great to use for oil-type stains.

5. Urine

Urine is a common tough stain that nurses frequently have. Urine can be removed by adding ¼ cup of baking soda to your regular detergent. Fill the fabric softener cup with vinegar and wash normally.

6. Sweat

For sweat stains, mix one tablespoon of vinegar with ½ cup of water. Blot onto the stains and wash. Easy!

6 Scrub Stain Removal Tips and Tricks

So there are a few easy fixes for your most common scrub stains. I also recommend keeping a Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Pen in your work bag for quick stain removal!

Do you have any other tips for stain removals?

I am a full-time registered nurse, wife and new mom. I've recently started writing part-time and I love it! My family is my life. I enjoy spending time with them in my free time.

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