Why feeling the cold makes sense for laundries

Employed as early as 1906 to treat the water supply in Paris and used today in some processes for producing bottled water, ozone is known for its bleaching action and ability to kill bacteria and viruses. It also has a practical, money-saving application in laundry operations.

Ozone, which is basically oxygen plus an extra atom (O3 as opposed to O2), is formed when oxygen comes into contact with highly charged electrical energy. The slightly blue coloured gas can be created naturally, by an electrical storm, or synthetically, and is the result of high electric voltage passed through oxygen (O2) molecules.

It’s this third oxygen atom in ozone’s molecular makeup that makes it such a powerful cleaning agent.
Systems that generate ozone and inject it into laundry water can dramatically reduce hot water use in large laundry operations, as well as reducing the number of cleaning chemicals used and producing cleaner, brighter linens and clothing.

When ozone gas is introduced to an environment with bacteria, mould or any other organic material, it gives up one of the oxygen atoms in its structure to oxidize or destroy that material. Once the third oxygen atom is used, there is only an oxygen (O2) molecule left. This is one reason why ozone is preferred as an oxidant to various chemicals because it does not leave any type of residual chemical.

When it comes to laundry, Ozone attacks soils in the same way it tackles bacteria and mould. As soon as ozonated water comes into contact with linen and fabrics, it begins breaking down these contaminants so they can be removed from the fabric by detergents.

Following extensive research, Christeyns has combined the advantages of ozone properties with the requirements of a commercial wash process. Our recently launched Speed-O wash concept goes one step further, however than just using ozone. We have combined active oxygen (Peracetic acid) together with the ozone to create a hydroxyl radical which breaks down the soil in the wash liquor.

To obtain the ozone, a laundry ozone generator, the Speed-O Box, replicates the naturally occurring gas and then introduces a low concentration into the water under pressure. As the ozone molecule is unstable, it can not be packaged and must be produced, on-demand, on site. It cleans, whitens and brightens, all without the use of hot water, before it naturally reverts back to oxygen.

New chemicals, Speed-O Wash, a detergent, and Speed-O Boost, an alkali booster, have been specifically developed to perform at cold temperatures. By adding surfactants to the detergent, we have ensured that the detergent is fully active throughout the wash process and not broken down by the ozone; this process will remove both grease as well as other soiling.

The ozone molecule intervenes in the wash process in various ways. Ozone opens the fibre structure and makes the fabric softer and fluffier. The textile thus contains less residual moisture after the washing process so drying times can be reduced. Ozone also boosts the performance of the laundry chemicals and dirt deposits adhering to the textile fibre are loosened and chemically broken down.

By including ozone when laundering commercial quantities of linen, towels and bedding, you need nothing more than cold water, detergent and ozone gas. This reduces costs, allows for increased efficiency and enables businesses to run a more competitive and cost-effective laundry operation. And it achieves all of this with an increased level of cleaning power and without damaging linen.

An additional benefit is that the laundry room is much cooler in the summer. The decreased need for hot water reduces the workroom temperature considerably. The gas does, however, have a strong smell so the room needs to be well ventilated.

Using ozone in combination with Christeyns specially developed Speed-O chemicals can make a significant difference to facilities such as hotels and leisure outlets where laundry is managed in-house. For soft, fluffy white linen, that is hygienically clean, ozone provides a great value for money solution and has an overall positive impact on the housekeeping task in general.

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