The EcoInventor

Eco Laundry Systems in America and UK

Why Eco Laundry Systems Are Popular in America and the UK

The eco laundry system uses a reactive gas called ozone to get rid of stains on laundry. Ever since the early 1990s, eco laundry systems have become popular alternatives to traditional laundering in large scale business establishments-especially with larger brand hotels across America and health care centers in the UK.

Over 2,000 units have been commercially used in large scale American clubs and hotels in 2010 alone. Meanwhile, the use of eco laundry systems in several hospitals and intensive care units has slowly become a standard health protocol in the UK with the approval of the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency, Department of Health as of 2009.

And with the increasing market of smaller ozone generators in households, the eco laundry system industry is rapidly growing.

There are three reasons why: disinfecting properties, economic savings, and environmental benefits.

Disinfecting Properties

From 1906 to today, ozone has been used to purify drinking water. This is because ozone is highly reactive to any impurities during its stay in water, especially pathogens. In turn, the molecules increase the outer membrane’s oxidation until a pathogen disintegrates completely.

Think of it as ants with sugar: like ants looking for food to nibble on, ozone molecules are constantly looking for something to react to before they decompose into oxygen (which they do easily). So these blue ants swarm to any sugar cube they find until nothing is left.

Ozone’s ability to kill deadly microorganisms proves to be far more effective than standard bleach. Lab tests in OTEX conducted during 2004-2005 proved that ozone laundering was far more effective against MRSA and E. coli on clothes compared to a regular 40o C wash. Unlike the heated wash samples that still had large traces of thriving bacteria, the ozone wash’s samples had no surviving microorganisms left behind.

A telephone survey of 317 health care facilities in the UK was conducted by the same company last May 2010 to determine the success of installed eco laundry systems on a larger health scale. It was found that 54% observed a decrease in hospital diseases since introducing ozone laundering; and 25% of the facilities noticed that less staff called in sick.

Economic Savings

Since eco laundry systems only works with cold water and reduces spin cycles to about 50%, it’s a huge saving investment on hotels alone. Not only do they disinfect better, they whiten sheets better and make fabric last longer, too. Add that to using minimal to no detergents and the savings stack up to 70-90% including labor, water and detergent as compared to the traditional washing method.

To put this in perspective, let’s take one hotel in America and one in the UK. In an average 800-bed hotel in the UK, ozone washing generators would save up to £21,275 of laundry expenses per week. That’s around £85,100 a month.

For an average American 600-bed hotel, total savings add up to around $48,971 a year on water consumption alone. Add those to labor and detergent until there is more than $1M dollars on savings. Soon enough, investments on these generators would come back in less than 2 years. That’s a lot of money saved.

Environmental Benefits

When the eco laundry system proves to reduce spin cycles and use less to no soap at the same time, it’s no wonder why it has so many environmental benefits. From increased soil oxidation to neutralizing the pH levels in water to improving oxygen supply in beaches, this industry is constantly developing new ways to make washing clothes less harmful to the environment.

With less water and less energy consumed, the amount of coastal damage left by washing clothes is reduced tenfold-especially with laundry detergents. The oil spills in sea do disintegrate in contact with these substances. But in turn, thousands of coral reefs and endangered fish die from inhaling and digesting water that’s mixed with bleach and fabric softener every year.

With the developing eco laundry system, a future with zero laundry detergent and a restored ocean proves to be possible.