Recent disease outbreaks have put laundry hygiene back on the radar of all hospital and care home customers. And this is where CINET decided to facilitate masterclasses laundry hygiene for professional textile care.

To ensure hygienically clean linen and make sure that no transmission can take place it is vital to follow well defined procedures in every step of the laundry process. In this condensed version we will mention a few important processing parameters that need attention of the complete laundry team.

Fresh water quality: The incoming water might be of good drinking water quality, but what is needed is that no pathogenics should be present – as measured after softening and storage.

Chemo-Thermal disinfection should only be carried out at defined temperatures applying products that are listed in the European Biocidal Products Directive [BPD]. This requirement becomes even more critical when washing temperature-sensitive Customer Owned Goods of Care Home Residents. One should also bear in mind that the Care Home fabrics show a higher than average presence of pathogenics.

Quality of rinse water: The risk of re-contamination is not over yet when having disinfected the linen in the main wash. The recontamination might take place when press water of the CBW is reclaimed in the rinse zone. Bacteriostatic and / or fungistatic action is required when press water is reclaimed into the rinse. The detergent supplier will advise how this can be done properly.

Hygiene-contribution of Ironing or full drying? The effect of both drying operations in the total of microbial kill is largely overestimated. Especially ironing contributes marginally.

Residual Moisture [RM] level . The washed and dried linen needs to be returned to the customer – having a Relative Moisture Level of max 5 %. Higher level[s] of moisture accelerate bacterial growth. This unwanted bacterial growth is even faster when these fabrics are packed in plastic.

Delay between washing and drying. Linen that has been washed needs to be dried or ironed within reasonable time. Micro organisms [such as bacteria and fungi] start multiplying once the linen is removed from the washing machine[s]. Look into the table to see how many micro-organisms are present on the linen once they are waiting to be ironed or dried. An unwanted side effect of an increased presence of bacteria or fungi is that the linen becomes smelly. Note that this bacterial growth can be prevented when dosing a bacteriostat or fungistat into the last rinse of the wash process.

Other important hygiene aspects. These can be found in the masterclass document. These include: Vaccination of staff, Importance of a hand disinfection program, soil removal measurements and the importance of having an RABC system in place. Details of the masterclass can be found on the CINET- website :https://www.cinetonline.com/wopcom/

If you would like to ask any questions to the CINET Hygiene Committee than you are invited to send the question[s] to cinet@cinet-online.com.