Laundry Infection Control

It is a requirement that hospital laundries use wash temperatures high enough to thermally disinfect most of the linen to prevent cross-infection.

This requirement may not be made so clear in other laundry situations. It is strongly recommended that nursing homes and care homes which deal with soiled and infected laundry adopt these same principles.

Wash temperatures of 65 to 70°C are adequate to thermally disinfect laundry. In some cases, when dealing with delicate fabrics and personal garments the wash temperature has to be reduced to 40°C. In these cases a chemical or ozone disinfection stage is incorporated.

Energy saving (money saving) motives to reduce the wash temperature should be very carefully considered before adopting such a system, especially where soiled, infected laundry is concerned. Thermal disinfection is known to be a reliable way of producing sanitised laundry.

Items requiring thermal disinfection:

  • Handkerchiefs
  • All bedding
  • Towels and flannels
  • Tea towels, kitchen cloths
  • Tablecloths and napkins
  • Colour coded cloths and mops
  • Work wear / smocks from infected areas