Cleaning Your Lab Coat Lab coats are used in a variety of applications, most notably medical profession, from veterinarians to doctors to dentists. These coats protect the everyday clothing of the person wearing them from contamination, dirt, and over hazardous substances that could harm you or ruin your clothing. Coats that are severely stained, ripped or old should be disposed in a professional hazardous waste container. Coats that are just simply dirty should be handled and cleaned by a professional cleaner trained in hazardous waste.
It is never advisable to wash your lab coat in your home washing machine or at a Laundromat. If there is any contaminant on the coat, the water temperatures will not be hot enough to kill the germs or neutralize any chemicals. Regular laundry detergent is also not strong enough to handle whatever may have gotten on your lab coat. If you have to bring your lab coat home and it is mildly dirty and not contaminated with anything terrible, place it in a water-soluble bag and then clean it with liquid bleach and detergent in a recommended amount suggested on the label. Blood, bodily fluids, chemicals, and other hazardous materials are easily taken care of.
Radioactive materials, on the other hand, require additional precautions. Radioisotopes, such as ones used in certain laboratory applications and X-ray departments, need to be beneath a certain level before it can be removed from the department it is used in. If the levels are higher than the recommended amounts, the owner of the lab coat should notify the proper authorities in order to determine the proper disposition of the coat. Specialized laundry services have employees trained to remove the contaminants, dirt, and other wastes that have gotten on your lab coat. In most hospitals and medical offices, a bio-hazard container can be found.
Dirty laundry, lab coats, and other washable items are placed in special plastic bags within the container and later picked up by the professional cleaners to be cleaned. Cleaners charge a minimum fee for the pick-up and delivery of soiled clothing and material, but it is well worth it to make sure they are all cleaned properly. If you do not like the idea of worrying about any hazardous waste contamination on your clothing, use disposable lab coats. These are quick and easy to put on, and can be thrown away when the wearer is finished. They do not cost any more to purchase than the standard fabric lab coats and can cut down the cost of maintenance and cleaning of your regular lab coats.
They also protect the same way as regular lab coats when worn properly. Lab coats should be taken care of as well as any of your medical equipment. It is a tool used for protecting you from any harm and keeps your clothes clean.
Clean them when they become dirty or if you feel that there is more contamination than normal. If you take care of your lab coat, it will take care of you and keep you clean, healthy, and in good working order.
Rick G is the author of this article on Shop Lab Coats. Find more information about Colored Lab Coats here.