OSHKOSH, Wis. — Spurred by the pandemic, commercial laundries are looking to sanitize laundry loads in order to differentiate themselves from the competition, draw new customer accounts, boost revenue and provide the cleanest, healthiest environment possible.

Read on to learn how commercial laundries might add sanitization, verify that loads completed meet the parameters needed to achieve sanitization and monetize sanitization through gained efficiencies and wash results.

METHODS FOR SANITIZING LAUNDRY LOADS

Practically speaking, it’s easy to add sanitization to laundry loads either through the use of ozone or an EPA-registered chemical sanitizer additive.

The only catch is that ozone use requires special washer seals as it can degrade rubber, while chemical additives require washers with automatic chemical injection capabilities.

Read on to determine which option is right for you.

WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU—OZONE OR CHEMISTRY?

Ozone (O3)—used in the industry for years—is a powerful cleaning agent that works best in cold water. The third oxygen atom of ozone attaches to, and breaks down, organic materials in the wash, including soils, viruses, bacteria and molds.

Once broken down, these materials are removed from fabrics during the wash cycle. Ozone systems are easily installed via a connection to a compatible washer and offer up to a 99.9% pathogen kill rate.

If ozone isn’t an option, laundries can also sanitize wash loads using an EPA-registered chemical sanitizer that’s injected into the wash cycle. These work in combination with automatically injected detergents.

A chemical sanitizer’s sole purpose is to eradicate close to 99% of the pathogens and molds found in laundry, including COVID-19. A programmable washer with automatic injection capabilities is easily connected to a dispensing system provided by your chemical representative. That system automatically injects the chemicals according to specific washer programs.

VERIFICATION OF SANITIZATION

Once you add sanitization, you need to be certain all program parameters are met and carried out.

Some equipment brands, Continental Girbau and Girbau Industrial among them, feature the ability to verify that sanitization was achieved by monitoring two variables in the wash process: water temperature and time of exposure. This is critical because the effectiveness of ozone is depleted if water temperatures or exposure time are not met.

Similarly, the activation of chemistry is depleted, wasted and not maximized if required water temperatures and specific exposure times are not achieved.

This verification process, in the case of Continental Girbau and Girbau Industrial, is available as an add-on Disinfection Monitoring Package (DMP) module that’s powered through Sapphire, a cloud-based networking system that allows laundries to oversee and manage equipment process and productivity.

The DMP monitors the wash process and verifies that pre-set parameters of temperature and time are achieved. If water doesn’t hit programmed temperatures, for example, users receive an alert. There is value with that verification.

MONETIZING THROUGH EFFICIENCIES

Using a DMP-type verification, it’s also easy to align with laundering guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), hygienically clean certification standards or other processes. This can be critical for your hospitality or healthcare clients, for example.

At the end of the day, sanitization and its verification are monetized through operational efficiencies and management, by reducing processing time and rewashes, preventing linen degradation and replacement, and maximizing chemistry.

If you’re interested in offering sanitization, my suggestion is to contact your equipment distributor and/or chemical rep. This will undoubtedly save you time in the long run.