How often should you replace your scrubs clothing?

How often you should replace your medical scrubs depends on many things. Job roles, medical departments, workplace policy and healthcare sector all have an influence on the replacement interval. 

Most NHS trusts and private hospitals will supply you with the uniform they expect you to wear. They will also perform checks on the standards of your clothing to make sure it’s still doing the job of keeping you safe. You can, however, use this guide as a reference for when to expect new uniforms, and as a gauge should you feel you need to request new clothing.

When should you replace your scrubs?

It’s important to always wear scrubs in good condition as they’re the most important barrier between you and infectious substances. Scrubs with holes in them, or pieces of loose thread that can drape into contaminated areas, no longer provide the same level of protection, so as soon as scrubs show signs of ageing you should replace them.

Unisex Contrast Trim ScrubsUnisex Contrast Trim Scrubs
Unisex Contrast Trim Scrubs

What causes scrubs to age?

Most scrubs ageing is caused by the wear and tear sustained during day to day use. Another factor is the industrial laundering processes scrubs go through after each time they’re worn. The mixture of high washing and drying temperatures can cause them to fray and their colour to fade over time.

All of Alexandra’s scrubs are designed with durability in mind and are provided with a two-year guarantee from the date of delivery. The higher quality of scrubs you buy, usually the longer they will last.

Unisex Scrub Tunic by AlexandraUnisex Scrub Tunic by Alexandra
Scrub Tunic

What influences how often you should replace your scrubs?

Your Role

Surgeons and theatre staff will need to replace their scrubs more often than ward nurses. This is because their uniforms come into more regular contact with infectious substances and pose a greater risk of contamination. 

All private and NHS trusts will insist that theatre staff uniforms are washed on-site through the industrial laundering techniques, whereas some nurses may be expected to wash their own uniforms - this difference can wear scrubs out more quickly.

To prolong the life of uniforms, staff should ensure they have the right allocation of garments for their working hours. Based on full-time hours, the typical nurse should receive between 3-5 tops from their workplace. This makes sure they can be wearing one set of nurse scrubs, have another set in the wash and at least one ready to be worn at all times.

Women's Contrast Trim Scrub Tunic by AlexandraWomen's Contrast Trim Scrub Tunic by Alexandra
Women's Contrast Trim Scrub Tunic

Branding Changes

If your scrubs are personalised with your workplace’s logo or colour scheme, then any rebranding might cause you a need to change your scrubs. Branded nurse wear is becoming more common and may cause a quicker changeover of scrubs in the future.

With Alexandra’s Boyd Cooper range of personalisable tunics and trousers, procurement staff are able to design the colour and trim of uniforms around brand colours. Alongside this, we can also add an embroidered or printed logo to any of our garments sold sitewide.


Since the year 2000, scrubs have become increasingly popular in the UK. Before then, ward nurses tended to wear a more traditional tunic and trouser combination. What this goes to show is that trends can even affect healthcare uniforms, and when they change you might be expected to follow suit.

Boyd Cooper Range by AlexandraBoyd Cooper Range by Alexandra
Boyd Cooper Range

Where can I buy Scrubs? are the UK’s most trusted suppliers of medical clothing including scrubs, nurse tunics, ambulance trousers and PPE.

All of Alexandra’s uniform options come with a 2-year guarantee from the date of delivery and free delivery on orders over £60.

You can check out Alexandra’s full range of surgical scrubs clothing here.

How often should you replace your scrubs? An infographic by AlexandraHow often should you replace your scrubs? An infographic by Alexandra