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Problems With Lint

Question: We have an ongoing problem with lint in the sterilizing department of our operating theatre. The laundering is outsourced to a commercial facility.
A theatre textbook used by our students (Atkinson, LJ & Fortunat, N. 1996 Berry & Kohn's Operating theatre technique. 8th edition. Mosby: St. Louis) states "textile lubricants added to the final rinse during laundering minimize lint (p.197)." Could you provide examples of these lubricants? Are they the same as fabric softeners?
- Sylvia Growdon



Answer: As long as the linting is not caused from some sort of tensile damage or goods manufactured with short staple cotton fibers, the best way to reduce linting is to use an anti-static compound added to the last rinse. The anti-static material will allow the loose fibers clinging to the linen to be freed. The loose lint will then be collected in the lint filtering of the dryer.

Some fabric softeners have anti-static properties because they are cationic, but none will work as well as a specific anti-static compound. The problem is more difficult should the items now be fully dried after washing, rather than ironed. A decision needs to be made on how dry the items can be before ironing them. If this cannot be accomplished, then only tape rolling the linen will remove the loose fibers before sterilization for a lint free product.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Sodexo Laundry Services Technology Recognized By CIO Magazine

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — An innovative use of computer technology that increases operational efficiency by providing key metrics for its commercial laundry operations and has saved more than $100,000 since its implementation has earned Sodexo, Inc. IDG’s CIO magazine’s 2010 CIO 100 Award. The award recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT). Sodexo’s Laundries Dashboard is a central decision-support tool that combines information from multiple systems to monitor core processes in Laundry and Linen Services businesses.

The dashboard presents Sodexo leadership and field management with key metrics in a customized, easy to use presentation. The dashboard uses Pureshare® Active-Metrics® software to gather and display appropriate information in the form of metrics for each level of management; the metrics are used to make business decisions. Because the dashboard is web-based, it can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. It also sends realtime email alerts that enable management to resolve operational issues immediately. Sodexo’s Laundries Dashboard allows for the effective management of critical areas as well as providing detailed analysis and comparisons.