As research on ozone increases and ozone technology becomes more accessible, many industries are applying this technology with great results. Some businesses looking to get the benefits of ozone’s disinfection power are laundromats and professional laundry businesses.
Ozone has been used for washing clothes for over a decade. It is especially favored at hospitals where sanitization is an absolute priority, and at fire departments, to remove strong, stubborn odors from used firefighter uniforms. In recent years, gyms, nursing homes, and privately owned laundromats have begun implementing ozone cleaning systems, with real results for both business owners and their customers.
What makes cleaning with aqueous ozone different?
In a traditional laundromat without an ozonated water generator, a wash cycle for an industrial-sized washing machine may include hot water along with alkali, detergent, acid, and bleach. Depending on how much and how many chemicals are used, there may also be several rinse cycles as well.
With ozonated water injected into the wash, the need for chemicals is reduced. Furthermore, the ozonation process is just as effective with cold water, which means there’s no need to spend on electricity to heat the water for the wash cycle. Although many laundromats provide detergent to their customers, the ozonated water generator can neutralize microorganisms and break up soil deposits in the fabric.
How does aqueous ozone work for laundry?
Ozone is an effective sanitizing agent because of its chemical nature. Ozone, or O3, is a reactive gas that will react naturally and immediately with most substances. As a type of “reactive” oxygen with an extra O molecule, it will instantly react with organic matter, such as bacteria, mildew, or mold. This results in the near-instant neutralization of the microorganism.
When it comes to washing clothes, the ozone, which is dissolved directly into the water throughout the wash cycle will leave clothing clean, soft, and completely odor-free.
How does an ozonated water generator system work?
There are several ways to put ozone gas and water together. At BES Group/BioSure Professional we use three of them: venturi, spray contact, and a self-priming pump. For professional laundry ozone systems, the self-priming pump is used because it has a higher rate of efficiency in producing ozonated water, and provides a higher volume of ozonated water from the system. This means it can produce a larger flow rate of ozonated water to ensure clothing and linens are properly disinfected.
What are the benefits?
An effective ozone system gives customers peace of mind by preventing cross-contamination caused by bacteria from other customers. Secondly, it leaves a fresh smell at each wash, eliminating mildew odors. Overall, there is a better wash resulting in fresh and clean linens.
Additionally, there is no longer any need to maintain stores of chemicals to wash clothing and bedding. With fewer chemicals, that also means there is less need for multiple rinse cycles. With ozonation, the wash and rinse cycle are essentially combined into one. Increased use of ozone systems will do a lot to reduce water consumption throughout society.
Since there is no need to heat the water in the wash cycle to activate the cleaning chemicals, businesses will also save money on energy spent on heating large amounts of water — a substantial cost. After installing their ozonation system, some laundromat owners have reported a 40 to 50 percent reduction in monthly utility costs. Customers also benefit from the ozone system in more ways than one. First, fabrics come out thoroughly sanitized. Secondly, the amount of time it takes to wash a load is reduced, which will save customers time waiting for loads to finish.
And last, ozone has natural fabric softening qualities. This is thanks to its effectiveness at breaking down calcium, which can build up in washes over time. The reactive nature of ozone also helps break down other hard deposits in the fabric, whether from sweat, deodorant, or soil. In combination with the shorter wash cycles, ozone washes will ultimately increase fabric life.
Aqueous Ozone laundry is a win-win
Thanks to numerous benefits to customers such as improved wash quality and cost reductions to business owners, ozone for professional laundry is a no-brainer. Many traditional laundry businesses will continue to use a mix of chemicals to wash and disinfect laundry, but ozone systems are becoming the new standard and will eventually replace chemicals in the laundry cycle. As a business owner, your wallet will thank you for it, and as a citizen of the world, the Earth will as well.