How to Properly Handle Soiled Cleanroom Garments

Softwall-Gownroom.jpgThe last two weeks, we have been focusing on the steps of donning and doffing your cleanroom garments. Just as important is what to do with them once you’ve removed them. We will give a quick guide here.

First and foremost, you should be working with a cleanroom garment processor to launder and repair your garments. This company needs to understand your contamination and quality control to know whether it can provide you a service. You should inform the processor of the type of soil on your garments (include your MSDS); what kinds of repairs the company can make (like patching); the acceptable amount of permanent staining; and clearly defined damage that would require a completely new garment.

With a garment processor in place, let’s look at what you need to be careful of when wearing your garments. Overall, everyone should take care to:

  • Prevent garments from becoming overloaded with particulate, soil, and fiber
  • Keep garments free of punctures, tears, and excessive wear
  • Store all garments in a controlled environment between wearings
  • Follow proper donning and doffing protocol
  • Sufficiently change inventory to prevent unnecessary degradation


After the garments have been removed, they need to be inspected and sorted. First you need to inspect the garment for soil and damage. Areas collecting the most wear include the abdomen, elbows, forearms, crotch, and zippers. This inspection will dictate how to sort it for the processor.  You also want to segregate each product, like hood, coverall, boots, etc.

Once you have identified the condition of the garment pieces and separated them out, you will need to further separate the garments into the following categories:

  • Needs cleaning (can be used again)
  • Needs replacement (beyond repair)
  • Needs repair
  • Needs repair and cleaning
  • Needs special processing (stain removal)
  • Unserviceable customer owned product


Finally, garment containers should be covered and lined or you may use 100% polyester bags. It is acceptable to mix soiled garments in containers. It is NOT acceptable to mix boots and overshoes with frocks, coveralls, hoods, or facemasks.

Knowing how to properly separate garments and prepare them for pickup will help prevent accidental contamination. For questions regarding cleanrooms, validations, certification, or construction, contact Gerbig Engineering Company at888-628-0056 or