Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
This leaflet explains how to wash a patient’s clothing that has become dirty during their stay in hospital. Staff on the ward should give you the clothing in a special bag called a “dissolve sack”, which is clear with a pink tie. The bag should not be opened before washing the clothing.
The item(s) of clothing you have been given are soiled (dirty). They could be soiled with:
- Faeces (poo)
- Vomit (sick)
- Urine (wee)
How should I wash the soiled clothing?
If you follow the instructions below when washing soiled clothing this should reduce any risk of infection to you or any other members of your family.
- wash the clothing as soon as possible.
- wash the clothing separately from your own and other members of your family’s clothing.
- place the bag containing the clothing, without opening it, into the washing machine. The tie tape and the seam of the bag will dissolve, releasing the contents of the bag during washing.
- wash the clothing at a minimum temperature of 60°C, or hotter if the clothing is suitable for a higher temperature wash, and use your normal washing products.
- remove the plastic bag from the washing machine once the wash is completed, and put it into your dustbin straight away.
- wash your hands after touching the bag or the clothing.
- dry as normal.
If you have any questions about washing patients’ clothing please ask a member of the ward staff.
PIL Number: PIL1071
Date for Review: 08/03/2026
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Monday – Friday –
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these polices and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or: