Differential laundering practices of white coats and scrubs among health care professionals

L. Silvia Munoz-Price, Kristopher L. Arheart, David Lubarsky, David J. Birnbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The role played by health care worker's uniforms on the horizontal transmission of organisms within the hospital is still controversial. To determine the differential laundering practices in regards to white coats and scrubs, we surveyed physicians present at the 3 weekly academic conferences with largest attendance at our hospital (medicine, pediatrics, and anesthesiology). Out of 160 providers, white coats were washed every 12.4 ± 1.1 days and scrubs every 1.7 ± 0.1 days (mean ± standard error; P <.001). Faculty physicians washed their scrubs more frequently than house staff (1.0 vs 1.9 days, respectively, P =.018), and no differences were observed among specialties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-567
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Uniforms
  • Washing frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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