Laundry chemicals have become an essential element in the laundry process – for cleaning, destaining, disinfecting and finishing. With sustainability one of the main themes at this year’s Clean Show in June, manufacturers of detergents and washing additives demonstrated how the development of effective low-temperature processes is making a significant contribution to the reduction of energy consumption and strengthening the industry’s credentials when it comes to environmental efficiency.

Christeyns points out that chemical specialists, such as itself, are developing products that operate at low temperatures, providing more accurate dosing systems and are also broadening their expertise to include energy and water management systems. This specialist knowledge is essential to a successful textile care operation.

The Belgian company sees itself as very much ‘working with the industry’ to help operators address the major issues they face. A key role is to work with clients to provide energy audits and help them identify where savings can be made.

This year saw Christeyns exchange contracts with Camplings Linen, a commercial laundry in Great Yarmouth, in a deal worth around £3m. Camplings Linen launched its new 30,000sq/ft laundry plant on Harfrey’s Industrial Estate in Great Yarmouth in January this year. The new facility, described as one of the country’s most sophisticated commercial laundries, will provide an increased capacity of 25% and mean the business can process up to 500,000 pieces of linen a week.

For Christeyns, this represents the longest ever customer contract signed to date and is worth several million pounds over the length of the deal, helping secure jobs and investments at the company’s UK headquarters in Bradford and paving the way for further multi-faceted collaborations. Christeyns won the contract based on its Cool Chemistry, a patented innovation that combines equipment and chemistry to deliver improved whiteness and increased disinfection while washing at lower temperatures.

Christeyns also installed £750,000-worth of detergent dosing and monitoring equipment along with water and energy equipment that allows the laundry to operate steam free, recycling both water and energy. This will reduce water consumption by around 40% and total energy consumption by 30%.

The investment also included the installation of Laundry Dashboard, a tool for measuring the efficiency of both people and processes, providing updates on current productivity against targets. Christeyns launched its Cool Chemistry washing concept both for hospitality and health care linen in September 2013 and more than 200 laundries are using this technology. Now the company has expanded its Cool Chemistry portfolio with two Ecolabel certified ranges for hospitality application. Christeyns has developed a Cool Chemistry Green and Blue range for hotel laundries, respectively EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Ecolabel certified. The Nordic Ecolabelling has been awarded both for ‘Laundry detergents for professional use’ and for ‘Textile services’.

Cool Chemistry Ecolabel certified products are as flexible as the standard Cool Chemistry products and can be used between 40 and 60C assuring excellent wash results.

Professional laundry liquids

Alex Reid, the drycleaning and laundry consumables specialist launched a range of professional laundry liquids along with its own dosing system, developed by parent company Christeyns. The most requested laundry and wet cleaning chemicals supplied by Alex Reid are the Caretex Professional range and Cole & Wilson’s Aquawave – Pro-fit Wool and Pro-fit Body.

Best sellers are the Caretex Pro A Detergent and Pro B Softener, part of the range of nine products relaunched earlier this year. In the past few months, Alex Reid has seen an increase in requests for the Caretex Professional products. The introduction of a new auto-dosing and chemicals package using the Christeyns Flux-Box has encouraged uptake as launderers look to reduce wastage and improve wash quality.

Recent new clients include Prima Cleaners, a multi-site outfit based in Liverpool with outlets across the North West and Green Bubbles, a new outlet in Milton Keynes.  Environmentally aware launderer, EcoFresh, in Kent, recently installed the Flux-Box auto dosing system and uses this with the Caretex Professional range of laundry detergents and softeners.

Lawrence Evans, owner of EcoFresh says: “We are passionate about conserving the environment and the Caretex Professional range and Flux-Box combination are kind on both fabrics and the environment as well as minimising wastage.”

Stuart Fullerton, general manager at Alex Reid adds: “Feedback has been very positive regarding the wash results and customers have been pleased with the competitive pricing, when compared to other options available in the market.”

Feedback on the Aquawave Pro-fit Body and Wool products used in wet cleaning is also excellent, he says. “The cost in use for cleaners is much less than drycleaning and they are proving to be a great water based solution for garments providing a 60 minute dry to dry process.” The Caretex Professional laundry products and Aquawave wet cleaning products combine perfectly with Stainwash Power and Stainwash Oxy.  These two products form part of the extensive Cole & Wilson stain removal range available via
Alex Reid.

Stainwash Power is a powerful degreaser for the easy removal of difficult soils from the core of the textile, great for treating collars and cuffs. It is effective on greasy stains and enzymatic stains, on all types of textiles and can also be used as booster in the laundry process. Stainwash Oxy is an oxygen release bleach stain remover for the pre-treatment of bleachable stains and can be used as a de-staining agent in the laundry process.

Combining Stainwash Oxy and Power with the Caretex laundry and Aquawave wet cleaning liquids offers launderers an effective stain removal and wash process perfect for getting garments looking back to their best.

Sustainable laundry solutions

The on-going development of sustainable laundry solutions that conserve vital resources such as water and energy is of primary importance for Ecolab. The company’s PERformance 40 program for the hospitality and healthcare sector was conceived along these guidelines. European customers have been working with this innovative 40C laundry cleaning and disinfecting system since 2010.

Thanks to the excellent results achieved with the PERformance 40 in the healthcare sector, Ecolab has developed a 40C laundry system named OxyCare 40 for the hospitality market, where disinfection is not a primary requisite. It provides the same benefits as PERformance 40 in terms of washing efficiency, fabric whiteness, increased productivity and lower operating costs.

Ecolab’s Textile Care Solutions line includes Softenit Dual Excellence, the Turbo Super Wetting and Turbo Super White programs as well as Ecolab’s PERformance Industrial program designed for workwear. Ecolab describes its Softenit Dual Excellence as the new generation in textile softening. The high concentrated softener with silicon active ingredients and microencapsulated long-lasting fragrance was developed for commercial laundries that have to meet the very high requirements in the 4 and 5 star hospitality sector.

Ecolab’s Performance Industrial system for white and coloured industrial workwear includes patented soil release technology to sustainably clean the heaviest industrial soils at low to medium temperatures (55 – 65C).

Ecolab describes its OxyGuard 40 as the next generation of low temperature (40C) wash programs for hospitality textiles and the only Ecolabel certified wash program for the commercial laundry industry. OxyGuard 40 delivers maximised performance with minimised impact. Finally, Ecolab’s enVision is a new process intelligence platform developed by the company to monitor the laundry critical washing parameters 365 days a year. It provides laundry managers with the insights needed to better control the textile quality while reducing the operating costs and improving the plant productivity.

Complex chemical products

Andrew Thompson, managing director at CHT UK, says that the launderer’s continuing need to use less water and energy has resulted in the development of more complex and sophisticated chemical products. Detergents are being designed to provide low temperature emulsification and suspension with the minimum amount of foaming. “Environmental legislation has also demanded changes in the chemistry used for laundry processes,” he adds. Sustainability is a key issue for the CHT Group, which introduced a new logo last year with the slogan ‘Smart Chemistry with Character’.

CHT has introduced Beiphob zero F, a water repellent system that is free of fluorine. The highly efficient, high yield fluorocarbon compounds provide the highest performance in water repellent and oil repellent finishing and stain resistant finishing, at high or lower temperatures with particular focus on barrier effect or with soil release effects. Importantly the application does not contain nor release any environmentally critical substances such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). The impregnation is produced on a fluorine-free polymer base.

CHT devised the BeiBleach Power Active Process, which the company describes as achieving cost-effective disinfectant laundry care at temperatures of 40 – 60C. It has been registered for listing at the Robert Koch Institute both as a 40C and 60C process and can be used successfully in batch washers and washer-extractors.

The modular system uses liquid products – Beiclean Control, Beipur ANP and Beibleach Power Active – each having a particular function. The same detergents and auxiliaries can be used for both the 40C and 60C wash processes, with only the amounts changing.

Wide range of textiles

With the development of wet cleaning in many markets, Büfa Cleaning Systems, the Germany-based chemicals manufacturer, has introduced  its Büfa Care 4.0 system. The process is said to offer a comprehensive solution for a wide range of textiles – for example, outerwear, such as suits with a high wool component or challenging cashmere articles, high-quality delicate clothes and linen from care or nursing homes, table and kitchen linen as well as staff uniforms from hotels and duvets. The complete process and operating schedule is considerably simplified and reduces the overall process time to just 60 minutes.

Büfa Care 4.0 is based on four key products: Ozerna Polar as a powerful liquid colour detergent; Lizerna Carat as a new developed refiner; Lizerna Citro as a neutraliser; and Lizerna Conditioner as a high-performing finishing agent. These additives result in 30% less product consumption and minimisation of the process time, explains Pamela Krix from the R&D department of Büfa. Even challenging or delicate textiles are cleaned, gentle dried and finished with less effort within one hour. The entire programme cycle in wet cleaning is oriented to maximum protection of the materials. The drum stands still as the water runs in: the protective function of Lizerna Carat is already active when the mechanical processing starts. The reduction of water and agents coupled with short, high mechanical activity allows a very good washing effect. The mechanical washing activity is set at five seconds movement and 25 seconds rest. When the water runs out, the drum remains still. This ensures high fibre protection. In order to reduce the mechanical activity in the dryer and achieve short drying times, spinning takes place at highest possible speeds. Once the goods rest in place, there is no further additional mechanical stress.

“We improved not only the cleaning performance but also the protection against shrinkage, felting, colour loss and wrinkle formation,” she says. “Damages of the textile fibres, of the forming and of the colours are virtually eliminated. This new process will convince everybody.”

Ideal innovation

As the first company to introduce fully built powders, followed by fully built liquids and then the first to introduce auto dosing equipment into British commercial laundry, Ideal Manufacturing has always had an inclination to try different things to seek out new advantages to bring to the industry. Established in 1980, Ideal is an independent, family run, British company. Ideal’s Phillip Kalli says that like many who’ve been involved in the British laundry industry over the years, the company has witnessed, and been partly responsible for changes that have taken place in washroom chemical management systems.

Many of these changes have been beneficial, particularly the introduction of modern processing equipment to enhance efficiency. “However, it is generally acknowledged that a reliance on ‘push button’ technology and the transfer of washroom responsibility to chemical suppliers has resulted in a gradual deskilling of laundry site personnel,” he says.

Today’s laundry process is often controlled by suppliers who provide free on loan automatic injection systems and contracted supply of an extensive range of products for a period of up to seven years. “We’ve thought long and hard about this trend and we are certain that we can offer a seriously attractive alternative that will significantly reduce costs, whilst returning skills to laundry operators and ensure that the laundry reclaims control of processing. In addition, we offer unique products and processes that will maximise recovery of damaged linen.”

Ideal has been working hard to demonstrate this transparent supply model, to simplify the prevailing multi-product scenario, says Kalli. Ideal proposes reduce the range to a maximum of four products, to recommend the use of an eco friendly laundry detergent powder and to reduce processing temperatures for most classifications to 30-40C with a reduction in energy costs, water costs and extended life of linen. In addition Ideal guarantees recovery processes that reclaim an incredibly high proportion of condemned stock and undertakes to provide expert in-house training to include laundry equipment, chemical and dosing technology checks with our innovative new Take Five troubleshooting program – Five 5 minute daily checks for healthy laundering.

“We believe that commercial laundries can achieve the best and most consistent quality simply by using an efficient, reliable and effective powder injection system with only a single concentrated eco friendly powder, Ideal Professional Plus (Pp). We also recommend the application of a gentle sour for the majority of classifications.”

Ideal describes its Professional Plus (Pp) as comprehensive, modern and eco friendly laundry powder that ensures professional results, even at low temperatures. Designed as a phosphate-free, multi-ingredient formulation built for powerful cleaning and heavy stain removal, Professional Plus is free-flowing single-shot powder for both manual and automatic feed through the Ideal Powder Injection System. Features include a built-in oxidising agent and accelerated destainer.

Where the work has specific staining or heavy soiling, additional products can be injected, if absolutely necessary. Using this simplified method, laundries can achieve the highest standards of soil removal, simply and economically while stock management becomes much easier. Furthermore, Ideal can guarantee a significant annual saving in chemical costs it claims.