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Removing Carbon Stains

Question: Carbon stains have proven difficult to remove, and as a result of it much of the linens we process have been rejected. What is the cause of these stains, and how can they be removed?
- Rudi, Laundry Supervisor



Answer: I would not know the cause of the "carbon" stains, but if the stains are truly caused from carbon they will require a solvent to remove them. It will likely be required to spot treat these stains in order to get the highest percentage reclaimed. I would recommend a solvent-based emulsifier - wet the entire area of the stain. Allow the product to set for at least 2 hours, or if possible even over night, then wash as normal. If this results in less than 80-90% recovery, then apply as indicated, but wash in a stain formula bath to increase chemistry and mechanical action for better results.

Consider the source of stains. If they are gray or black they could be caused by the washers, from sources such as door gaskets or rubber in the machine (such as the drain hose), or even grease from bearings. The stains could also be metal stains or even ash stains from cigarettes.

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.”