How Often Should Restaurant Aprons Be Changed & Washed

In the fast-paced world of restaurants, cleanliness is paramount. Restaurant aprons should be changed and washed daily, or even more frequently depending on the type of kitchen and level of use. This simple yet crucial practice ensures hygiene standards are met and staff present a professional appearance. The specifics can vary based on the restaurant's needs and the type of aprons used.

At Stock, we've been outfitting restaurant staff with high-quality uniforms for years, and we know that aprons are more than just a protective layer – they're a key part of your restaurant's image and hygiene protocol. Let's dive into the details and importance of how often restaurant aprons should be changed and washed.

Washing Aprons

Cleaning Requirements for Different Fabrics

Different fabrics require different care approaches to maintain their quality and appearance. Understanding these requirements is crucial for preserving the longevity and functionality of your restaurant aprons.

Cotton aprons typically withstand higher washing temperatures and more frequent cleaning, making them ideal for busy kitchens. On the other hand, specialty fabrics like denim or twill might require cooler wash cycles and gentler detergents to preserve their color and texture over time.

Stock's Ranch Tan Stock Apron is expertly crafted in Chicago using premium cotton. These aprons are typically machine washable and can withstand higher temperatures, making them ideal for thorough cleaning while maintaining their durability - a key feature considering their lifetime repair guarantee. 

The Black Twill Waist Apron, made from a durable 7oz twill, may require a gentler washing approach to preserve its structure and the functionality of its dual hand pockets. While also machine washable, it might benefit from cooler water temperatures and a milder detergent to ensure it continues to "show up to work day in and day out" in prime condition.

Stain Treatment

For stubborn stains, immediate action is key. Pre-treat the stain as soon as possible, use appropriate stain removers based on the type of stain and fabric, and wash in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric. This approach gives you the best chance of removing tough stains and prolonging the life of your aprons.

General Maintenance Recommendations

To keep your aprons in top condition, it's best to wash them separately from other clothing. Use a heavy-duty detergent for the best results, especially for heavily soiled kitchen aprons. For restaurants with a high volume of aprons or particularly challenging stains, consider professional laundering services to ensure thorough cleaning and proper care.

When to Replace an Apron

Per Shift

In busy kitchens, apron changing should be frequent. Ideally, staff should start each shift with a clean apron. Throughout the shift, aprons should be changed when visibly soiled or after handling raw meats or allergens. This practice not only maintains a professional appearance but also prevents cross-contamination.

Allergen & Contamination Concerns

When it comes to allergens and contamination, immediate apron changes are crucial. Staff should change aprons when switching between handling different allergens, moving from raw to cooked food preparation, or after any significant spills. This vigilance is essential for maintaining food safety standards and protecting customers with allergies.

Health & Safety Compliance

Many health codes have specific requirements for apron cleanliness. These often include wearing clean aprons at the start of each shift, immediately changing soiled aprons, and regular laundering to maintain hygiene standards. Familiarize yourself with local health regulations to ensure your restaurant is compliant.


While some stains are an inevitable part of kitchen work, there comes a point when an apron should be replaced. Consider replacing aprons when stains become permanent, when the fabric integrity is compromised, or when the appearance no longer meets professional standards. Regular replacement of worn aprons helps maintain a clean, professional image for your restaurant.

Purpose of Aprons in a Restaurant


Aprons contribute significantly to the overall aesthetic of your restaurant. They create a cohesive look for staff, reinforce brand identity, and present a professional image to customers.

For Momotaro, Stock Mfg. created custom aprons that perfectly complement the restaurant's unique aesthetic and functional needs. The aprons are made from a sturdy black cotton canvas with a durable water-resistant treatment, ensuring they can withstand the rigors of a busy service.

A standout feature is the natural braided cotton straps that cross behind the back, mimicking the rope detail on the dining room ceiling and providing comfort for staff wearing t-shirts. These aprons not only serve a practical purpose but also contribute to the overall design vision of the restaurant, featuring custom laser-engraved leather cord stoppers with Momotaro's Japanese kana logo, seamlessly blending functionality with brand identity.

Staff Safety

Beyond appearance, aprons serve a crucial safety function. They protect against hot spills and splatters, shield staff from sharp utensils, and protect the clothing underneath. This protective layer is essential in the bustling, sometimes hazardous environment of a busy kitchen.


Aprons act as a vital barrier in maintaining restaurant hygiene. They create a layer between clothing and food, help prevent cross-contamination, and contribute to maintaining a clean work environment. Regular changing and washing of aprons is key to their effectiveness in promoting hygiene.


Custom aprons can be a powerful branding tool for your restaurant. They can feature your restaurant's logo, incorporate your brand colors, and help create a memorable dining experience. Consistent, branded aprons help reinforce your restaurant's identity and professionalism.

Stock's Heather Green Stock Apron w/ Black Strap apron is made from an eco-friendly 7 oz poly/cotton twill derived from recycled PET bottles. The distinctive heather green color with a contrasting black strap offers a unique branding opportunity, allowing restaurants to stand out while also showcasing their commitment to sustainability

Key Takeaways

Change and wash restaurant aprons daily at a minimum, and immediately replace them when soiled or after handling allergens. Choose aprons based on fabric, style, and your restaurant's specific needs. Implement a rotation system to ensure clean aprons are always available, and invest in quality aprons for longevity and a professional appearance. By following these guidelines, you can maintain high standards of hygiene and professionalism in your restaurant.

As you consider upgrading your restaurant's apron system, we invite you to explore Stock's collection of durable, stylish aprons designed specifically for the demands of the food service industry. Our range of American-made aprons offers options for every role in your restaurant, from the kitchen to the dining room. Visit our website to find the perfect aprons to keep your staff looking sharp and your restaurant running smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many aprons should each staff member have?

Ideally, each staff member should have 3-5 aprons to ensure clean options are always available. This allows for daily changes and accounts for unexpected soiling during shifts.

Can I wash all types of aprons in the washing machine?

Most fabric aprons are machine washable, but it's important to always check care labels. Specialty aprons like those made of leather or waxed canvas may require special care to maintain their quality and appearance.

How do I remove tough stains from aprons?

For tough stains, pre-treat them immediately, use appropriate stain removers based on the type of stain, and wash in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric. Prompt action is key to successful stain removal.

Are there any health code requirements for apron cleanliness?

Many health codes require clean aprons at the start of each shift and immediate changing when soiled. It's important to check your local regulations for specific requirements, as they can vary by location.

How can I extend the life of my restaurant aprons?

To maximize the lifespan of your aprons, invest in quality products, follow proper care instructions, and implement a good rotation system to reduce wear on individual aprons. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to stains or damage can significantly extend their useful life.