What is Ozone cleaning?

What is Ozone cleaning?

14 May 2024  |  Circularity

Clean has always been a critical standard in the services for a brand’s resale program. In our renewal operations cleaning is a required step in the process so that customers have the confidence that when they buy something pre-owned, it is cleaned to where you couldn’t tell.
Having a standard of cleanliness and hygiene so that the brand can offer this to the customer is something we pride ourselves on at Bleckmann.

How do you know clothing is ‘clean’?

Interestingly what “clean” means is not as straightforward as one would think, so we wanted to dive into the topic and share what we have learned over the years.

For many of us, who use a detergent to clean our clothes at home there is a “clean smell”. The smell is a trigger to our brains that associates the smell with clothes coming out of the dryer. That smell has nothing to do with the cleanliness of the product, it is a synthetic smell added to a cleaning agent. And you can find many fragrance-free items on the market.

The smell is still used as a measurement for cleaning, but instead of the addition of a fragrance, it is the absence of a negative smell. A product might smell like a person or a perfume, so once a product is clean the removal of that smell is an indicator.

We use various methods of cleaning at Bleckmann depending on the issue. This is part of our expertise across various product types and materials.

Which method of cleaning is applied/used, depends on what we are trying to clean. Factors include:

  • Washing instructions for the material. For instance, wool should be handled differently than polyester. Each fibre type reacts to cleaning solutions and temperature differently.
  • Drying instructions for the material. As with washing, fibres react differently to heat. If you have sadly had the experience of a wool sweater going into the dryer, you know the impact.
  • What the stain is. Humans make messes and use diverse things to make those messes. Ketchup, red wine, dirt, and ink, all react differently to materials because of the compounds they are made up of and the compounds of the materials.
  • Where the product comes from. Products that get damaged as a return, for instance, makeup or deodorant on products, don’t need to be fully washed, we can clean that specific spot. Items that come from a Trade-In program would get a full wash.

Cleaning equipment we like.

We have several types of cleaning equipment at our sites to address cleaning.

The first is our spotting boards. These are used when there is a specific stain we want to remove. We choose a detergent specified for the type of stain and gently remove it using a brush, scraper and some high-pressure air.

For items that we want to wash entirely, we have a couple of methods available.

  • Water washing machines, like what you have at home but on a larger scale. Water washing is used with detergents containing surfactants that break down the surface tension of water, allowing it to penetrate fabrics and lift away dirt. We are careful in the detergents we use to ensure that they meet the highest standards for environmental and human health safety.
  • Ozone cleaning is a process that involves using ozone gas (O3) to sanitize and deodorize fabrics. Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent that can break down and eliminate various contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, mould, and odours.
  • Steam cleaning for textiles is a method that uses high-temperature steam to clean and sanitize fabrics. It is a popular and effective technique for removing dirt, stains, and allergens from textiles without the use of chemicals.

Within the circular supply chain, details like how to effectively and efficiently clean products so that they are elevated for their next use is a critical part of our services at Bleckmann. We know that as people use the clothes they buy, the product has new needs before it is sent to its next customer and cleaning is an important step in our renewal operations.

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