While ozone laundry systems has been around for decades, it is only in recent years that brands like ArtiClean have made the technology compact and affordable enough for average laundromats. Read on to learn more about this environmentally friendly laundry alternative and find out if it's right for your laundromat.
What is Ozone?
Ozone, aka O3, is a naturally occurring gas composed of three oxygen atoms. In nature, ozone is created when lightning splits an oxygen (O2) molecule and the individual oxygen atoms attach themselves to nearby O2 molecules, forming O3. When ozone comes in contact with contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses, grease, and cigarette smoke, it discharges the third oxygen atom, effectively oxidizing and sanitizing just about any surface. In fact, ozone has earned the nickname “Nature’s Sanitizer” due to this impressive ability to clean and disinfect everything from drinking water to produce, food prep surfaces, and bed linens.
Ozone in Laundry
Ozone laundry systems mimic nature in order to clean soiled linens. These enclosed systems rely on two electrically charged surfaces located close together, which create a high-voltage arc, similar to lightning. By forcing oxygen from the air through the electrical field, the systems create ozone molecules, then inject that ozone into water before it enters the washing machine. In the laundry, ozone oxygenates stains and soiled linens, kills germs and viruses, softens fabrics, and leaves a mild scent reminiscent of the smell after a thunderstorm.
Ozone Benefits for Laundromats Include:
- Avoiding Harsh Chemical Detergents
When you launder linens with ozone-infused water, you can skip the harsh detergents and toxic chemicals. Ozone is such an effective laundry additive that it can replace everything from laundry detergent to bleach and fabric softeners to provide clean, soft, bright linens.
- Washing in Cold Water
Because ozone is most stable in cold water, customers can effectively launder even the most heavily soiled loads without turning up the heat. When they wash with cold water, you save money in water heating costs while reducing your business's impact on the environment.
- Decreasing Water Usage
Because ozone systems allow customers to launder linens without any detergents or chemicals, there is no need for multiple rinse cycles. This reduces overall water usage while still providing an exceptional clean, further reducing utility costs and environmental impact.
- Effectively Removing Stains
Ozone oxidizes stains, meaning it helps break the chemical bonds in the stain. This causes even stubborn or dried-on stains to release from the fabric and wash away. Even dingy linens appear brighter and more vibrant after laundering with ozone since the system is so effective at removing organic materials.
- Disinfecting Linens
Ozone is among the most powerful sanitizing solutions available. In fact, according to an article from Water Conditioning & Purification International Magazine, ozone effectively kills bacteria, fungi, and live viruses 3,000 times faster than bleach. With ozone technology, laundromat customers can feel safe knowing their linens are being effectively sanitized from just about any virus or superbug.
- Softening Fabrics
Hard water is often the cause of stiff, scratchy linens. Ozone is a natural water softener, which helps produce softer blankets, fluffier towels, and more comfortable clothing, naturally.
- Reducing Costs
Ozone systems reduce laundry costs in multiple ways. First, they rely on cold water and fewer rinse cycles, saving money on utilities. Next, because you can skip the expensive laundry detergent, bleach, and fabric softeners, you can save money on washing chemicals. Finally, ozone systems are gentler on linens, helping clothing, bedding, and other laundry items last longer.
- Go Green
Ozone reduces water and electric or gas usage, which is a win for the environment. Additionally, ozone helps prevent the pollution that most traditional laundry systems create when large volumes of soapy, contaminated water are dumped into the sewage system. Ozone systems not only eliminate these chemicals from the waste water, but they actually help reduce the total amount of contaminants in wastewater by neutralizing them in the wash process. Any excess ozone quickly converts back to oxygen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does ozone replace laundry detergent?
Yes, ozone replaces laundry detergent in an ozone laundry system. It is an effective cleaning system that kills bacteria and viruses, removes stains, brightens linens, and produces soft, clean, pleasant-smelling laundry.
Do ozone laundry systems work?
Yes, ozone is an effective laundry cleaning solution. With its natural cleaning abilities, ozone is more effective than bleach at killing bacteria and viruses, neutralizing odors, brightening fabrics, and eliminating stains. It can even break down grease in fabrics.
Does ozone break down fabric?
No, ozone from an ozone laundry system does not break down fabric. In fact, it helps fabrics last longer because it cleans them so thoroughly while using colder water and avoiding harsh detergents that could shorten linen life. However, don’t confuse ozone laundry systems with environmental ozone (also known as “smog”), which can be harmful to fabrics as well as to your health.
Are ozone washers safe?
When used correctly and in accordance with applicable regulations, ozone wash systems are considered completely safe for residential and commercial laundry use. Additionally, because they eliminate the need to keep bleach and detergents around, ozone systems are often considered to be even safer than traditional washing systems.