- Written by Rich Fitzmorris
Question:I have a client who uses sunflower oil for their spas treatments so most of their sheets (cotton/polyester) are soiled with the oil. Is there a product that would eliminate the oil from the sheets or is there a special way to wash them? When the sheets are drying, leftover oil seems to cook at the dryer’s high temperature leaving the sheets with a yellowish stain and unpleasant odor.
- Xavier Medina, United Laundry Services, Inc.
Answer:An emulsifying laundry detergent at higher use rates should help in the removal of the sunflower oils. On cotton textiles, additional concentration of alkali will also help pull oil out of the product. On sheets, however, you need to be cautions about the alkalinity levels, and avoid exceeding a pH of 11.8 on the polyester textiles.
Products are available to help you. A concentrated citrus degreaser is effective on most vegetable oil staining. This type of product or a good emulsifier should work.
Stained textiles can be recovered by using a good stain wash formula. The formula for reclamation should be something like: Wash/Break using alkali and emulsifying detergent for 20 minutes in hot water (160 degrees is ideal). Second Wash using emulsifying detergent for 12-18 minutes in hot water. Three rinse cycles of 2-3 minutes. Sour to a pH of 6-6.5
Note: A bleaching agent will not remove the oils but if there are other stains or whiteness issues, an additional step after the second wash could be inserted for these purposes
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