Case Study 4: Eco-friendly Polyester Detergent
Posted on March 2, 2015
Company 4 is a Party Rentals company which provides everything an event would need to facilitate a gathering of people. They also clean their own equipment, including the linens which cover tables. Their linen cleaning system was comprised of a small scale On-Premise Laundry system and a “mangler” to dry and press the linens before they are ready to be reused. Company 4 was a current client of ours, and seeing our products used in other areas asked us about their constant problems with food stains which were not removed adequately during the wash process. They had used a number of different products from a number of reputable chemical formulators, however none of those solutions provided a satisfactory rate of cleanliness.
Beginning with the Needs Analysis, we created a priority list of their objectives:
- Performance on food stains
- Reasonable pricing
- Ability to be used in chemical injection system
- Eco-friendly and safe for workers (not a priority, but still a good idea)
Starting with a batch of their materials which were already stained, we began the process by identifying their variables including: material type, fabric type, wash temperatures, and wash times. After that, we began testing our range of Green solutions on the stains, logging all data to indicate which delivered the best performance.
Testing indicated that standard detergent technology provided adequate cleaning ability for the bulk of the stains, however the fabric revealed a residual “ghost” stain only after it had been dried. Analysis of the “ghost” stains gave us a clue as to how to remove it, and also explained why it had occurred in such a strange way compared to standard laundry wash systems. The answer was in the food-based components binding with the specific type of textiles used in the Party Rental linen industry. They were built using a specific polyester type of fabric. Using this information, we refined our product until we were able to eliminate the “ghost” stains in our lab testing, indicating that we were ready to field test.
In order to keep our client’s cleaning process undisturbed as possible, we had them begin field testing the product as a spray-on spotter in order to determine it’s efficacy. Results were very positive, prompting the question of whether can it be injected directly into the machine. They were pleased to find out that it could. After some calculations, we constructed an injectable detergent version of this product and so far the results have been outstanding.
After many years in the textile and fabric cleaning industries, we were surprised to find out a small niche existed in cleaning fabrics used for parties. We are always happy to learn new ideas however, so it was exciting and rewarding to be able to develop a product which served Company 4 well, and did it an a Green fashion. The “ghost” stains which persisted at this facility for so long are now only a memory, disappearing for good and providing us with other opportunities for adding a whole line-up of Green products for the rest of their system.