Blood, fluids, chemicals and solvents, ink stains and the daily special from the cafeteria, are common sources of frustration when they wind up on garments. Having to replace permanently stained specialty garments can be very costly, as can dry cleaning.
Here are some of the most common stains and instructions for removing them. Most stains respond best when treated immediately, if time permits, but the reality of working in a hectic, fast-paced environment means that stain treatment usually happens at home. The supplies used are readily available at drug stores and in clinical settings.
Blood, vomit, bodily fluids, meat-based soups – Since they are protein based, this category of stains responds best when treated immediately. Blot as much of the stain with an absorbent paper towel/tissue as possible. Place additional absorbent material underneath garment.
1. Moisten sponge or cotton ball with enzyme-based cleaner such as Biz Bleach, apply and leave for 30 minutes then flush with water
2. Next, flush with ammonia/water solution (1 tbsp/1 cup), flush with water and blot.
3. Follow with white vinegar/water mixture (1:2 ratio) flush and blot.
4. For additional removal or extra whitening, apply bleach with hydrogen peroxide (3%) using a medicine dropper, add a drop of ammonia solution then flush with water before adding to the regular laundry cycle.
Pen ink stains
1. Bring glycerine (available in drug stores) to a lukewarm temperature.
2. Applying firm pressure, blot stain.
3. Continue to blot as long as ink transfers to blotter, while keeping stained area moist with glycerine.
4. Flush with water.
5. Apply mild detergent solution (liquid hand soap/water) with several drops of ammonia. Continue to blot and flush with water.
6. If stain persists, apply chlorine bleach with dropper. (DO NOT allow bleach to remain more than 2 minutes)
7. Rinse with water after each bleach cycle and use white vinegar solution to remove excess chlorine from bleach, followed by a flush with water.
1. Remove excess mustard, being careful not to smear stain
2. Apply liquid hand soap/water solution with dropper then blot.
3. Apply vinegar/water solution (1:2) then blot again.
4. With dropper, apply enzyme-based cleaner solution (Biz Bleach, ½ tsp. to 1 cup warm water), blot then flush with water.
5. Apply bleach with dropper to dissolve last traces of mustard. (DO NOT allow bleach to remain more than 2 minutes)
6. Rinse with water after each bleach application.
7. Apply white vinegar solution to remove excess bleach, then flush with water.
1. Apply paint, oil and grease remover (available at hardware stores) or dry cleaning solution, if accessible. Blot then repeat the cycle as long as stain is being removed.
Be careful not to spread the stain or to reapply to fabric (use clean blotter each time).
2. Apply detergent solution with dropper and add a few drops of ammonia. Tamp with brush then blot and flush with water.
3. Next apply detergent solution with dropper and a few drops of white vinegar. Tamp with brush then blot and flush with water. Allow area to dry.
4. Sponge with alcohol.
5. Apply bleach solution with dropper to remove last traces of stain. Follow each bleach application with a water flush. Apply vinegar solution to remove excess chlorine from bleach, then flush with water before adding to laundry.
So the next time you get a spill or stain on your labcoat or uniform, don’t fret, just following these simple instructions to keep your uniforms clean!