How Regenex rescued iodine-stained linens for hospital trust

Iodine stains in healthcare settings have long been as ubiquitous as the multi-purpose, germ killing agent itself.

Countless, crisp white sheets and medical uniforms have been ruined by drips and spills that leave a deep, yellow-brown stain – often impossible to move, once set.

However, two centuries after iodine came into wide-ranging use, specialist cleaning company Regenex has devised a new solution to shift those stubborn marks in an impressive three quarters of cases.

Successful NHS trial 

In a trial using discarded textiles from a major north-of-England NHS teaching trust, our technical team collaborated with chemical expert partners to achieve new levels of success.

The exact answer to a question that has long perplexed laundries – namely “How do you get iodine stains out of cottons and polycottons?” –  cannot be revealed for commercial reasons.

However, we can say that it is based on the opening of fibres, to allow marks to lift, rather than relying on any harsh chemicals.

The trial resulted in the effective removal of stains in more than 75% of previously rejected pieces – meaning linens could be returned to stock, rather than condemned to landfill.

Involving careful treatment and rigorous testing, this operation was part of a much wider, ongoing programme of development at Regenex’s headquarters in Bradford, West Yorkshire – all aimed at refining new cleaning processes for all manner of stains.

Iodine treatment unveiled

The findings were revealed to much interest at the Society of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers conference in Birmingham.

Now Regenex is ready to offer its expertise on iodine – as well as many other common marks, from fake tan to food, mould or rust – to new and established customers, all over the UK and beyond.

This will be good news for healthcare facilities managers, tasked with cutting costs and reducing the carbon footprint of their organisation.

This specialist cleaning system can reap wins on both counts, by reducing the need for replacement linen.

Money and resource-saving potential

Along with other applications – such as the tackling of pink stains on white linen, caused by red emergency blankets – our expertise has wide-ranging potential to save significant amounts of money and resources.

Some stained sheets and scrubs here and there may not seem like a big problem, but volumes add up. NHS laundry and linen cost a total of £188.7m in 2017 – and part of this figure was spent on needless topping up of stock that could have been revived by us.

Medical professionals cannot keep iodine away from linens. The antiseptic, in liquid form, is essential in its purpose to clean wounds and skin before surgery or injections – and its tell-tale pigment is invariably left behind, wherever employed.

The big news is that those linens can be saved by Regenex, at a fraction of the price of buying new – with benefits for the environment, as well as hospital balance sheets.

Regenex knows that laundry managers need to see our results to believe them – so we are offering a FREE 400kg trial to any new customer, from the healthcare or hospitality sectors. Contact us for details.

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