The Best Way to Disinfect Laundry

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Most of us were taught that the best way to disinfect laundry is with hot water and harsh chemicals. It’s a lesson that is carried over from home laundry to commercial and hotel laundry operations—and it’s a lesson that we need to unlearn.

Studies have shown that strains of bacteria normally found in laundry can be eliminated just as effectively with low temperature water, as long as the other factors in the wash are correct. Here we’re going to discuss some of the impediments to disinfecting laundry and what methods can lead to a truly hygienic clean.

Standard Laundry Processes

Even now, when commercial launderers and hotels are more conscious of their environmental impact than ever before, standard laundry procedures utilize water that is heated to 149°F/65°C—a process that takes a large amount of energy. The reason for this, generally, is the belief that bacteria can not be eliminated without that kind of heat.
The trick to achieving truly clean laundry is to have all the pieces of the process working in harmony. A common reason for poor cleaning capability in lower temperatures is that the wrong chemicals are being used.

Certain detergents can only be activated by higher temperatures, while some, particularly newer formulas, are created specifically to activate with lower temperature water. It’s important to utilize the right detergent for your wash process in order to clean your laundry, especially when the goal is disinfection, where you’ll likely need a specialty detergent.

Aside from the proper chemicals, it’s important to make sure your machine is operating and agitating as it should in order to get a better clean, but even then, is it really enough to get rid of bacteria?

Disinfecting Laundry With Ambient Water

According to a scientific brief by Dr. Steve Jenkins, Chief Science Officer for Hydrofinity, laundry washed in ambient water using the Hydrofinity laundry process was disinfected at a rate comparable to the standard high temperature wash.

“The disinfecting efficacy of the Hydrofinity ambient wash with 300g of PACK 2 is comparable to that of thermal disinfection 149°F/65°C wash for 4 bacteria and similar for the fifth one without the energy cost of the thermal method. That is equivalent to killing off 99.9999% or greater of 4 bacteria and 99.99% or greater of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.” – Jenkins

In this case, a hygienic clean can be achieved with low temperature water because all of the other factors in the wash are designed to work together for that purpose, and that, in the end, is the most important factor in a superior clean: a better, cooperative overall process.

Sourced from Hydrofinity.

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