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OSHA compliant cleaning/disinfecting bleach

Question: We operate a health club and our laundry chemical vendor has advised that we must increase the temperature of our washing machines to greater than 160 degrees F to allow their bleach to activate properly. Our washing machine vendor does not recommend operating the machines at a water temperature above 160 degrees F. Is there a bleach that will provide OSHA compliant cleaning/disinfecting at a temp of 120-130 degrees F?

Answer: Working backwards with your question, I am not aware of any OSHA regulations relative to washing or bleaching goods in health clubs. However, there may very well be state health department regulations that cover that issue. So far as the proper water temperature for chlorine bleaching, I would not recommend a temperature of 160 degrees. The industry standard is 140-155 degrees with a pH range of 10.2-10.8 in the chlorine-bleaching bath. The release of chlorine can be controlled by the pH of the bath water. In general, when lowering the water temperature one should also lower the pH of the bath. It is possible to bleach properly at 120-130 degrees when adjustments to pH and time are made. Since the concern is sanitizing the wash load and not necessarily a stain or whiteness issue, I recommend you check with the local state or health department as to any specific regulations for washing in health clubs..

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.

“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”

“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”

Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.

“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”