Chilled out

David Aveyard, Operations Director of Christeyns UK, discusses how Ozone is helping on-premise and commercial laundry businesses improve their efficiency and wash outcomes.

Employed as early as 1906 to treat the water supply in Paris, ozone is known for its bleaching action and ability to kill bacteria and viruses. It also has a practical, money-saving application in laundry operations.

Ozone (O3 ) is formed when oxygen comes into contact

with highly charged electrical energy and can be created synthetically in a generator. When ozone gas is introduced to an environment with bacteria it gives up one of its oxygen atoms to oxidise or destroy that material. Ozone attacks laundry soils in the same way.

A low concentration of ozone is forced into the wash water, opening up the fibre structure of the linens to make them softer and fluffier, whilst minimising residual moisture and thus reducing drying times. Ozone also boosts the performance of the laundry chemicals resulting in clean, white, bright linens, all without the use of hot water. The ozone then naturally reverts to oxygen.

Christeyns has succeeded in combining the advantages of ozone properties with the requirements of a commercial wash process with its new Speed-O wash concept. The system comprises a small wall-mounted box that draws in oxygen, converts it into ozone then pumps this into the washer extractor. Going one step further, Christeyns combines active oxygen (Peracetic acid) together with the ozone to create a hydroxyl radical which breaks down soil in the wash liquor.

New chemicals – detergent Speed-O Wash and alkali booster Speed-O Boost – have been specifically developed for cold temperature performance. The addition of surfactants to the detergent ensures it is fully active throughout the wash process.

Hampshire-based Petersfield Linen Services, established in 1899, provide high quality laundry and linen hire services to clients across Southern England. For this family-run firm with a staff of 60, offering a top-quality service in a sustainable manner is their number one priority.


In January a Speed-O system was installed for use with one of its 90 kilo washer extractors as a trial, with the plan to convert four further machines at a later date. Managing Director Robert James states: “Although it is still early days, we are already seeing a raft of benefits.”

These are most noticeably the softer, fuller feel to the towels and linen and a pleasant, fresh odour you might associate with laundry that's been hung outside. However, it’s also the ‘unseen’ benefits that are just as important.

Ozone works best at low temperatures and the cool water is less harsh on the linens, prolonging life span and reducing replacement costs for customers in the long term. Cooler temperatures also reduce the amount of lint separating from the linens and ending up in the machine systems.

There are also significant benefits in water and energy usage, and process times are much shorter. The system can run on purely cold water and currently at Petersfield the water temperature is down from 71° to 25°. Once all five machines are up and running this will be considerably lower.

Already water consumption on the machine is down 60% and wash times for towels reduced to from 58 to 37 minutes. The reduction in process time means the laundry can wash up to three loads extra per day compared to a non-ozone system, representing a 25-30% productivity increase.

Robert James concluded: “Ozone should definitely be considered for certain types of laundries. Investing in technology and doing something different helps us stay one step ahead. As a small independent we are not in a position to compete on some levels with larger operators but a system such as Speed-O puts us in a good place.”

For soft, fluffy, white linen that is hygienically clean, ozone provides a great value for money solution and has an overall positive impact on the housekeeping task in general.

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