- Written by Rich Fitzmorris
Question: I run a small commercial laundry and we do various types of laundry - restaurant napery, towels, motel sheets, etc. We are having a problem getting our kitchen towels clean. Would boiling them be option, or is there anything else you would suggest?
- Monica, Fresh Express Laundry, Rangley, CO.
Answer: Kitchen towels are used for everything in the kitchen area, from wiping grease off the grills and inside ovens, to general cleaning. The common denominator is that food and animal fat grease are the main soils needed to be removed from the towels. The method of cleaning these items is actually quite simple, because with animal fats you need only saponify the grease into soap. This is accomplished by using an alkali with high pH, and I prefer a blended alkali generally referred to as orthosillcate. Here is a general formula that should work to get the kitchen towels clean:
- One warm and one hot flush before the wash, with no supplies
- Main break with a good alkali builder, preferably an orthosillcate mixture; Temperature of 160 F. - 190 F. degrees depending on available steam; 2500 - 4000 PPM of alkalinity depending on degree of soil; Note that if not washing in soft water, a phosphate or other water conditioner is necessary in each chemical wash procedure
- Carryover wash of 5 - 7 minutes, maintain high temperature
- Suds bath wash for 10 - 15 minutes, alkalinity of 1500 - 2500 PPM along with a good detergent using 8 - 24 ounces of product depending on soil conditions, again maintaining high temperature
- Rinse one or two times to reduce pH
- Bleach at 145 - 155 degrees with a pH of 10.2 - 10.8, and chlorine bleach use should be 4 - 6 qt. of 1% bleach per 100 wt. For 8 - 12 minutes
- Rinse two or three times to dilute chemicals, use an anti-chlor if necessary
Sour to reduce pH to 5.5 and DO NOT USE A CATIONIC SOFTENER!
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Textile Services Industry Gets National Spotlight
WILIMGTON, Mass. — Textile service executive Ronald Croatti recently appeared on the CBS-TV show “Undercover Boss.” Croatti is CEO of UniFirst Corp., in Wilmington, Mass. For most Americans watching “Undercover Boss” it was their first view inside a commercial laundry, which typically process between 10 million and 25 million pounds of uniforms, table linens, bed sheets, towels and more every year “The reusable textile services business is the original green industry,” said Ricci. “Commercial laundries reuse linen instead of filing landfills with disposable alternatives and continually discover new, innovative means to reduce energy consumption and recycle water. Our huge economies of scale allow laundries to use about two-thirds less water, energy and detergent than alternatives, such as washing at home, while hygienically cleaning textile products, improving disease control and reducing contamination.”