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Working towards Sustainability

Sorting linen

artLaundry efficiency depends on the processing system used for handling soils. Generally, sorting depends on three types of soils — low soil, medium soil and heavy soil. One can have an over designed system in case of heavy and low soil laundry processing.

Timothy elaborates, “Sorting of laundry is very important along with a tailor-made dosing system for classified laundry besides adequate and optimised usage of all resources. With powders, the product is dependent on manual operations. Any delay from the operator’s end may put extra load on the machine, causing more wear and tear to the parts. Moreover, powder-based chemicals do not rinse out easily, that’s why liquid dispensing is more efficient and accurate as compared to the powder.”

Q&A Session

“We face the issue of stain removal of dotted spots on cloths, which can be taken care of in case of white clothes but it is not easy to get rid of gutka or ball pen ink stains from coloured clothes. We cannot use harsh chemicals on coloured clothes as they may lose the original colour.”

– Chandrakant Kadam, Paris Laundry, Pune

“In case of gutka and other food stains you may use Dry Ethanol Amine (DEA) treatment. In case of ball pen spots that tend to spread on application of chemicals, we need to remove the stain in two steps, as the ink contains wax and colour. First, we need to remove wax by putting a rough quick absorbing cloth below the spot to avoid spreading of stain and then use another chemical like DEA to remove the stain. It is effective in coloured laundry too.”

– Vijay Rodda

“We are facing a problem in handling the rubber supported curtains, as the rubber part becomes sticky after application of chemicals. How to resolve this problem?”

— Amrut Shah, WashINC, Mumbai.

“Rubber tends to react with alkaline substances and if the wet wash medium pH is above 10 then the rubber becomes sticky. So dry cleaning is best option for such kind of laundry. But if you are using wet wash avoid any detergent, boosters or additives that may raise the pH beyond 10. Use special detergents or neutral detergents to wash rubber support laundry.”

– Sumeet Verma

“What are the existing laws for laundry waste disposal in India? Do we have as stringent norms here as in western countries?”

“In India, the pollution control board has set norms for wastewater and effluent treatment and conducts regular checks and audits for laundry units. All the laundry shops and units need to comply with the norms to continue with their certification to run the business. And the body is trying hard to reduce the usage of PERC in laundries, which is a hazardous chemical. Our environmental standards are continuously being revised to check the use of PERC.

In foreign countries, the regulations are very strict and the sector is governed by specific agencies. In India, the norms are not equally strict in the absence of a dedicated governing body to look after the laundry sector, but gradually the pollution control bodies are upgrading the regulations.

In the US, serious efforts are being taken to wipe out usage of PERC in laundry business, which is considered the first hand choice for dry cleaning. Brazil has reduced the utilisation of PERC from 100% to 5% and Japan is evolving in that direction.

What is the scenario of the Indian laundry sector, with respect to sustainability?

If we map the laundry across India, we are in a nascent stage. Most of the laundry sector has a long way to go, as very few people working on a good mechanised system; very few facilities are equipped with a high quality dosing system and very less percentage of operators are using liquid laundry detergent.

Colour Bleeding
How to control colour bleeding of cloths in laundry?

“Ideally, any properly designed garment should not bleed but in practice we see about 3-4% of the entire batch leave colour in the process. So we must check each cloth before putting into machine and applying chemical treatment. You need to wash such garments separately and bill the extra charges to the customer.”

– Vijay Rodda


Sustainability has a long-term impact on our environment and the generations to come. As stakeholders of the laundry industry, it falls upon the industry players and service providers to take responsibility to give time to nature to recreate itself by limiting the use of natural resources. In a high level panel discussion during LaundrexNet knowledge sharing session held in January 2016, eminent speakers discussed sustainability in laundry. Excerpts:The Panel Members: Uwe Stahl, Managing Director-Stahl, Germany; Timothy R. Nymberg, Vice President-APAC; Vijay Rodda, Laundry Consultant and Sumeet Verma, Managing Director-Buzil Rossari Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai.Sustainability in general, depends on two factors –…

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