Why Water Temperature Matters
Our 275 pound plus commercial washers are set up and controlled to wash laundry at approximately 160 degrees (vs the 110-120 degrees in the average laundry machine). Without getting overly scientific about it, there are basically 3 ways in which our higher water temperature increases the washing effectiveness - providing both cleaner looking sheets, towels, and food & beverage linens, and better disinfection of germs and blood borne pathogens that may be present:
First of all, the physics of the higher water temperature is that it lowers "surface tension" of the water so that the water soaks into fibers and soiled areas more readily. Second, the higher temperature water we use actually allows the fibers to separate so that any dirt can be released. And third, the bleach, detergent and softeners - which are consistently and programmatically released by our computer controlled machines - work more effectively in the higher water temperatures.
Laundry needs to be processed in drums that are not too small, so that the water and other agents can circulate freely around the fabric for maximum cleaning. Small, home style machines run on regular laundry water temperatures are simply not designed to provide our higher level of clean.
Water temperature in laundry does make a difference—actually, it makes all the difference in eliminating viruses, bacteria, blood borne pathogens, and bed bugs. The plain fact is this: without the proper chemical mix and water temperature, resorts, hotels, and property management companies run the risk of not controlling these issues in the linens used in their units and by their guests. As a point of reference, linens washed "in unit" will generally be processed in water at around 100 degrees F. without a significant chemical mix, and even small commercial machines typically used by most motels and resorts rarely use water approaching 100 to 120 degrees F, depending on their boiler/hot water heating systems.
"Experts agree that in order to kill bacteria and other viruses on linen, laundry should be washed with detergent and bleach for (at least) 25 minutes in water that is heated to 160 degrees F. Studies have shown that bacteria, viruses, and even bed bugs cannot survive this water temperature or chemical mix." - American Laundry News, February 2, 2013