March 4, 2020
This is the third article in our series on laundering best practices. Be sure to check out the other articles: Are These 5 Problems Ruining Your Hotel’s Linens? and 5 Tips to Help Your Hotel Laundry Reduce Wrinkles
Have you noticed your white linens becoming dull and dingy? You could be dealing with one of laundry’s dirty little secrets—redeposition. Sounds scary right? Luckily, it’s easy to deal with. While the name may be new to some, redeposition is an all-too familiar problem that can cause hospitality linen items, especially white sheets and towels, to appear gray or off-color after washing.
As the term implies, it describes when a substance from one linen moves into the wash water and gets “redeposited” onto other textiles, spreading like a laundry flu. And because the offending substance gets dispersed in the wash water, this usually causes a uniform discoloration of all the linens in the wash load.
Depending on the type of redeposition, the root cause and removal will vary. Here are some common causes:
Follow these helpful tips to protect your property’s sheets, towels, and other textile items from redeposition and keep them looking their best:
Unlike what most people believe, the main role of a detergent is not to “clean” the textiles but to suspend soils liberated by mechanical action and water flow. Suspending soils helps prevent them from redepositing back onto the items being cleaned.
Low water levels can prevent soils or fugitive dyes from being effectively suspended and flushed away from the load. It is recommended that high water levels be used during the rinsing process.
An overloaded washer will dramatically inhibit cleaning results and increase the likeliness of redeposition. Loading washers to 80% of rated capacity is recommended.
New textiles that are dyed or printed will have often have excessive dyes present that will be released in the first wash. Wash newly dyed or printed textiles separately, and do not reuse the water.
If the incoming water has a high iron content, it should be treated to remove it.
We understand that redeposition is an everyday frustration in the world of commercial hotel laundries. Using these tried-and-true ways to minimize redeposition, you can extend the life and appearance of your hospitality linen and terry supply.
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