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  • 1. Laundry Science September 28, 2011 Louisville, KY © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 2. Steven J. Tinker• Gurtler Industries, Inc., Vice President, Research & Development – 35+ years in industry with Ecolab & Gurtler – Technical Service – Product development – Marketing• American Reusable Textile Association Association, President – Mission: To create a greater appreciation for and acceptance of reusable textiles.• Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council Council, Vice-Chair, Advisory Committee – Founding member of Board, 2005 © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 3. Part I - LaundryChemistry BasicsThe Science of Cleaning © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 4. Laundry Chemistry BasicsChemistryaffects allaspects of thelaunderingprocess… © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 5. pH• pH: Scale of values from 0 to 14 that measures the relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution. – pH 7.0 is neutral – Alkaline solutions are > pH 7.0 – Acid solutions are < pH 7.0 © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 6. Acid/Base• Alkalies: Chemicals that release hydroxide ions : in solution: (- OH) – Sodium hydroxide, metasilicate sod. carbonate metasilicate,• Acids: Chemicals that release hydrogen ions in solution: (H+) – Hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid In Water: NaOH Na+ + -OH HCl H+ + -Cl © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 7. WaterWater is 99+% of what we wash with,therefore the quality of your water is critical for the best results. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 8. Water• Water Hardness: Calcium and magnesium carbonate, dissolved in water – Grains per Gallon (gpg): measurement of the degree of ): hardness, 1 gpg = 17.1 mg/l CaCO3 – Part Per Million (PPM): One milligram CaCO3 per liter of water, 1 gpg = 17ppm © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 9. Water Hardness - CaCO3 Medium Very Soft Hard Hard Hard0 to <75 75 to <150 150 to <300 300 mg/l and mg/l mg/l mg/l greater1 to 4 gpg 4 to 9 gpg 9 to 17.5 gpg > 17.5 gpg © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 10. Water Chemistry• Total Dissolved Solids, TDS – Measurement of all the solids (salts, hardness, etc.) in the water – Important in laundry, as this is also the solids that would be left behind in fabric after it is dried © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 11. Water Chemistry• Chlorine: Added to water supply for sanitation – Usually added at 0.5 to 2.5 ppm – Higher levels can cause corrosion or damage water softener resins © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 12. Water Chemistry• Iron Major impurity that can cause problems in laundry – Levels of 0.2ppm or more are a concern – Causes yellowing of fabric – Interferes with bleaching © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 13. Water Chemistry• Alkalinity: Active and inactive – Inactive (below pH 8.3) is also called bicarbonate alkalinity – High levels of inactive alkalinity can cause rinsing difficulties © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 14. Water Chemistry• Other issues: – Acidity – Color – Suspended matter – Organic growth – Carbon dioxide and oxygen © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 15. Laundry Chemistry – The Wash Process• Soil Sorting• Four Factors of Cleaning• Wash Process …and more © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 16. Sorting• Match the process to the special requirements of the classification• Maximize soil removal while minimizing textile degradation• Cost effective use of chemistry, energy, time, water and equipment © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 17. Sorting• Soil Levels – Very light, light, medium, heavy, extra heavy – Special soil classifications: blood, grease, ink• Colors – Colorfastness, bleaching, dye transfer• Fabric types – Cotton vs. polyester © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 18. Loading Guidelines• Weighing – Clean, dry weight vs. soiled weight• Machine types – Open pocket vs. split pocket – Tunnels vs. washer-extractors extractors• Fabrics © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 19. Basic Washing ProcessMethods of cleaning: – Diluting – Emulsifying – Wetting – Deflocculating – Neutralizing – Oxidizing – Dissolving – Reducing – Saponifying – Antiredeposition © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 20. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc. Standard Laundry Process Mechanical Chemical Action Action Temperature Time © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 21. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc. Low Temperature Process Mechanical Action Chemical Action Time Temperature
  • 22. Wash Process – Flush• Flushing – removes gross, soluble soils – Blood soils - Keep under 110º F – Also can increase the temperature of the fabric for more efficiency in the next step – Can use a small amount of alkali or surfactant to “wet” the fabric and condition the soils © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 23. Flush Chemistry• Alkali & Detergent (see Break Chemistry)• Water & Soil Conditioners: Phosphates, organic polymers – Chelates water hardness & iron – Suspends soils – Aids in solubilizing soils – State Phosphorus regulations – Non-corrosive SHMP EDTA-Metal complex © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 24. Wash Process: Break• Break Cycle – First step with alkali and surfactant – Can be separate steps – With decrease in cotton, alkali is less important – Surfactants more effective on polyester © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 25. Break Chemistry• Alkalies: Usually based on Sodium Hydroxide or : “Caustic” – “Break” up soils – Saponify fats – Neutralize acid soils – Hazardous: Corrosive to skin and to some metals © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 26. Suds Chemistry• Detergents or Surfactants: Nonionic – Low foaming – Emulsifies oils – Wets fabrics – Neutral, non-corrosive © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 27. Wash Process• Suds and Carryover – Suds operation can be combined with the Break operation for light soils • Depending on the soil level, there can be multiple Suds steps • Additional alkali and surfactant – Carryover: Additional step that utilizes residual chemistry from Break for continued soil removal action © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 28. Laundry Chemistry: ChelantsWater & Soil Conditioners: Phosphates, organic polymers Sequester water hardness & iron Suspends soils Aids in solubilizing soilsSHMP EDTA-Metal complex © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 29. Wash Process: Bleaching• Bleach Step – Soils should be removed from the textiles and the water should be clear – Bleach is required to decolorize residual stains – Temperature, pH, time and concentrations are key factors © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 30. Laundry Chemistry: BleachesBleaches decolorize stains Oxidation Chlorine Bleach Hydrogen Peroxide (Oxygen Bleach) Reduction Oxalic Acid Sodium Hydrosulfite © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 31. Bleach Chemistry• Bleaches: Chlorine & Oxygen – Oxidize stains (decolorize) – Chlorine hazards: • Incompatible with acids (sours) • Very corrosive to metals, skin – Peroxide hazards: • Incompatible with alkalies • Corrosive to metals, skin © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 32. Bleach ChemistryBleaching: Chlorine vs. Oxygen – Pros & Cons• Chlorine – Pros: – Excellent stain remover – Highly efficient at 140°F F – Lower costs• Chlorine – Cons: – Can cause damage to cotton if misused – Creates permanent Hibiclens stain © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 33. Bleach ChemistryBleaching: Chlorine vs. Oxygen – Pros & Cons• Peroxide – Pros: – Safer on colors and fabrics – Does not affect Hibiclens (chlorhexidene gluconate) negatively• Peroxide – Cons: – Not as effective stain remover – Requires higher temperatures: 170 170-180°F – Higher costs – Requires DHS security assessment © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 34. Enzyme TechnologyAlternative to bleaches• Proteases: Protein soil removal – Blood, BM – Food-based stains• High and low temperature varieties – 100 - 130°F – 130 - 160°F• Effective at moderate alkalinity, pH 10.5 © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 35. Enzyme TechnologyAlternative to bleaches• Amylases – Starches – Food-based stains• High and low temperature varieties – 100-130°F – 130-160°F• Effective at higher pHs © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 36. Wash Process - Rinse• Rinsing – Remove residual chemicals and soils – Reduce temperatures to 100ºF in 15º steps to minimize wrinkles – Three rinses are typical, some classifications require more – Intermediate extracts can be helpful • Reduce water usage - increase wear © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 37. Wash Process –Antichlor• Antichlors: Reducing agents : – Step prior to final rinse – Neutralize residual chlorine – Incompatible with acids – Usually not corrosive or hazardous © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 38. Wash Process: Sour• Sour: o Final rinse, adjusts pH to 6.0 6.0-6.5 o Usually HFS, Phosphoric or Citric acids o Corrosivity can be an issue o Neutralize residual alkali from break step o Neutralize inactive alkalinity from water © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 39. Finish Chemistry• Finishes: Softeners or starches – Softeners improve “hand” of fabric and reduce static in dryer – Starches increase body of fabric • Natural versus synthetic – Anti-Bacterial Treatments Bacterial – Water Repellent Treatments – Soil-Release Finishes © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 40. Wash Process - Extract• Extraction – Removes excess moisture – Extraction is more efficient than dryers or ironers in moisture removal – Recommend final rinse at 100ºF minimum for better efficiency © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 41. Specialty Chemistries• Specialty additives – Solvent-detergents – Enzyme detergents – Brighteners – Iron removal treatments – Dust control additives © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 42. Basic Washroom Tests• Water hardness titration• Alkalinity titration• Chlorine or Oxygen tests – Active levels in wash process – Concentrated bleach activity• pH Indicator for final rinse• Residual chlorine• Iron – In textiles – In water © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 43. Sample Titration Report © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 44. Part II – Green Technology Environmental Issues & Water and Energy Conservation © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 45. Chemical Environmental Issues• Surfactants – Biodegradability• Phosphates – Eutrophication• Solvents – Biodegradable/Renewable• Bleaches – Chlorinated organics in wastewater• Water and Energy Usage – How chemicals can affect © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 46. Environmental Concerns• Surfactants: – The active cleaning agent in most detergent formulations, – Surfactants change the chemical and physical relationship between water and the surface to be cleaned. – Surfactants loosen and suspend soil and enhance the wetting property of water. – Environmentally improved surfactants biodegrade to less toxic and less persistent chemicals. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 47. Environmental Concerns• Biodegradation: – Linear alcohol ethoxylates (LAEs) biodegrade to linear alcohols and carboxylic acids, compounds typically with lower environmental concerns. – Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), in contrast, might biodegrade under anaerobic conditions to alkylphenols which persist in the environment and are considered toxic to aquatic organisms. – Also, LAEs are soluble in cooler water and so might aid in the development of low temperature, energy energy-saving detergents. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 48. Green Product TechnologyEPA Initiative: APE (NPE) vs. LAE Surfactant Technology – LAE surfactants that are considered more eco eco-friendly due to their improved biodegradability. – Many laundry chemical suppliers have a full line of detergents available that utilize surfactant technology that meets the requirements of the US EPA’s Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative (SDSI). © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 49. Biodegradable SurfactantsSDSI - Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative• Elimination of detergents that are not completely biodegradable.• Detergent formulators have alternative formulas available now.• Industry conversion has begun, and will progress over the next few years. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 50. Green Product Technology NPE vs. LAE Surfactant Technology • Europe has eliminated APEs. • Canada fully converted to the new surfactants at the end of 2010. • TRSA has committed to EPA to work to a full conversion to LAE technology within their membership by 2014 © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 51. PhosphatesPhosphatescause prematureeutrophicationof lakes… © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 52. Phosphates• Phosphates in laundry products: – Sequester water hardness ions, preventing them form interfering with detergent action – Suspend soils – Enhance detergent efficacy• Since the early 1970s “P” has been regulated – States developed limits and bans – No national standard © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 53. Phosphates• Laundry chemical manufacturers have limited phosphate and non-phosphate formulations phosphate – Organic polymers have good performance – EPA: Avoid NTA and EDTA• New Research is continuing, as “green” issues intensify – Renewable and biodegradable alternatives are available © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 54. SolventsHydrocarbonsolvents do notbiodegrade, pluscan pollute air… © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 55. Solvents• Traditional solvents include: – Odorless mineral spirits – aliphatic hydrocarbons – Cyclical hydrocarbons – more aggressive, more odiferous – D-Limonene – extracted from oranges – “Butyl Cellosolve” solvent ”• All have negative environmental or health issues. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 56. Solvents• Safer solvents currently available – DPM: More environmentally friendly, according to EPA• New research on “renewable” solvents – Derived from plant sources, not petroleum – Soy and corn-based – Biodegradability is a plus © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 57. Chlorine Bleach• Chlorine reacts with organics in wastewater – Creates organo- carbons/chloroform Cancer-causing agents © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 58. Chlorine Substitutes• Oxygen Bleaches – Hydrogen peroxide – Not as effective as a sanitizer or stain remover – Requires hot (>170°F) water for F) greatest effectiveness – Does not react with Chlorhexidene gluconate (Hibiclens) © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 59. Chlorine Substitutes• “Activated” Oxygen Bleaches – Peracetic Acid – Effective at lower temperatures (120-140°F) – More effective sanitizer than peroxide – Very high cost impact © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 60. Chlorine Substitutes• Enzyme Technology– – Proteases & Amylases – Effective at lower temperatures (120-140°F) – Excellent at odor removal © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 61. Green Fabric Softener Technology• New Softener Technology – Biodegradable softeners – Renewable feedstock sources: • Plant-based chemistry vs. based petroleum or animal sources © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 62. Green Product TechnologyWhat should you look for?• Biodegradable surfactants• Natural solvents• Renewable raw material sources• No or low phosphate formulas• Super-concentration for reduced packaging concentration• Low temperature performance © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 63. Water and Energy Conservation• New technologies designed for water reuse and heat transfer have been introduced to the laundry industry.• Aggressive development efforts in new water and energy conservation efforts continue.• Retrofitting older equipment may be an option. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 64. Water and Energy Considerations • Water Reuse – Chemical Considerations – Neutral and low alkaline detergents – Improved soil suspension agents and additives – Higher levels of water conditioners • Reuse of water allows for reuse of chemicals. – Rebalance chemical usage © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 65. Part III – Textiles © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 66. Textiles © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 67. TextilesCotton Polyester © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 68. Textiles Cotton FiberMicrofiber Polyester Fiber © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 69. Laundering Polyester/Microfiber• Polyester Properties – Softer, “cotton” feel – Absorbent – Soil release properties/finish © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 70. Laundering Polyester/MicrofiberTraditional high alkaline and high temperature washing methods are not the most efficient or effective.• Low alkaline, high surfactant technology is most effective.• Medium temperatures (140-160ºF) 160ºF) are best © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 71. Laundering Polyester/Microfiber Oily Soils are the most difficult to remove • Detergents should be balanced to low HLB value; more oleophilic in nature. • Phosphate builders aid in oil emulsification and removal © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 72. Laundering Polyester/Microfiber Damage to Polyester - Alkaline Hydrolysis © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 73. Laundering PolyesterDamage to Polyester• Alkaline Hydrolysis – Caused by extra high alkalinity combined with high temperatures – Fibers will scale and fracture – Lint may be a problem © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 74. Laundering PolyesterAlkaline Hydrolysis Undamaged Fiber © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 75. Laundering PolyesterUndamaged Fiber Damaged Fibers © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 76. Laundering PolyesterHeat Damage• Polyester will melt at 250ºC or 482ºF © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 77. Laundering PolyesterHeat Damaged Fibers © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 78. Part IV – Hygienically Clean Textiles © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 79. Pathogens: “Superbug” Awareness• Increased awareness of resilient pathogens – MRSA: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus • Very difficult to control when a patient is infected. – C-Diff: Clostridium Difficile • Spore form survives on surfaces and is very difficult to deactivate. MRSA Hepatitis B C. Diff © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 80. Hygienically Clean TextilesDefinition –• The textile has been treated such that "bioburden" has been adequately removed so that the item can be used without fear of being a source of contamination in a healthcare use. – And that the item can be treated with normal methods (steam sterilization) as needed to sterilize the textile.• AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) defines the term "hygienically clean" as "free of pathogens in sufficient numbers to cause human illness.” © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 81. The Laundering ProcessThe wash process utilizes several techniques to assure that the bioburden is reduced or eliminated. These techniques include:• Dilution: Several water changes during the cleaning process physically remove and flush away bio bio-organisms. Mechanical action is also a factor to consider as bioburden is loosened from the fabric by proper mechanical action action.• Heat: Washing at elevated temperatures (>140ºF) deactivates much of the common bio-organisms. organisms. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 82. The Laundering Process• pH: High pH (>10.5) will "attack" or deactivate bio bio- organisms. In addition, large swings in pH, from neutral (7.0 - 8.0) in first flushes to alkaline (10.5 - 11.5) during the main wash cycles to acid (5.5 - 6.5) will adversely affect bio bio- organisms. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 83. The Laundering Process• Oxidation: Chlorine bleach or oxygen bleaches contribute to the bio-organism deactivation – organism – Chlorine bleaches are well known to have excellent anti anti-bacterial and anti-viral efficacy. – Oxygen bleach is considered to be somewhat less aggressive on bacteria and viruses, however, when combined with the other cleaning factors in a laundry formula, oxygen bleach is considered effective in deactivating residual microbes. – Peracetic acid is an “activated” oxygen bleach that also has excellent anti-microbial and anti-viral activity. viral © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 84. The Laundering Process• Drying: Drying or ironing at temperatures that exceed 180ºF on the fabric surface deactivate any potential remaining organisms.• Chemical Sanitizers or Bacteriostats: Some laundries as an extra precaution will use EPA registered products that will act as sanitizers in the final step of the laundry process. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 85. The Laundering Process• Published reports by ALM (Association for Linen Management), TRSA (Textile Rental Service Association), CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAMI indicate: A well designed wash formula that appropriately uses the above techniques will provide "hygienically clean" textiles. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 86. Low Temperature Washing• Published reports by TRSA and AAMI indicate that a well designed wash formula will provide "hygienically clean" textiles, even at lower wash temperatures.• CDC: “Studies have shown that a satisfactory reduction of microbial contamination can be achieved at water temperatures lower than 160 if laundry chemicals suitable 160°F for low-temperature washing are used at proper temperature concentrations.” http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/bp_laundry.html © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 87. Low Temperature Washing• Veteran’s Administration sponsored a research study that investigated the effect of low temperature and chemical oxidation on the “hygienically clean” aspects of the laundering process used in their laundry facilities.• This study is entitled “Killing of Fabric Associated Bacteria in Hospital Fabric- Laundry by Low Temperature Washing” ( (Blaser, et al., Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 149, No. 1, Jan. 1984, 48 , 48-57).• The article concluded that there was sufficient reduction of pathogenic bacteria, even in low temperature washing (22ºC, 72ºF).• It also noted that even with the elimination of chlorine bleach adequate bleach, reduction in pathogens was observed when compared to traditional high temperature (71ºC, 160ºF) washing processes. © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 88. Questions? © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.
  • 89. Contact information Steve Tinker Office: 708 708-331-2550 Cell: 708 708-870-7743 sjtinker@gurtler.com © 2011, Gurtler Industries, Inc.