Generally .5 ppm of iron will stain and discolor white textiles. Chlorine is not a good choice for washing textiles when there is any significant amount of iron present in the water. The best way to wash under the conditions where iron is present is to use oxygen bleaches. When using commercial laundry equipment, an iron removing sour can strip iron or control the presence depending upon the concentration of the bath, and lower pH value of the water in the bath.
When iron is causing significant textile cleaning and whiteness problems in a laundry operation, I recommend installing a water softening system that utilizes de-iron salt pellets. A water softener can remove up to .2-.3 ppm of iron. This approach has great benefits for cleaning, whiting, and maintaining tensile strength of the textile fabric over more costly chemical alternatives.
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Textile Services Industry Gets National Spotlight
WILIMGTON, Mass. — Textile service executive Ronald Croatti recently appeared on the CBS-TV show “Undercover Boss.” Croatti is CEO of UniFirst Corp., in Wilmington, Mass. For most Americans watching “Undercover Boss” it was their first view inside a commercial laundry, which typically process between 10 million and 25 million pounds of uniforms, table linens, bed sheets, towels and more every year “The reusable textile services business is the original green industry,” said Ricci. “Commercial laundries reuse linen instead of filing landfills with disposable alternatives and continually discover new, innovative means to reduce energy consumption and recycle water. Our huge economies of scale allow laundries to use about two-thirds less water, energy and detergent than alternatives, such as washing at home, while hygienically cleaning textile products, improving disease control and reducing contamination.”