Justine Tigno-Aranjuez, researcher in the Burnett Biomedical Sciences Building at Lake Nona retrieves a clean lab coat.

Free Lab Coat Cleaning Service Available to UCF Researchers

By: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala on

Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 6, faculty, students, and staff who work in a research lab at UCF can say goodbye to washing their own lab coats.

Those working in a lab and who have completed all their safety training will be able to walk up to one of seven kiosks, swipe their UCF ID, select a size, and collect a clean individually wrapped lab coat from the bin below, just like a vending machine. When the lab coat needs cleaning, it can be dropped off at one of the return bins and a fresh coat collected from the dispensing kiosk. This can be done as many times as needed, all at no cost to the user.

“It’s just one small way we can help our researchers,” says Renee Michel, the director of Environmental Health and Safety which is running the program.  “Researchers work with chemicals and other substances that often will get onto their lab coats. People don’t realize those coats are designed to reduce the risk to the wearer. It’s best to have the coats professionally cleaned and that can be expensive.”

That’s why the Office of Research is paying for the managed lab coat rental program.

The kiosks are located in Lake Nona’s School of Biomedical Sciences Building, Engineering I and II, Research 1, and the Physical Sciences Building. Any research lab member can access the kiosks with their UCF ID, even if the kiosk is not in their building. Just walk on over. Employees who work on other campuses or more remote areas will have access to a traditional laundry service at no cost. Those individuals can contact EHS at Researchsafety@ucf.edu or 407-823-6300 EHS main number.

To qualify, students, staff, and faculty must have a research lab designation and be current on their safety training. The lab coats are rentals and normal wear, and tear is expected.

The kiosks are provided by CINTAS, a company based in Ohio, but with two facilities in Florida. The company provides similar services to industry, educational, and government agencies. CINTAS follows the Centers for Disease Control and manufacturer of flame-resistant clothing requirements when washing the lab coats to ensure proper care and maintenance.

The kiosks are owned by CINTAS and about 6,000 coats will be available to UCF researchers at any one time in a variety of sizes. The company will collect dirty items and replenish the machines twice a week.

CINTAS representatives will be on campus at each of the machines from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 6-7) to answer questions and demonstrate how the machines work.

Anyone who believes they are eligible for a lab coat and who has trouble at a kiosk may contact Researchsafety@ucf.edu or 407-823-6300 at EHS for assistance.

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