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White towels, table linens, etc., turns gray after just three months

Question: One of our clients reported that their wash load, comprised of white towels, table linens, etc., turns gray after just three months of washing when washed with a standard powder detergent. The client's wash procedure is:


  1. Prewash run for 5 minutes (without chemicals) at 55 degrees Celsius
  2. Alkali booster at 55-60 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes
  3. Detergent wash at 55-60 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes
  4. Rinse
  5. Emulsifier for 15 minutes at 55-60 degrees Celsius
  6. Rinse
  7. Bleach with liquid Clorox at 55 degrees Celsius
  8. Rinse
  9. Sour for 3 minutes at 55 degrees Celsius
  10. Rinse

Answer: Graying linens are a result of redeposition of some kind. This can be from hard water or chemistry that is inadequate in handling the water conditions.  The graying can also be caused from soil redepositing back onto the linens due to an insufficient amount of detergent, or the wrong detergents for the use. The formula has numerous wash steps at temperatures below 150 degrees F. Low wash temperatures and chemistry that doesn't match the conditions for proper cleaning are likely the cause.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Commercial Laundry Cited by OSHA

ELM GROVE, W. Va. — Uwanta Linen Supply, a commercial laundry, was recently cited for 21 health and safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The laundry faces $62,400 in penalties for the violations. Eighteen of the the 21 violations are considered serious by OSHA. The serious violations include failing to properly guard floor holes and failing to provide hepatitis B vaccines to workers who are potentially exposed to blood borne pathogens.