Business case Lindstrom: Lifetime Improvement of reflection stripes on Workwear by Ecolab

Reflection stripes are an important element of all kinds of workwear and personal protection clothing. This type of garment is used to protect people in challenging industrial conditions (e.g. working in a construction area) or working in dangerous conditions (e.g. firefighting).

Removal of industrial soiling, such as mechanical oil or soot  and dirt mixed with oil, requires an alkaline washing process. However, reflection stripes are very sensitive in alkaline water conditions and they tend to lose their reflective properties already after 5 to 10 washes. The garments themselves are often still in good condition and could endure another 20 to 25 cycles, but the  reflective stripes are usually worn-out by then.

Ecolab has developed this washing process – Performance Industrial – especially designed to fulfil the washing needs of industrial workwear and at the same time improve the lifetime of reflection stripes.

Thomas Duerrschmidt, scientist, at the company’s RD&E centre states:  “We have focused on creating a program that is gentle for the textiles and can deal with the different types of heavy industrial soiling.  The program results in a combination of different products that offer great synergies to achieve the best washing result under gentle wash conditions.”