How to Properly Clean and Disinfect Your Lab Coat

Lab coats are a crucial component of personal protective equipment (PPE) for scientists and laboratory personnel. They serve as a barrier against hazardous chemicals, biological agents, and other dangers. Ensuring lab coats are consistently cleaned and disinfected is paramount to prevent the transmission of contamination.

Table of content

  • How to wash a lab coat?
  • General washing instructions
  • How to disinfect a lab coat
  • How to clean a lab coat with blood on it
  • How to get ink out of a white lab coat
  • Additional tips
  • Conclusion

How to wash a lab coat?

The method for laundering a lab coat varies based on the fabric type and degree of contamination. Certain lab coats can undergo machine-washing, while others necessitate hand-washing or professional dry cleaning. Prior to washing, it is imperative to consult the care label affixed to your lab coat.

General washing instructions

  • Pre-treat any visible stains.
  • Wash the lab coat separately from other clothing.
  • Use a mild detergent.
  • Wash on a gentle cycle with warm water.
  • Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
  • Dry the lab coat on a low heat setting or hang it to dry.

How to disinfect a lab coat

When your lab coat has been exposed to hazardous materials, it is crucial to properly disinfect it prior to reuse. There are several methods available to effectively disinfect a lab coat:

  • Autoclave: Autoclaving is widely recognized as the most effective method for disinfecting lab coats, as it eliminates bacteria, viruses, and spores. To properly autoclave a lab coat, securely seal it in an autoclave bag and subject it to a cycle at 121 degrees Celsius for a duration of 20 minutes.
  • Chemical disinfectants: Chemical disinfectants, like bleach or sodium hypochlorite, can be utilized for lab coat disinfection. Nonetheless, it is crucial to meticulously adhere to the manufacturer's instructions and thoroughly rinse the lab coat after disinfection.
  • Heat: Heat can also serve as a method of disinfecting lab coats. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that certain fabrics may not endure high temperatures. To disinfect a lab coat using heat, launder it in hot water and subsequently dry it on a high heat setting.

How to clean a lab coat with blood on it

To effectively clean a lab coat stained with blood, it is recommended to follow these procedural steps:

  • Soak the lab coat in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Apply a gentle amount of mild detergent to the stained area and gently massage it in.
  • Rinse the lab coat thoroughly with cold water.
  • If the stain is still visible, repeat steps 2 and 3.
  • Wash the lab coat as usual.

How to get ink out of a white lab coat

To remove ink stains from a white lab coat, adhere to the following steps:

  • Blot up as much of the ink as possible with a clean cloth.
  • Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and dab it on the stain.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with cold water.
  • If the stain is still visible, repeat steps 2 and 3.
  • Wash the lab coat as usual.

Additional tips

  • Inspect your lab coat regularly for signs of wear and tear. If it is damaged, replace it immediately.
  • Store your lab coat in a clean, dry place when you are not using it.
  • Wash your lab coat after each use, especially if you have been exposed to hazardous materials.


By adhering to these straightforward procedures, one can ensure the cleanliness and disinfection of a lab coat. This practice serves to safeguard against potential hazards and mitigate the risk of contamination transmission.

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