- Created on Sunday, 03 December 2006 03:15
- Written by Rich Fitzmorris
"We are one of the traders in the U.A.E supplying laundry chemicals to the commercial laundries. One of our customers is washing for a few hotels and has been having a problem, with the hotels complaining that the towels are getting torn during the washing process. They are using low foam detergent, chlorine powder bleach (10%) and softener. On occasion they use alkaline detergent also."
This question is difficult to answer without additional information, so I will respond on the chemistry that you mention. It sounds like there could be a problem with the wash formula used to clean the towels. Not knowing the detergent being used I can only speculated that the product has a neutral pH in the washer process. This could be a problem if the amount of chlorine is too high in parts per million (ppm), and you are washing with hot water. When temperatures are higher than 120 degrees, there has to be a proper level of pH to control the release of chlorine in the bath. If there is inadequate pH control it is possible to damage the tensile strength of cotton after a few washings. Also when using chlorine bleach it is always advisable to dispense a concentrated product into the washers after the machine has reached the proper water level. Dropping chlorine bleach on top of the linen before level is reach will damage the cotton fibers to the point where they can be torn easily by hand.
There is no mention of the use of an anti-chlor product which neutralized any residual chlorine left in the last bath before extraction. If there is high residual chlorine in the towels, they will degrade form the drying process that heats up the chlorine and blows it off, damaging the cotton fibers.
When added alkali is used; there is no mention of using a sour/neutralizer to adjust the pH of the final product to a range that is safe and beneficial to the product and customer use.
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
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.