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Is there such a thing as hypoallergenic linen?

Question:  Is there such a thing as hypoallergenic linen? On occasion, some of our hospital clients ask for this.
- Ted Halkias, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. HCSC-Laundry, Allentown, PA


Answer: Yes there is. Linens that have been washed properly are given several fresh water rinses to remove any residual conditioning chemistry. These additional rinses after the normal wash process are believed to leave the linens hypoallergenically cleaned.


But be cautious in this regard. There is often a misunderstanding of good hospital laundering procedures that condition linens in order to have excellent patient care such as the removal of residual chemistry, adjusting pH to the comfort ranges of the skin and the addition of a fabric softener for patient comfort. The request for "hypoallergenic" linens will remove the final textile conditioning and this may not always be good for most patients. Most hospital laundries have procedures for complying with a request for hypoallergenic linens for individuals who have reactions to dyes, perfumes and other chemicals.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Fire in Jail Laundry

DURHAM, N.C. — A fire in the laundry room at a County Jail in Durham damaged goods but required no evacuation. The fire, which originated in a dryer, damaged hundreds of uniforms. In addition to the lost goods, the jail’s laundry sustained water and smoke damage. The fire was extinguished by the sprinkler system that had been activated.