Skip to main content

Disposable vs Washable Cleanroom Apparel

disposable-cleanroom-apparel-coat-bouffant-cap-and-mask.jpgCheck out our large selection of cleanroom apparel.

Cleanroom apparel can be one of the most significant costs in a cleanroom, and people often ask whether it’s better to buy disposable cleanroom clothing or launderable cleanroom garments that can be washed and reused multiple times.

The answer: It depends.

Pros And Cons Of Disposable Cleanroom Apparel
The beauty of disposable cleanroom apparel is that it’s easy to use. No need to launder anything, just wear it and toss it out. Particularly with the stricter classes of cleanrooms (e.g. Class 1 or Class 2 cleanrooms), disposable garments tend to be the most effective.

However, the costs for using something just once (or several times, depending on the manufacturers’ specifications) can add up, as you constantly have to replace the protective garments. Some of the less expensive types of disposable cleanroom garments tend to rip more easily, which means that they might not even make it through a single work shift. Also, reusable cleanroom clothes might need to be disposed of differently than ordinary waste, so those costs and protocol need to be considered.

Pros And Cons Of Washable Cleanroom Apparel
The primary benefit of washable cleanroom apparel is that this type of cleanroom clothing and accessories can cost less, over the long haul. While reusable clothing and garments typically cost more to purchase, the fact that you can get multiple uses out of them dramatically reduces the cost per use. Washable cleanroom apparel also tends to be made out of fabrics that are more “breathable,” which makes them more comfortable to wear.

The downside of using launderable cleanroom apparel is that you need to find a safe, consistent, and effective way to wash the clothing between uses. If you’re using an outside company to launder your cleanroom garments, you need to ensure that their transportation and cleaning processes conform to your cleanroom class requirements.

The Best Of Both Worlds: Disposable And Reusable Apparel
Often, when setting up a cleanroom environment and protocols, people will choose to use a combination of reusable and disposable garments. For example, they might choose washable cleanroom coveralls , but opt for disposable bouffant caps. To make a good decision about what to do for your cleanroom, you might consider setting up a spreadsheet and listing each individual item of clothing you need and whether it would be better to use a disposable or reusable version of the item (weighing in cost, comfort, convenience, and cleanroom conformance requirements).

Common Types Of Cleanroom Apparel
The most common types of cleanroom apparel that are available in disposable and washable options include:
•cleanroom suits
•cleanroom coveralls
•cleanroom coats
•cleanroom gowns
•cleanroom frocks
•cleanroom sleeves
•bouffant caps
•shoe and boot covers

For more information about disposable and washable cleanroom apparel, please call (303) 752-0076 or e-mail

For more than 30 years, we’ve been providing apparel for cleanrooms, labs, manufacturing facilities, and other sterile environments, and we’d be happy to give you recommendations about what might work best for your setting.