Humidity and hydroscopicity….
Given how easily they wet out in the wash wheel, it’s certainly no secret that the textiles we help our laundry customers process are hydroscopic. But it also affects them in storage. Referring to them as being hydroscopic simply means they readily absorb or release moisture – the amount depending on how dry – or not dry the environment they are in is.
At one extreme in the drier’s hot and very dry air, they quickly give up moisture. On the flip side sitting in storage in a really humid environment, those same stored fabrics slowly can take on moisture and that can result in mildew, mold and unpleasant odors.
On the low humidity side of the issue, towels and sheets that are too dry can result in the buildup of static electricity with the familiar and irritating (even painful) spark discharges to the patients and guests using them. Another issue of low humidity storage is the resulting electrostatic attraction of dust and dirt particles that increases the speed and degree of resoiling.
By maintaining stored fabric humidity at a reasonable rate of about 2% of its’ dry weight we can pretty much avoid both sides of the humidity issue. At a common sense level that means that fabrics stored long term in a hot, humid area are likely to suffer from moisture buildup and ones stored too long in aggressively air conditioned areas can fall below that target. One possible fix to the low moisture problem is to use fabric softeners which coat fibers with an electrically conductive film that can allow static to drain to ground.
Special Thanks to our Guest Blogger… Josh Brown, You can connect with Josh on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-brown-78054b42/
Next up: Alkalinity … its plusses and minuses.