The Best Ways To Label Clothes For Nursing Home (Avoid Loss and Fights)

By: Scott Grant, Certified Senior Advisor®, ATP, CRTS®

Doing a resident’s laundry is often part of a nursing home’s care of a senior or loved one. Reduce the chance of loss by permanent labeling your loved one’s laundry. Here are the best ways to label clothes for nursing home residents.

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When a person goes to live at a nursing home, it’s because they need help taking care of themselves. Doing their laundry is part of the deal. At most nursing homes, the housekeeping staff washes resident’s laundry for them. Usually without any problems.

But, sometimes, clothes disappear. Or, another nursing home resident claims that particular robe is theirs. So, to protect yourself or your loved one, here is a guide to the best ways to label clothes for nursing homes.

The 5 Best Ways to Label Clothes for Nursing Home Patients

In order to keep an elderly person’s clothing from being mixed up with others, you should have all of their clothing labeled well. That way, it should always get back to them if their clothing is washed with other people’s laundry.

Here are ways that people can use to permanently label clothing:

Use a Fabric Marker – Cheap and Effective (but Messy)

Crafts 4 ALL Permanent Laundry Marker

The best and most inexpensive way to label clothing is with a Sharpie. The person’s name should be on the inside seam or tag of the clothing. This needs to be done carefully so that the Sharpie mark does not bleed because it will stain wherever it goes at on the clothing. It is permanent and it will last through all washing cycles.


  • Cheap
  • Easy to Do
  • Permanent


  • Messy
  • Ink May Bleed Through
  • Looks Cheap

Stick-On Fabric Labels – Simple (But Eventually Wears Out)

Pre-Cut Iron On Personalized Clothing Name Labels for Nursing Homes

Some people like to use stick-on fabric labels. These may come off after multiple washes but they are inexpensive and they work well. The peel-and-stick labels are another way that people label their clothes for nursing homes.

These types of labels are easy to use and do not cost very much. They are simple for many people to use and the person in the nursing home may be able to use them too. You can buy them blank and write on them yourself or get them pre-printed.


  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • Easy to Use
  • Available Blank or Pre-Printed


  • May Eventually Come Off
  • Requires Permanent Ink

Iron-On Labels – Permanent (But Requires Some Work)

STIKINS Custom Personalized Clothing Name Labels

The iron-on labels work very well. A person will need to iron them on but they will not come off in the wash. If they ever have to be removed, it can be a difficult process to do so without damaging the clothing. You can write on these yourself or buy them already printed.


  • Relatively Inexpensive
  • More Permanent than Self-Stick
  • Available Blank or Pre-Printed
  • Looks Good


  • Requires Work to Iron Them On

Ink Stamps – Easy and Permanent Option

MiNE Personalized Fabric Stamp Kit

Many people like the ink stamp method for labeling their clothing. They order the stamp and it is permanent. They will also need to have a supply of ink on hand to complete this type of labeling. Since it’s easy to do, people find it is one of the methods that is the least time-consuming.


  • Easy to Do
  • Label Lots of Clothes Quickly
  • Permanent Option
  • Looks Better than Markers


  • More Expensive Option
  • Requires Pre-planning to Order in Advance

Mesh Laundry Bags – Quick and Easy (But Less Secure)

Whitmor Mesh Laundry Bag w/ID Tag White

People are also using mesh bags that are labeled with the resident’s name. Usually with this method, the laundry is washed in batches. This means that every resident’s laundry is washed and dried separate from other residents.

Some places wash the laundry in the bag itself so that more laundry can be processed without mixing it up. The drawback though is that pieces of clothing could still get lost if they aren’t also individually labeled.

RELATED: How to Volunteer at a Nursing Home

Remember, Nursing Homes Take Care Of People Not Stuff

Inside a nursing home, an elderly person with dementia or Alzheimer’s will be taken care of well. They will have their meals made for them, help with daily activities, and a lot more. The nursing home will do their wash if it is needed but it is up to the person or their family to label their clothing well so that it doesn’t get mixed up with anyone else’s clothing.

Also, be sure to label any bed linens or blankets you brought to the nursing home. These items are easily lost when bed linens are changed and laundered.

If this is a major concern, I recommend not bringing irreplaceable clothing to the nursing home with the patient. Another option would be to take it home and wash it or set up a rotating schedule with other family members so that one person doesn’t to do it all.

So, what do you think is the best way to label clothes for nursing home residents? Do you have other ways to labels clothes for nursing home patients? Please tell me about them in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “The Best Ways To Label Clothes For Nursing Home (Avoid Loss and Fights)”

  1. Yes, they are “responsible” and if they did laundry like they do in a laundromat, it wouldn’t get lost. Each resident has a room number, and his/her clothes should not be mixed in with others. A tab with the room number and a magnet with that tab be placed on the machine and when it goes back into the laundry bag it goes back to the room and you won’t have lost clothing. Clothes are expensive and they should be reimbursed if they’re careless enough to lose them.

  2. Sew the name on the clothing, like a logo. Permanent and won’t was off.

    • Great idea – thanks for sharing!

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