Integrated solutions to ensure safe and efficient execution of laundry operations and re-opening after the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


Ecolab Textile Care has introduced PROTEX360°, a program that helps commercial laundries and textile rental companies to re-open operations safely and achieve 360° protection in every market sector. PROTEX360° stands on five solid pillars: textile washing solutions, hygiene plans to protect linen, people and facilities, BIO-contamination control, technical support and training. This five-pronged approach helps ensure the successful protection of textiles and safe, efficient re-opening and management of the laundry.
“Since the beginning of 2020, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the entire world, especially the way people live and think,” said Patrice Sarrazin, global senior portfolio manager for Ecolab Textile Care in Europe. “In response to this situation, Ecolab’s Textile Care team of experts has looked to identify solutions that can help our customers and the wider industry combat the pandemic, reinforcing the important role hygiene plays. With PROTEX360°, Ecolab can provide laundry operations with the necessary tools and resources to maintain on-going safety after an outbreak, lockdown and beyond.” The proper cleaning and disinfection of textiles is an essential part of an effective infection prevention and control program. The textile washing pillar of the PROTEX360° solution reinforces the importance of safe and clean textiles and provides laundries with guidance to achieve a broad efficacy spectrum of disinfection
(bacteria, yeast, fungi, virus) using the D+ registered processes.

Integrated multilevel protection based on 5 solid cornerstones: washing solutions, hygiene plan, service and expertise, Bio contamination control and training

As far as Virucidal efficacy is concerned, different Certified chemothermal disinfection processes are available among the D+ solutions: these have been tested and regarded as effective against viruses (including not enveloped Murine Parvovirus and enveloped
SARS-CoV-2) according to the test method EN14476 following BPR (Biocide Product Regulation) guidance and according to VAH/RKI (B) registration for virus activity for textile disinfection.
Different D+ product combinations, detergent and laundry disinfectant, have been validated as effective against viruses, including SARS-CoV-2,in disinfection processes from 40°C upwards, when specific use conditions were followed: product combination (detergent and laundry disinfectant), required concentration, contact time, temperature and washing conditions. “Safe” textiles come from effective washing and disinfection processes, but also from the control and monitoring of the hygienical conditions of the washing machine conditions (control of biocontamination in the press area, for example) and from “safe” surfaces, too, once the textile are in the clean pre-drying area or in the finish one. It’s important to protect the textiles and prevent any recontamination from pathogens till the textiles are delivered at final customers.

Hygiene protocols are fundamental to help guarantee environmental health and safety in the workplace. The hygiene plan pillar within the PROTEX360° Laundry Protection Program provides guidelines, protocols, and procedures for ensuring the safe use of chemicals needed to clean and disinfect the different areas of the laundry facility. We identify 3 main building blocks, protection of textiles (soiled linen area, clean area, finishing area), protection of people (hand hygiene and employee garments cleaning and disinfection) and
protection of surfaces to better structure and identify the cleaning and disinfection activities inside the laundry plant and the frequency of action, above all in the pre-opening or opening after the lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak.

3 levels of protection – macro areas for the PROTEX360° hygiene plan textile protection of textiles, facility protection, people protection

Within each area through the PROTEX360° hygiene plan we have identified surfaces that need to be cleaned and disinfected including all the high tough points, and we have provided instructions for the operators on product use, the right concentration
and contact time, with a specific focus for virucidal efficacy and COVID-19 protection in 24 countries. Handy checklist will help the operator to maintain the focus on the critical points per area during the operations.
Among 5 pillars of PROTEX360°, the one on service and Technical support provides highlights on the knowledge of our experts that can leverage the outcome of the washing process in terms of productivity and process optimization as well on the hygiene plan part and control of biocontamination risk. It is not just about using a laundry biocide or a surface biocide in the hygiene plan. It’s about how to assure that the disinfection outcome can be effective, following the right protocols and procedures and the product action on textiles, surfaces or hands. Hygiene standards in the contamination risk during and postwash are the critical ingredients of the BIO contamination control pillar of PROTEX360°. We can support laundries in their certification path (to either follow RAL guidelines, or EN14065 and/or EN 14698 norms) combining knowledge and training by Ecolab’s team of experts to set up, monitor and adapt the right hygiene protocols.The perception of clean, germ-free and hygienic textiles has never been more important than it is today: it’s not enough to be clean.

The right knowledge on processes and products to deliver safe and efficient operations: focus on virucidal and biocide efficacy, textile protection in the washing and beyond the washing, knowledge of critical areas and products to protect facility and people

Being able to adapt hygiene protocols to “the new normal” post COVID-19 outbreak and communicate efforts effectively have become the highest priorities for laundries and their customers. Ecolab specialists can run two different levels of bio-contamination
control: in the wash and beyond the wash. In the wash stage, the technical support translates to three action levels:
– checking the critical parameters for an effective disinfection process (product concentrations, temperature, washing conditions),
– controlling the disinfection outcome/performance and the reduction of the pathogenic agents via specific bioindicators,
– the analysis of the water (fresh water, press water, washing baths, tanks) and the determination of total amount of germs in laundry’s water (e.g. Escherichia coli, Spores, Molds, Pseudomonas, etc.)
There are different types of bioindicators, textile pieces carried with a known concentration of living germ (example: E. Faecium, S. Aureaus) that can be used to evaluate the disinfection during the washing process. Some are open bioindicators, others like Des controller, are membrane- encased carriers.As far as the biocontamination and Hygiene checks beyond the wash at laundry facilities are concerned, the hygiene control of linen, work surfaces in contact with textiles and staff hands can be carried out thanks to Rodac plates.

Bio-controls/quality management for biocontamination control (RABC=EN 14065): bioindicators, rodac plates, rinse water analysis

They are used for the determination of total amount of germs (example of germ types Escherichia coli, Spores, Molds, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus).
All the activities included in the first 4 pillars can be used to boost the last one, the training pillar: it’s important to support customers thanks to the knowledge of our experts on hygiene concepts, basics of washing process and product use for disinfection in the washing an on surfaces and hands. The better we know the better we can do to manage critical areas and adapt hygiene procedures in place with insights and guidance on critical control areas and high touch points. Protex360° Laundry Protection Program provides INTEGRATED
SOLUTIONS to help laundries ensure safe and efficient execution of laundry operations and reopening after the COVID-19 outbreak: D+ disinfection washing solutions and the new hygiene plan tool can offer multilevel protection, by adapting the washing solutions and the cleaning protocols to the new scenario with a specific focus on the protection against viruses. BEYOND CLEAN. BE SAFE & STAY PROTECTED.

About Ecolab
A trusted partner at nearly three million commercial customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services. With annual sales of $13 billion and more than 45,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions, data-driven insights and personalized service to advance food safety, maintain clean and safe environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational
efficiencies and sustainability for customers in the food, healthcare, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world.
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edited by Marzio Nava