Cleanroom laundry

Compiled by Angela Godwin

Garments play an important role in maintaining the cleanliness of a cleanroom or critical environment. Whether your facility chooses to rent garments or send its own out for laundering, an efficient, certified garment-laundering program is essential for ensuring the integrity of cleanroom wearables.

Cleanroom dryer with ionizer and particle counter

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The Ultra Clean dryer is equipped with an ionizer to help eliminate static electricity, allowing particles to be released and lowering the particle count of cleanroom garments. When cleanroom gowns build up static electricity and have a positive charge, negative ions from the ionizer will be attracted. When the particles are neutralized, they are free to be carried away in the air stream. This feature is recommended on ISO Class 3 and 4 (Class 1 and 10) cleanroom dryers. The Ultra Clean dryer can also be equipped with a particle counter. It includes a pick-up probe strategically located in the discharge air, a purge system designed to minimize any possible contamination of the tubing, a particle counter, and a heat exchanger to eliminate fogging of the particle-counter lens. Stainless-steel tubing from the pick-up probe runs vertically to keep moisture away from the particle counter and serve as a heat exchanger, ensuring that the air sample entering the particle counter will not have excess moisture or exceed the operating temperature of the particle counter. The SS tubing is cooled and purged during the drying cycle so it will be clean and will cool the air being sampled by the particle counter during the cool-down cycle. This eliminates possibly slugging (overloading) the particle counter, contaminating the tubing and overheating the particle counter. At the end of the cool-down cycle, the particle count can be read. If the count is high, additional cool-down can be run. If the particle count is acceptable, the dryer can be unloaded and gowns (product) delivered to the packaging area.
Ultra Clean Laundry Equipment Company
Streetman, Texas

Garment services account management

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Alsco Cleanroom Services announces A-Track, Alsco’s new on-line account management system. The Internet-based tool enables the end user to do everything from view account information to request inventory changes. Some of the available reports include individual garment tracking, turnover rates and processing history. Invoices and statements are available for review and printing. A billing analysis section allows the end user to analyze costs to aid in budgeting and cost control. All of the information is updated daily so that customers have access to the most accurate, up-to-date information possible. Password-protected access is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Alsco Cleanroom Services
Salt Lake City, Utah

New cleanroom laundry facility

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TEK Products, Inc. has been in the cleanroom laundry business since 1978, and in 2002 opened a new cleanroom laundry facility in Long Lake, Minn. This facility is capable of servicing customers requiring processing in up to a Class 10 [ISO Class 4] environment, and all cleanroom operations are conducted in accordance with ISO 14644. TEK utilizes the latest BIO Plus® ionized HEPA air-filtration technology, and continuously monitors temperature, humidity, and particulate. The company’s DI water system incorporates a recirculating two-bed loop, feeding a recirculating mixed-bed loop, and final filtration is accomplished via .2 μm membrane filtration. Additional bioburden control is achieved by 254 nm ultraviolet light, and high-purity rinse water is delivered to the washers via ultrapure, totally recirculating, crevice-free piping. TEK Products provides technical cleanroom and laundry consultation, as well as Helmke Drum testing per IEST-RP-CC003.2 and electrostatic-resistance testing in accordance with ESDA 2.1-1997. TEK offers garment rental and purchase programs, and has developed a custom tracking and database program that provides customers a complete history of their garments, and the ability to track their garments throughout the process. TEK Products is a full-service, cleanroom distributor offering dock-to-stock programs for cleanroom consumables and laundry, all via a single invoice.
TEK Products, Inc.
Long Lake, Minn.

Sterile, nonsterile and BSL garment services

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UniClean Cleanroom Services is an industry leader providing garment services and related products to the biotech, pharmaceutical, electronics, semiconductor, and other cleanroom and controlled-environment industries. Its programs are ISO 9001:2000-registered and follow guidance that has been established by regulatory bodies in every industry it serves. UniClean provides sterile, nonsterile and BSL garment services that can be tailored to a company’s specific needs. All rental programs by UniClean include turnkey management of garments and related accessories, with proactive administrative and garment maintenance functions, all while minimizing up-front investment and inventory headaches. For those who prefer to own their garments, UniClean offers professional processing on a per-piece basis. Sterile programs provide garments that are free from viable organisms and particulate matter by a combination of cleanroom processing and gamma radiation. UniClean also has a certified program designed to safely handle garments used in biosafety facilities. UniClean stocks a complete line of consumable products, including gloves, shoe covers, facemasks and tacky mats, available for quick delivery.
UniClean Cleanroom Services
Nashua, N.H.

Cleanroom apparel and garment programs

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As a national supplier with an extensive network of regional distribution centers, Cintas offers one of the industry’s best selections of cleanroom apparel and supplies and cleanroom garment programs. Cintas cleanroom garment programs include organizing and overseeing day-to-day complexities-inventory assessment and reordering, personnel training, garment sizings, inspection, repair, precision laundering, and more. Cintas manages cleanroom apparel and supplies so companies can focus on their core business.
Mason, Ohio

Blitzclean laundry service

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Esco pioneered the cleanroom laundry industry in Southeast Asia in 1984 with its Blitzclean® laundry service. Esco’s Class 10 [ISO Class 4] cleanroom laundry is a certified cleanroom laundry with conditions that meet or exceed any cleanroom standards, and Esco ensures complete compatibility with the operations of any cleanroom. Special laundry equipment and detergent removes soil, lint and static charges, and programs can be changed depending on how soiled garments are. Sewing and laundry facilities are operated together, that is, defective garments are repaired before the laundry process. Strict washing procedures are observed, and laundered garments are packed individually, double-bagged, and boxed according to customer’s specifications. All garments are inspected before and after processing to ascertain any potential linting problems. Esco uses the highest quality products and materials available to clean customers’ garments. High-quality industry-standard surfactants are used to wash all garments. Esco utilizes only 18 megohm deionized water in all cleaning and rinsing operations. The plastic bags used for product packaging are of the highest quality available and are approved by customers before use. Esco’s vacuum packing operation uses only the highest quality nitrogen for bag backfill to make sure all bagged products remain clean and dry. From daily pickups to emergency deliveries on weekends, Esco is dedicated to providing the best possible service to customers.
Esco Micro Pte. Ltd.

Antimicrobial surface coating

HaloShield® is a revolutionary new surface coating that Medline Industries, Inc. is applying to sheets and underpads to help healthcare facilities combat two major challenges: infection and odor control. This powerful coating, when applied to nearly any type of textile, harnesses the antimicrobial properties of chlorine-based sanitizers added to a regular wash cycle to continuously kill bacteria long after the last laundering. HaloShield is a rechargeable technology-the antimicrobial properties of chlorine renew each time the fabric is laundered in an EPA-registered chlorine-based sanitizer. Healthcare laundry protocols have long relied on chlorine-based sanitizers, which evaporate soon after laundering. However, textiles enhanced with HaloShield technology maintain the ability to bind chlorine to the product for the duration of its life, with no detectable odor or change of texture. HaloShield prevents the chlorine from dissipating and allows it to continuously attack and kill bacteria. Lab tests show that when bacteria comes into contact with chlorine bleach anchored to a HaloShield treated sheet, 99.9 percent of the microbes are killed within minutes, including MRSA, VRE, and K. pneumoniae (pathogens notorious for nosocomial infections).

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Independent tests were conducted with the International Fabricare Institute and NAMSA laboratories: At the final test point (70 launderings), the samples gave a 2.53 log kill (this is equivalent to 99.71 percent), demonstrating that the antimicrobial properties of HaloShield were still present and effectively killing bacteria after a significant amount of usage. Medline will introduce HaloShield lab coats this fall. Medline licenses HaloShield from Vanson HaloSource, with exclusive rights to distribute HaloShield-treated hospital sheets, pillowcases, scrubs, gowns, cubicle curtains and reusable underpads in North and South America. Vanson HaloSource is a bioscience company that pioneers antimicrobial and other advanced technologies being applied to improve health and safety in environments where sanitation is critical.
Medline Industries, Inc.
Mundelein, Ill.
Vanson HaloSource, Inc.
Redmond, Wash.

High-tech cleanroom laundry

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TriState Industrial Laundries, Inc. has been servicing customers since 1920. As technology advanced, TriState recognized the need for cleanroom textile services, and developed its high-technology cleanroom to meet the critical needs of customers. TriState provides garments and accessories for Class 10 [ISO Class 4] use and above to the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, optical, medical-device and film-emulsion industries to name a few. TriState’s excellent reputation is achieved through its air system, water system, and most importantly the human resource system that is dedicated to its cleanroom facility. Some of TriState’s processes include: reverse osmosis and ultrafiltered water for laundering; HEPA-filtered air for drying; lot traceability of the decontamination process; processing, inspection, and packaging under Class 10 [ISO Class 4] conditions; an ionizing, electrically enhanced filtration system that reduces bio burden; product testing using ASTM 51-68 and IEST-RP-CC004.2; and cleanroom personnel well trained in “Particle Management and Control.” TriState is proud of its R&D program by which it constantly challenges the latest in processes and materials available, such as: garment and fabric design; packaging materials; water filtering systems; testing and evaluating methods; and laundering formulations. TriState is a full-service cleanroom textile supplier. Items available to TriState customers include garments, wiping cloths, facemasks, knit and latex gloves, disposable garments, tacky mats and swabs.
TriState Industrial Laundries
Marcy, N.Y.

ISO 5 laundry services

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TSB Micron offers excellence in processing of cleanroom garments and critical parts. The company partners with medical-device, pharmaceutical, electronics, aerospace and semiconductor firms as a seamless component of a quality program. TSB Micron provides Class 100 [ISO Class 5] cleanroom laundry services and gamma sterilization with delivery to Eastern Canada and the Northeast United States.
TSB Micron
Bromont, Quebec, Canada


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