With eco-friendly measures taking over the laundry segment, hotels and commercial laundries alike are vying for the best in equipment, observes Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai.
You’re looking at the future of cleaning clothes. As consumers become more concerned about the earth’s resources and the costs of ener gy sources, companies are working on new ways to manage their laundry services. And technology is paying a key role in this effort. For instance, a new washing machine that uses polymer beads to clean clothes promises significant water savings, as well as cleaner laundry. The Xeros washer replaces the majority of water in a wash cycle with tiny polymer beads that remove stains and dirt. It’s based on technology developed at the University of Leeds in the UK and could change the way laundry is done in the home and in commercial laundries as well.
The beads are made of nylon. The polarized molecules of nylon attract soil, and in the humidity created by a little water, the polymer chains separate slightly to absorb grime and lock it into the beads’ cores. The machine works by having the nylon beads sit in the outer of two nested drums. When both drums rotate, the absorbent beads fall through the mesh of the inner drum to tumble with the laundry, where they dislodge and trap dirt. After the wash cycle finishes, the outer drum stops moving, and the beads fall back through the mesh into the outer drum, where they await the next load.
A commercial version of the Xeros machine is already being used by some hotels and commercial laundry services. Even a consumer washer is on the way! Xeros says its commercial machines use 70 percent less water and can cut detergent and electricity costs in half. And, since the washer uses so little water, clothes don’t have to spend as much time in the dryer.
A commercial Xeros washer uses a swarm of beads—about 1.3 million to be exact. The washer automatically collects them at the end of a wash cycle, and they can be reused over a thousand loads of laundry. After that, they can be recycled. If this catches on, it could mea n some significant water and energy savings.
About the Author: Tatjana Ahmed is the Housekeeping Manager at Grand Hyatt Dubai and Functional Specialist – Housekeeping for Hyatt International. She has been in the hospitality industry for the past 32 years and is an active member and Chairlady of the UAE Professional Housekeeper’s Group.