Unless you are Dr Joel Winters from New York, chances are you would like your lab coat to be spotless. Dr. Winters on the other hand, wore his stains as his badges of honor, refusing to wash his coat for over ten years, reported the Gomer Blog in June 2015. A doctor's lab coat is any laundry's worst nightmare. It is subjected to all kinds of stains not the worst of which is blood stains. This is why there are special lab coat cleaning services that are up to the job of constantly revitalizing the garb to its sterilized form. The importance of this was acknowledged by the UAE Ministry of Health in 2014, when they banned the use of lab coats in public places in order to prevent inadvertent transfer of diseases.
How to Remove Blood Stains from Lab Coats – Expert Tips
Wash with Cold Water: Subjecting the coat to hot water can prove counterproductive as blood stains tend to 'cook' in heat and become more stubborn. This is true of any protein stain, which is the case with most body fluids. They change their chemical composition in heat and become more difficult to remove. As immediate treatment is hardly possible in the case of a doctor's coat, it is advisable that whenever he has the chance, he scrapes off the crust with the edge of disposable spoon and runs the stains under cold water.
Soak: The only way to ensure that lab coats are properly cleaned is to soak them for up to six hours in cold water. One should use a stain remover like Vanish Oxi Action Powder to get rid of blood stains and then wash as usual, preferably with an additional scoop. The advantage of an oxygen based solvent is that it will also act as a mild bleach helping to restore the pristine whiteness of the coat.
Minimal Use of Dryer: Set the dryer on lowest heat and take out the coat as soon as possible. Especially as most white coats are 100% cotton, they tend to crease easily. Tumble dry can cause more wrinkles and make it difficult to iron the coat. Moreover, in case there are any residual stains, the heat from the dryer might leave it with a permanent tinge.
Moreover, it is advisable to invest in a new lab coat on an annual basis, as it is the most hygienic option by the medical fraternity.