Get answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about the OTEX ozone disinfection system
What is ozone?
Ozone is a gas that is part of the air that we all breathe – and it’s also one of the most powerful disinfectants in nature. It consists of three oxygen atoms and has a fresh smell, similar to the air after a thunderstorm. When used commercially, oxygen molecules (O₂) are energised with electricity to help them form ozone (O₃).
Is the OTEX system dangerous?
No. We have built several safeguards into place to ensure that the OTEX system will shut down if a sensor determines that the ozone levels in the room have reached 0.18ppm. This is below the Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) of 0.2ppm as set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
How does OTEX disinfect laundry?
When ozone is injected in the washing machine drum using our patented interfusor, it attacks the cell walls of bacteria, viruses, moulds and yeast spores. An oxidative reaction is created on contact, weakening the cell walls, eradicating the bugs and creating clean, disinfected laundry. Visit the Science of OTEX page to learn more.
What proof of disinfection does the OTEX system provide?
A green ‘PASS’ light will show on the validation unit after sensors have detected sufficient levels of ozone in the washing machine drum for a set period of time.
A failsafe has also been built into the OTEX process. If insufficient levels of ozone are detected for a set period of time, the validation unit attached to the machine will activate an audible warning for laundry room staff to let them know that they need to run another wash cycle. A red ‘FAIL’ light will also be displayed on the validation unit. Each machine is also equipped with a back-up thermal disinfection cycle.
Is OTEX expensive to run?
No. OTEX is actually an extremely cost-effective method of laundry disinfection – it runs wash cycles in cool temperatures and uses less water throughout, meaning that you will save money on your bills for both water and heating. The final spin is more effective than with traditional machines as more water is spun out of the linens, reducing drying times and their associated costs.
Can I use laundry detergents with OTEX?
Yes. We’ve developed a range of detergents and fabric conditioners that complement the OTEX system. They are safe for all fabrics and are specifically designed to remove stains and brighten colours in the cool wash cycles that OTEX uses. Please contact a member of our detergents team to find out more.
Is OTEX better than thermal disinfection?
When used properly, OTEX provides effective disinfection and linen cleaning at cool temperatures, which reduces operating costs by cutting down on utility bills and extending linen life.
It aids compliance with the regulations for disinfection of linens in health and social care, as part of HTM 01-04. In an age of rising costs, OTEX is a natural, powerful method of infection control and cleaning that doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Does OTEX comply with HTM 01-04?
Yes. Staff using the chemical disinfection system must be adequately trained in, and assume responsibility for, the correct use and operation of the system. JLA provides guidance and training to staff so that they can properly use the OTEX system to aid in compliance with regulatory standards.
According to sections 4.20 to 4.24 of HTM 01-04, chemical disinfection of linen is deemed to be as effective as thermal disinfection, provided that a number of different conditions are met:
- The chemical disinfectant has been tested in the design phase to ensure that adequate disinfection will take place during wash cycles
- The dosing mechanism for the chemical disinfectant should be automatically controlled
- The machine has a monitoring system that will indicate whether or not there is a sufficient amount of chemical disinfectant for the cycle
- The machine will ‘indicate a failure’ if there is not enough of the disinfectant to satisfy the pre-determined requirements
- Proof of successful chemical disinfection will be made available via a monitoring system
OTEX has been designed to meet and even exceed these requirements.
What makes OTEX different to other ozone systems?
OTEX is the only ozone disinfection system that has been recognised by the Rapid Review Panel as meeting standards for RRP1. This means that the panel has recommended that OTEX is appropriate to include in the ‘cleaning, hygiene or infection control protocols’ of NHS bodies. It is the only system which offers validation of successful wash cycles, proving that ozone had been injected into the machine drum to a satisfactory level.
According to the panel, ‘Evidence shows that it [OTEX] is more effective in decontamination than current laundry systems.’
My laundry room doesn’t have regulatory requirements. Can I still benefit from the OTEX system?
Yes! After seeing incredible results with OTEX in healthcare settings, we realised that laundry rooms in other premises, such as salons, hotels, spas and even sports clubs could benefit from the same infection control, cost savings and extended linen life. We created the OTEX Energy system in early 2016 for premises which want all the benefits of OTEX without the need for mandatory reporting.
How does OTEX work?
Ozone is injected into the washing machine drum using our patented interfusor. The Ozone attacks the cell walls of bacteria, viruses, moulds and yeast spores. An Oxidative reaction is created on contact weakening the cell walls, eradicating the bugs and creating clean, disinfected laundry.
I’m waiting for an engineer to come and look at my OTEX system, what should I do?
If you are waiting for an engineer to arrive please use the thermal disinfection programme on your machine to ensure laundry is completely disinfected until your OTEX machine is back up and running.
Is there anything I need to do to maintain OTEX?
Yes! Cleaning the filters on your OTEX system can ensure that your system works as efficiently as possible. There are daily and weekly procedures you can complete to ensure the filters are clean and the system works. Download our pdf here to see how to clean the filters properly.
How will I know OTEX has worked?
Our OTEX systems are available with a verification unit which monitors the amount of ozone being injected into the wash process and provides a printed ‘receipt’ confirming the cycle has achieved disinfection. This is ideal for meeting HTM01-04 guidelines, audits and inspections.
Is OTEX easy to use?
Definitely! OTEX guarantees complete disinfection on every wash programme. The OTEX system operates on all wash cycles, which means it is impossible for staff to select a programme that will not achieve disinfection. Training is also given by JLA’s laundry and infection control experts to ensure OTEX is used to its full potential.
Will the ozone damage my laundry?
No. OTEX cleans deeper to give optimum wash quality and extended fabric life. Fibres in linens become opened during the ozone laundry process, which enables deep, gentle cleaning that adds a high level of wash quality to the core disinfection process. This leaves users with fresher laundered items and towels that are fluffier, while extending the life of any fabrics being washed.
Do I need particular detergents when using OTEX?
We have developed a range of detergents and fabric conditioners that complement the OTEX system. They are safe for all fabrics and are specifically designed to remove stains and brighten colours in the cool wash cycles that OTEX uses. If you want to find out more about this, please contact one of our detergents team.