Care Guide for Lab Coats: How To Wash and Store

February 25, 2023

Lab coats are an essential garment for professionals in the healthcare, science, and research industries, designed to protect the wearer's clothing and skin from potentially hazardous substances. However, improper care and maintenance can cause lab coats to become contaminated, discolored, or even shrink, compromising their performance and safety. To ensure that your lab coat remains in excellent condition, it's important to know how to wash and store it properly. In this care guide, we will provide you with essential tips on how to care for your lab coat, including the do's and don'ts of washing and storage, so you can continue to work safely while maintaining a professional appearance.


After each use


Hang, Fold

The Right Way To Wash Lab Coats

Washing Lab Coats in the Washer

  1. Sort your lab coats by color and fabric type.
  2. Pre-treat any stains by applying a small amount of detergent or stain remover directly to the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing.
  3. Check the care label for specific washing instructions. If the coat is machine washable, place it in the washer with other similar fabrics, and use a gentle cycle and cold or warm water depending on the fabric type. If there are no specific instructions, use cold water to prevent shrinking and fading.
  4. Add a small amount of detergent according to the package instructions. Use a mild detergent for delicate fabrics.
  5. Start the wash cycle and wait until it's finished.
  6. Remove the coat from the washer and shake it out to help remove any wrinkles.
  7. Hang the coat to dry or put it in the dryer on a low or delicate cycle. If using a dryer, remove the coat while it's still slightly damp to prevent shrinkage and iron if necessary.
Handwashing Lab Coats
  1. Fill a sink or basin with cool or warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Do not use hot water as it can cause the coat to shrink.
  2. Submerge the coat in the water and gently scrub any stained areas with a soft-bristled brush or cloth. Avoid rubbing too hard as it can damage the fabric.
  3. Rinse the coat thoroughly under running water to remove all the soap.
  4. Squeeze out the excess water, but do not twist or wring the coat as it can cause it to lose its shape.
  5. Hang the coat to air dry.
Dry Cleaning Lab Coats
If the care label on your lab coat says "Dry Clean Only," take it to a professional dry cleaner. Do not attempt to wash it at home as it may damage the fabric or color. Dry cleaning uses special solvents that are gentle on delicate fabrics and removes stains without damaging the garment. When it comes to washing lab coats, there are special considerations that must be taken into account for biosafety, chemical safety, and radiation safety. Lab coats must be washed separately from regular clothing to prevent cross-contamination. If the lab coat has been exposed to biological hazards, it should be autoclaved before being washed to ensure that any pathogens have been eliminated. Additionally, lab coats should be washed in a dedicated washing machine, as regular washing machines may not be able to handle chemical or radioactive contamination. It is important to follow the specific care instructions for the lab coat to avoid damage to the fabric or loss of protective properties. If the lab coat is heavily contaminated or damaged, it should be disposed of according to established protocols for hazardous waste.

How Often To Wash Lab Coats

Lab coats should be washed after each use, as they can accumulate stains and bacteria. If the lab coat is made of special materials such as fire retardant or high visibility, it may require special care when washing. If the coat has decorative buttons or patches, it is important to follow the care instructions to avoid damage.

The Right Way To Store Lab Coats

How to Hang Lab Coats

  1. Choose a sturdy hanger.
  2. Hang the lab coat on the hanger by its collar.
  3. Button the coat to keep its shape.
  4. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases.

How to Fold Lab Coats
  1. Button the coat to keep its shape.
  2. Lay the coat face down on a flat surface.
  3. Fold the coat in half lengthwise.
  4. Fold the sleeves back along the sides of the coat.
  5. Fold the coat in half again widthwise.
  6. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases.

Expert Advice for Maintaining The Quality Of Your Lab Coats

To keep lab coats in top shape, it's important to follow a few practical tips. First, avoid washing lab coats with heavy or abrasive materials, such as towels which can damage the fabric. Instead, sort the coats by color and fabric type and wash them with similar fabrics to reduce friction and protect the fabric. Undoing any buttons and securing or closing any velcro straps is most practical during the wash cycle. Additionally, it's a good idea to wash clothes inside out to protect the surface of the fabric, especially for printed or embroidered lab coats. For new colored lab coats, consider using salt as a mordant or dye-fixer to prevent color bleeding. To reduce wear and tear during washing and drying, invest in mesh bags or a proper drying rack, especially for delicate items. It's recommended to skip the dryer whenever possible and air dry lab coats to prevent shrinkage or damage to the fabric. Finally, following the care label instructions is crucial to keeping lab coats in top shape, so always refer to the manufacturer's recommendations for best results.


Just a friendly reminder that this care guide for lab coats only provides general advice. Your lab coats may have specific care requirements based on its material, style, and manufacturer instructions, so always check the care label before washing or storing it. If you're unsure about anything, it's always best to consult a professional cleaner. Please note that the author of this guide is not responsible for any damages or losses resulting from the use or misuse of any information from this blog.

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