DIV16/19: Lower Laundry Temperatures Have a Bright Outlook (6 October 2016)

Issue Date: 6 October 2016
Ref: DIV16/19

Diversey Care offers a complete range of laundry products and solutions.

Lower Laundry Temperatures Have a Bright Outlook
Unique Diversey Care Solutions reduce costs and promote sustainability

Hotels with on-premises laundries are coming to realise they can make significant utility cost savings and promote better sustainability by changing the way they operate. But they are not prepared to compromise on results that could jeopardise their hard-won reputations by giving guests and customers an excuse to complain or leave negative reviews and feedback. Any switch to alternative, lower temperature laundry processes must be supported by the right detergents and wash programmes.

Clax Advanced is an innovation from Diversey Care meeting all the demands of a superior low temperature wash programme. The detergents included in the programme contain a wider range of ingredients than their predecessors and incorporate innovative actives to perform specific functions with greater subtlety. The objective is to make laundry operations quicker, simpler and safer. Clax Advanced can be used with modern machines to support superior fabric cleaning and disinfection at lower temperatures.

Washing at lower temperatures saves costs because less energy (gas or electricity) is needed to heat the water. In addition, less water is needed for cooling down the wash load, thus enabling a reduction in the number of rinses. Standard wash programmes tend to heat water inside the machine, rather than using external supplies, which takes time. Combined with a reduction in the number of rinses, this means the wash cycle can be completed more quickly at lower temperatures. All else being equal any machine can wash more loads in the same period which means better productivity for the operator with reduced costs. Lower temperatures and shorter cycle times normally result in less scale deposited on a machine’s heating elements which improves equipment efficiency and lifetimes. Finally, fabrics last longer and need replacing less often if not exposed to high temperatures.

Independent studies have shown that by reducing the wash temperature by 20oC – in combination with the right detergents and programme - can reduce water and energy consumption by up to 35%, and extend linen life by more than 30%.

The Customer Case for Lower Temperatures

A Diversey Care hospitality customer wanted to assess potential energy savings across its estate of on-premises laundries without compromising quality of wash or adding significantly to product cost. Diversey Care proposed a single-site trial with Clax Advanced 40oC including Clax Bright, its low-temperature destainer which was a finalist in the National Energy Efficiency Awards in the UK a few years ago. This provides excellent hygiene at 40oC and has been shown to be kinder on cotton than typical peroxide destaining processes, extending the life of fabrics by more than 30%. It is used with existing detergent systems in the same equipment and simply replaces the old destainers so no capital expenditure is required. 

The machines on site were reprogrammed to reduce the temperature of the three main wash cycles by around 20oC. The hotel saved almost £300 in monthly energy and water bills during the trial. Shorter cycle times allowed more washes to be completed than were possible at the original higher temperature. Overall energy and water consumption was considerably lower, reducing by 50%, and 30% respectively. The replacement products were slightly more expensive but the difference was more than offset by the energy and water savings.

Savings were equally significant in a separate trial conducted in a care home. The customer wanted to reduce wash temperatures from 71oC to 40oC but needed to maintain quality while ensuring MRSA and C. Difficile were eliminated from fabrics including bedclothes and towels. Machines on-site were reprogrammed for lower temperatures and the Clax Advanced programme with Clax Bright was implemented. This combination has been shown to deliver highly effective bacteria kill at low temperatures and has been tested to the EN1276 and EN13704 standards at 40oC and 60oC. The system does not contain caustic, chlorine bleach, peracetic acid or peroxide based agents, and does not release any fumes, making it safer to use than any other lower temperature programme. The trial site reduced total operational costs by more than 50% which equated to hundreds of pounds each year with no discernible effect on fabric cleanliness and quality. These savings quickly add up to very large numbers across multiple sites.

The cost and time-saving benefits of lower temperature laundry are clear for any hotel business with a mix of items such as towels, robes, bed linen, clothing and table cloths. In most cases the changes required amount to little more than the choice of innovative products, simple reprogramming of existing equipment and some basic staff retraining. This means little or no upfront investment is needed before the savings start to build up. Diversey Care is able to advise on the right approach and provide evidence to support the cost and time-saving benefits.