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Standards for Washing Bath Towels

Question: I am interested in the standards for washing bath towels. Do you need to use bleach for sanitation purposes, or will hot water do the trick?
- Bruce Koepp, Assistant Director, Recreational Services



Answer: Your state, city, or local government agency for health codes may have requirements specific to your business and therefore I may not have all the right information for you. Generally speaking, health-clubs and recreational centers do not have a requirement for sanitizing textiles. I have heard of washing requirements for some such business, and the only thing stated is that they be washed with a proper detergent, and dried completely.

When new businesses of this type open up and are inspected for local codes, this often is a time when it may be determined how hot the water should be, as well as the proper procedures for handling and storing towels used by the public. Check with your local health department and ask them for the regulation pertaining to washing towels for public use in your type of business. If this were my business or if using the towels, I would feel more comfortable if hot water (120 degrees +) were used with a good detergent and chlorine bleach. A proper wash formula for towels can be set up by a local institutional chemical company specializing in laundering supplies.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Laundry to Reduce Air Emmissions and Fund Cleaner Burning Wood Stove Purchases

BOSTON, Mass. — Alltex Uniform Rental Service, an industrial laundry in Manchester, N.H. has agreed to settle claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency that it violated the Clean Air Act by paying a civil penalty of $65,000. They will also be undertaking a Supplemental Environmental Project with a value of at least $220,000 to replace old, polluting wood stoves in southern New Hampshire with new, cleaner models. Additionally, the company will install equipment at its facility to remove approximately 20 tons per year of emissions of volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”). G&K Services is the parent company of Alltex Uniform Rental Service Inc. The EPA action grew out of an EPA inspection of the facility in July 2008.