November 18, 2010

Textile Restoration Laundry and Dry Cleaning Equipment

The textile restoration industry has grown over the years with more and more dry cleaners looking to give it a try. Our experience has shown us that while you will use most of the skills you learned as a dry cleaner, there are some new skills and procedures for you to learn. Eagle Star Equipment deals strictly with the equipment to process household textiles, and we can help you get the work done in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. In some cases, we have had to redesign the entire plant to achieve a production facility capable of handling the additional volume. On other cases, due to the added volume, we had to build a second facility just to process the restoration work.

Cleaning capacity is the first area where most who get into the restoration business realize that they are lacking. Since this step has the largest impact on the throughput of your plant, this is the first thing that must be addresses. You will be processing a complete cross-section of a homeowner’s textiles, items that you may not normally get as a retail dry cleaner, that a 40-50 lb. dry cleaning machine or washer may not be enough. Bulky items like bed spreads and stuffed animals require a larger drum to receive the proper agitation. Most of the additional items coming in are best processed through the washer/extractor. You may need to add more than one larger capacity washer. Adding multiple over capacity dryers is also a recommendation of ours. The larger the drum the greater the tumbling action. The more tumbling action achieved, the quicker everything with get dried, and the faster items come out of the dryer, the fewer wrinkles there will be.

The finishing areas of a retail dry cleaner will need some fine tuning. One piece of equipment that we highly recommend for a restoration facility is a steam tunnel. A great percentage of items sent through a steam tunnel can bypass the rest of the finishing equipment and can be boxed or bagged and be sent over to storage. Tensioning equipment are also a valuable additions to the equipment mix. The ease of operation and consistent finished product helps move everything along the matching station. Other than specialty pieces, a retail dry cleaner’s usual array of dry cleaning and laundry finishing equipment can handle what comes through the plant.

Storage is the last piece of the puzzle and should not be overlooked. A portion of what you take in will go back to your customer immediately following processing, but the remainder will have to be stored by you until you customer is ready to move back into their home. The length of time required for storage can be 30-60 days or sometimes even 6 months or more. We have many ways to create a storage system to suit your needs. From space saving conveyor systems to stationary racking, we design our systems to maximize the available space and simplify the storage and retrieval processes.

Textile restoration can be very profitable as long as your plant is prepared for the increase in volume and the diverse items that will be processed. Contact Eagle Star Equipment before you start up or if you are already taking in orders and can’t keep up. We can help retool existing plants or design and outfit a new one. Our goal is to maximize production and profits.

Uses of Ozone in the Laundry Room

Ozone (O3) is an activated form of Oxygen (O2) that will naturally convert a foul-smelling substance into a non-odorous substance. Ozone works be casting off its 3rd atom into any other organic element thereby oxidizing it or converting it to another substance. Ozone will deactivate and destroy molds, bacteria, viruses, fungus and mildew.

Disinfecting and Deodorizing Prior to Washing:

Conditioning textiles in a properly constructed ozone room prior to cleaning can effectively treat mold, mildew and odors, typically eliminating re-cleans. Conditioning times vary depending on the degree of mold, mildew or odors, some taking as little as two hours to treat, while others may require up to 12 hours.

An effective ozone room is constructed to be as air tight as possible, with an exhaust fan large enough to create negative pressure in the room which prevents the ozone from seeping into work areas. The ozone unit should be placed high in the room to allow the ozone to “fall” over the items being conditioned. The ozone unit and exhaust fan should have on/off switches on the outside of the room to prevent employees from breathing the ozone. The room size and door openings should be designed with consideration of the product to be treated in mind. Ozone generators are sized based on the size of the ozone room.

Washing With Ozone:

Ozone in the wash is designed to enhance commercial laundry operations by improving quality and reducing costs. Ozone helps reduce operating costs by reducing energy use, water use, chemical use and cycle times. Ozone improves quality by eliminating bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms as well as lifting fibers giving laundry a softer feel and longer shelf-life. Ozone is very aggressive and requires little time to achieve the desired results, dissipating quickly in water.

Four Design Approaches to Using Ozone in the Wash:


– Using the Diffusion system, ozone is injected directly into the washer drum throughout each step of the wash cycle. This system puts linens in direct contact with ozone and provides longer exposure. Diffusion is designed to constantly charge the wash water with low levels of ozone throughout the entire cycle.

Direct Water Injection

– Using the Direct Water Injection system, ozone is introduced into the wash cycle via venturi into the cold water supply. This is a single charge system and the wash water is not recharged once it enters the wash wheel. This system is designed to inject higher levels of ozone during the fill step of the cycle only in order to prevent the linens from overexposure to ozone.

Charge System

– A charged systems is a variation of the direct water injection system. A charged system mixes ozone with cold water and continually recycles it prior to injection into the washer to reach even higher levels of ozone at the fill step of the wash cycle. As withe the direct water injection system, the water is not recharged once it enters the wash wheel.

Recirculation Injection

– This system is the most complex and expensive of the four systems. Using the recirculation Injection systems, water is recirculated between the washer and the ozone generator providing the wash cycle with constantly charged water. This system can handle heavy microbe loads, but with the PPM controller, recirculation pumps and lint filters, it requires continual monitoring and maintenance.