Generally .5 ppm of iron will stain and discolor white textiles. Chlorine is not a good choice for washing textiles when there is any significant amount of iron present in the water. The best way to wash under the conditions where iron is present is to use oxygen bleaches. When using commercial laundry equipment, an iron removing sour can strip iron or control the presence depending upon the concentration of the bath, and lower pH value of the water in the bath.
When iron is causing significant textile cleaning and whiteness problems in a laundry operation, I recommend installing a water softening system that utilizes de-iron salt pellets. A water softener can remove up to .2-.3 ppm of iron. This approach has great benefits for cleaning, whiting, and maintaining tensile strength of the textile fabric over more costly chemical alternatives.
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Commercial Laundry Cited by OSHA
ELM GROVE, W. Va. — Uwanta Linen Supply, a commercial laundry, was recently cited for 21 health and safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The laundry faces $62,400 in penalties for the violations. Eighteen of the the 21 violations are considered serious by OSHA. The serious violations include failing to properly guard floor holes and failing to provide hepatitis B vaccines to workers who are potentially exposed to blood borne pathogens.