Stains on clothing can quickly take your look from snazzy to shabby. Unfortunately, they are just an unavoidable part of life, like taxes or having to shave your legs (or your face, if you’re of the male persuasion).
Here are some stain removing hacks using household items that you would never guess could be used as stain remover!
For tough-to-get-out tomato based stains, douse the item in water so that it is fully soaked, spray a little white vinegar or lemon water onto the stain, and leave it out in the sun while it is very wet.
According to our sources, white bread can be very useful in removing lipstick stains from clothes. Remove the crust, wad it up into a ball, and blot out as much as you can – what’s left will come out in the wash.
For ink stains, soak the stained area in hand sanitizer and wait for 10 minutes before throwing it into the wash.
If you have a troubling grease stain, rub some chalk into the area before washing. The powdery texture should soak up most of the grease.
Treat red wine stains as soon as you can, while it’s still wet. After pouring club soda onto the stain, sprinkle on some kitty litter and press it into the stain so that it absorbs the wine.
Sweat stains, be gone! Wet the sweat stain with warm water and sprinkle some meat tenderizer on the area. Wait 30 minutes before washing.
How do you justify spending $30-$40 more on a set of scrubs made with performance fabric versus sticking with your standard-grade scrubs that the hospital gave you?
There are actually a number of reasons to invest in a set of nursing scrubs made with high quality fabrics. Here are the top reasons to spring for a nicer set of performance scrubs the next time you’re in the market to buy yourself a new set of scrubs.
- The comfort level of performance fabric is as good as it gets. Most cheap scrubs are made with a shabby poly-blend fabric that is scratchy and uncomfortable. Performance fabrics make scrubs insanely soft, way more comfortable for long shifts in your scrubs.
- Performance fabrics are designed to work for you. The very term “performance fabric” means that the fabric has been imbued with a number of technological properties that make it easier to care for, more comfortable, and more durable for you, the wearer.
- The durability lasts forever. Scrubs made of performance fabrics can go through the wash hundreds of times without seeing holes or pilling in the fabric. You also won’t see the color fade. Longer-lasting scrubs means cost savings over the long term, as you can buy fewer sets of scrubs that won’t need to be replaced as often.
- Low maintenance care. Scrubs made with performance fabrics are often stain resistant and wrinkle releasing, meaning you don’t have to do much to keep them in good shape. Stains will come out more easily in the wash and you can usually get away with not ironing them.
Even if you don’t work in healthcare, stains happen. Whether someone bumps into you while holding a cup of coffee, or you spill your glass of red wine, there are a multitude of ways that life can ruin your clothes.
If you work in healthcare, you’ll probably experience more stains than the rest of us! Here are the most stubborn stains and how to get rid of them.
One of the toughest stains to remove is blood – not a good look on an otherwise pristine white lab coat. Rinse the stain immediately under cold water, let it soak in a mix of water and dish soap, and use a stain remover like OxyClean before laundering.
If you’ve gone your whole medical career without having a pen explode in your pocket, you are the exception to the rule. Ink stains are unsurprisingly extremely difficult to remove, but most water-based inks should come out in the wash with some stain remover. If you aren’t dealing with performance fabric, some recommend that nail polish remover can help dissolve the stain, but I don’t recommend you do this on any nice clothes that have technologic features imbued in the fabric.
Another unsurprising yet stubborn stain is coffee, the lifeblood of so many working in healthcare. Rinse the stain in cold water as soon as possible – the longer you wait, the more time the stain has to set in. Rub soap on it, but not too hard, and apply stain remover before laundering.
It’s a vice of many, and it’s hard to get out of your clothes if you’re a fan of the reds! Experts suggest that to remove a wine stain, soak the garment in a mixture of water, dish soap and white vinegar. Rinse and apply an enzyme-based stain remover before washing.
A good rule of thumb to remember whenever dealing with a stain, is to avoid hot temperatures as this will cause the stain to set into your clothes.
One of the most frequent ways to ruin your lab coat is that beverage you’re always drinking: coffee stains. Coffee is unavoidable if you work in medicine, and if you’re human, spills will happen.
If you have a cheap lab coat or one that is made of cotton or other natural fibers, unfortunately you probably can’t do too much except throw that lab coat away. That’s because natural fibers tend to absorb liquids really quickly and cling to the colors that created the stain.
If you’ve made the (smart and practical) decision to get yourself a high-quality lab coat made of performance fabrics, there’s a high probability you will be able to get that stain out! As a matter of fact, if you take a look at the reviews for this brand of white lab coats, you’ll see a lot of people have had no problem rinsing out coffee stains because of the durable, technological fabrics they use.
Here are the steps you should take to save your lab coat from a coffee stain:
- Rinse the stain immediately. Literally, as soon as you can get to a faucet, rinse the stain. Don’t bother with trying to spot clean. It’s not going to work.
- Apply a stain remover to the brown patch. The designers at Medelita have recommended OxyClean, but the most important thing is to take action as soon as you can. The sooner you apply the stain remover, the better chances you can salvage your coat!
- Launder as normal with NO BLEACH. The stain should have been released during the wash, and if you have a lab coat made of performance fabric then the bleach will wear down the fibers.
When it comes to clothing maintenance, a little goes a long way in making sure your clothes look as nice as they did the day you got them! Simple tips like avoiding the dryer when you can, and removing stains with a powerful detergent are easy to understand, but what about wrinkles?
For starters, wrinkle-releasing fabric is a godsend. It really makes your life easier and saves you time. But clothes get wrinkled, and you need a fast and easy way to get them out! Which begs the question, steaming or ironing?
I am a diehard fan of steaming over ironing my clothes, and here’s why.
- No worrying about heat settings. What if the care tag of your clothes has been worn out or torn off so you don’t know what heat setting to put your iron? Also, what if the fabric is something you’ve never heard of and you’re not sure if you should put the heat setting closer to polyester or cotton? If you make it too hot, ironing will ruin the fabric of your clothes. Steaming doesn’t have a heat setting, it works for all fabrics and won’t ruin them.
- It’s faster and more convenient. With a handheld steamer, it takes about 2 minutes for the water to heat up and then a fraction of the time to get the wrinkles out compared to running the entire iron over the fabric. You also need an ironing board or another surface to use an iron, with a steamer you just need a hanger!
- Awkward folds and seams. I know you’ve experienced the frustration of trying to iron a shirt or a dress and having a part that folds strangely or that looks like it shouldn’t be ironed. What do you do then? With a steamer, you don’t need to guess – just let the wrinkles be released and it will fall into shape.
The good news is that a lot of irons today come with a steamer setting so you don’t actually have to make a hard decision to break up with your ironing habits. Personally, I cannot seem to understand how to make that setting work on my iron, so I went ahead and bought a little handheld portable steamer for $30 and it’s made my life so much easier!
I am definitely not a laundry pro. I usually launder my “hand-wash only” garments on delicate, and I’ve never been one to separate my colors (except for whites). I’m not even sure what the difference between cold water and hot water is when it comes to how it affects washing my clothes.
As such, it might not be that surprising to learn that I’ve shrunk many pieces of clothing in my years. It’s always a tragedy, and cotton clothes are especially vulnerable to this mishap. Cotton may be soft, but it’s a bit high maintenance if you ask me.
That’s why I’ve started looking for pre-shrunk clothes when I go shopping. There’s less ways for me to mess up brand new clothing, and this brand makes a great line of scrubs that come in super soft fabric and are pre-shrunk. Their fabric and design means that there is actually less than 1% shrinkage and no pilling even after 100 washes (pilling: another thorn in my side).
So if you’re in the market for a new pair of scrubs, try a set that is made pre-shrunk so that they are turned into baby clothing after one wash.
Pre Shrunk Scrubs by Medelita
The best way to keep your clothes looking nice for as long as possible? Taking good care of them. Try to avoid putting your nice clothes in the dryer, as high heat and tumbling can really wreck the fabric, and make sure you’re keeping your clothing clean and free of stains.
These are good rules of thumb, but proper maintenance of your professional clothing doesn’t need to be expensive and there actually is no reason for you to be having your lab coat dry cleaned after every wear. It’s expensive and if your lab coat is made of durable high quality fabric, it should be able to withstand going through the washing machine.
Especially if you’ve spent a lot of money on a premium lab coat, you may be tempted to take it to the dry cleaner instead of regular laundry, and that ultimately is a choice that is up to you, but at the end of the day it’s probably unnecessary. In fact, having to dry clean your lab coat might mean it ends up getting dirtier than it should, since it is a pain to have to visit the dry cleaner every time you wear your coat once.
And for the record…you should be washing your lab coat after every use!
No matter how good the quality of your clothes, including but not limited to your white doctor’s coat, there will be instances of seams coming loose or buttons falling off. That is just the nature of clothing, but with a little sewing know-how, you can do some of these wear-and-tear-repairs from your home.
Everyone should have at their home a mini travel sewing kit – these come with threads of many colors, needles, a pin, and a needle threader (so you don’t have to squint at the eye of that needle to get the thread through!) and a small pair of scissors. If you don’t already have one, they cost about $6 at your local drugstore and are always small enough to fit in a handbag.
Re-sew a button
- Choose your thread color and cut a length 2x longer than the amount you think you’ll need.
- Thread your needle, looping the thread around and retying it at both ends, creating a giant loop of thread with the needle hanging. This is a handy way to keep the thread from falling out of the needle, and saves you time rethreading your needle. It also creates the knot you’ll need to prevent your thread from falling out.
- Align the button with the other buttons on your lab coat, and push the threaded needle up through the fabric and through one hole in the button. Use a pin between the stitch you have made and where the next stitch will go to in order to keep from stitching the button too tight. Push the needle down through the hole, through the fabric, and pull the thread all the way through with your needle.
- Repeat this process, crisscrossing your thread in an x-shape if its a 4-hole button, until the button is secure.
- Push the needle into the fabric under a place that the button covers and make a 3 more stitches to secure the thread further.
The latest generation of athletic performance fabrics have been a godsend for many fitness buffs, as the moisture wicking fabric and flattering athleisure designs have made it possible for the modern professional to easily go from the gym, to the grocery store, or any other type of errands. Gone are the days of needing to go home and change out of your damp, sweaty clothes before daring to be seen in public – these high-tech fabrics are able to wick away moisture and sweat so effectively that most people can transition easily from fitness to real life while wearing the same clothes you do to workout.
However, this technological feature which saves so much time for users may also be the culprit to blame for stinky clothes that permeate through your laundry basket. The problem is this: when you work out in performance fabric gym clothes, the fact that your clothes feel dry almost immediately thereafter can easily lead to the mistaken assumption that the garment is cleaner than any other apparel you would wear to work out in.
When your clothes feel dry, the sweat, germs, and bacteria can easily accumulate without you noticing. Because these performance fabrics feel dry, many people interpret that as being clean – which is not the case until you actually wash the clothes. Many people want to wear their favorite yoga pants on Tuesday, and again on Thursday; since the clothes seem to be clean they are used multiple times between washes. Unfortunately, once you actually throw these athleisure garments in your hamper, they might be so inundated with sweat and dirt that the smell permeates your entire laundry hamper.
The takeaway? Launder your workout clothes (without fabric softener!) after every gym session or spinning class in order to increase the longevity of your garments and prevent them from stinking up the rest of your hamper.