A washing system, using ozone to kill bacteria, has been found to completely remove all traces of coronavirus (OC43), a model virus for SARS-CoV-2.
A study found that cleaning with the JLA’s OTEX technology completely removed the coronavirus, even in large washing loads. Additional testing also proved that the virus was not transferred to other textiles in the wash.
Believed to be one of the first studies of its kind, the research proves that coronavirus-infected laundry can be cleaned even at low temperatures, allowing heat sensitive items such as personal clothing, hospital mattress covers, emergency rescue wear and microfibre items to be cleaned effectively.
These findings are hugely significant for the care sector in the fight against COVID-19 and the protection of both service users and staff.
The research team was overseen by Dr Katie Laird, reader in Microbiology and head of the Infectious Disease Research Group, and expert virologist Dr Maitreyi Shivkumar, lecturer in Molecular Biology.
Dr Laird comments: “A key element of tackling the spread of COVID-19 is to understand how effective infection control can be implemented in real world settings. There are a variety of situations in which textiles potentially carrying the virus need to be cleaned, such as care homes.
“Until now we have had little data about how the virus responded to different types of cleaning. These initial results demonstrate that cleaning with ozone, as in the OTEX system, completely removes the model coronavirus.
“This held true even when treating larger loads of washing, as is likely to be the case in a real laundry setting. This result can give reassurance that such cleaning is effective.”
The financial and environmental benefits are also impressive. Research shows that over the average seven-year lifespan of a standard 30kg thermal disinfection cycle, using OTEX can reduce operating costs by over £130,000, whilst also reducing the business’s total carbon footprint by over 400 tonnes.
Helen Ashton, CEO from JLA said: “We have been developing and refining the OTEX laundry system for over fifteen years and its benefits to our customers are clear – full eradication of disease, including coronavirus, even at low temperatures and a significant reduction in operational cost coupled with a meaningful benefit to the environment.
“The system has been designed to be easy to use with real time verification of the disinfection process on every wash which provides a unique audit trail of full compliance to regulatory standards.”
The OTEX ozone system meets the Department of Health HTM01-04 standards and is also fully supported in line with the EU Biocidal Products Regulation.
Find out more about OTEX by JLA here.