How moving away from ‘kill or cure’ washes could add up to significant energy savings

Our technical director Paul Hamilton talked to Laundry and Cleaning Today about alternative options to the ‘kill or cure’ wash. 

There are many ways for laundries to save energy, but an often overlooked one is the long-held tradition of the ‘kill or cure’ wash – involving plenty of boiling water and detergent as a last-ditch stain removal tactic.

Standard reasoning is to give this a go – but increasingly the counter argument is winning out.

Some Contract Laundry Group managers and owners are not loading their dirtiest linen into a ‘kill or cure’ cycle because the amount of water and energy required often outweighs the success rate of this tactic.

Much money can be spent trying to lift stains unsuccessfully – particularly if marked items are directed back into the cleaning loop at quality control (QC) stage, without hope of emerging in serviceable condition.

Another, secondary risk is that such items are missed at QC, get all the way to the customer, and are rejected there – damaging customer confidence as well as incurring the transportation fees.

We all understand why it is important to save energy but the Textile Services Association’s cost index reporting a £109.46% rise in the cost of fuel bills – and potential further increases when fixed-tariff deals end in April – brings this into very sharp focus.

But if ‘kill or cure’ is no more, how can stubborn stains be tackled?

The CLG’s alternative to ‘kill of cure’ is to send its dirtiest linen to Regenex for specialist, multi-bath treatment. Following a detailed visual inspection of every piece, the process can rescue and revive 70 to 80% of items that would otherwise be condemned.

Even the minority of processed material that does not make the grade can be sold on as premium rag, meaning its eventual destination in landfill remains some way off.

By turning to Regenex in preference to ‘kill or cure’ methods, laundries are also able to purge their systems of rag linen, therefore ensuring that the vast majority items being washed are good to go – and meet clients’ high standards.


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