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In its role as a powerful oxidant and biocide, ozone works in the context of commercial and industrial laundry wash rooms to boost the cleaning activity of the various chemicals and chemical compounds. It accomplishes this in several ways.
Ozone replenishes oxygen in the wash water. This allows a reduction of harsh chemicals in the wash cycle. A reduction which lessens cost and increases worker safety. Ozone oxidizes the soil components of the wash water causing them to form precipitates or to go into suspension so that they can more easily be removed from the wash liquor. By this process, the chemicals themselves are re-energized and the load on them is reduced, so they can be used in even smaller quantities and still be more effective. Because ozone increases the saponification and lubricating effects of the wash chemicals, the wash liquor does not need to be as hot. Cold water means less costly water. Cold water means less wear on the linen.
As one of the strongest commercially available micro biocides, ozone destroys all bacteria, viruses, blood pathogens and other harmful microorganisms found in the soiled fabrics.
Intake or source water often contains calcium, magnesium and other dissolved mineral salts that cause hardness. Ozone breaks these compounds into their individual radicals and causes them to form precipitates that can be removed by filtration. The wash liquor is “soft’ without the need for additional chemical softening agents. Soft water means more suds from less detergent and better rinsing.
It should be noted that ozone has been used successfully by the dry cleaning industry to remove the smell of smoke, fish and other strong, odors from soiled garments. Items washed in ozone treated water come out smelling fresh and clean; even wipers have no oily odor and feel soft.
The overall effects of adding ozone to the wash cycle water are to produce fabrics that are as clean or cleaner than those from systems using conventional formulas, but with dramatically reduced quantities of water, energy, chemicals and formula times.