Science of cleaning your dirty laundry

“Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Laundry hygiene—how to get more than clean

Although laundering should mainly remove stains and dirt from used and worn textiles, the elimination of microbial contamination is an important aim of the laundry process as well. While industrial and institutional laundering employs standardized processes using high temperatures (i.e. 60°C and above) and bleaching agents to ensure a sufficient hygienic reconditioning of textiles, domestic laundering processes are less defined and not always led by purposeful aims. The strive for energy efficiency of household appliances has resulted in a decrease in washing temperatures in Europe during the last decades and convenience aspects led to an increased use of liquid detergents that do not contain bleach which in turn impacts the antimicrobial efficacy of domestic laundering. This review compiles the different factors that influence the input and removal of micro-organisms in the laundering process and discusses the possible adverse effects of microbial contaminants in the washing machine and on the textiles as well as suitable counteractions.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Science of cleaning your dirty laundry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s