fresh clean folded towels

Helping a Greek Laundry Serve Tourists, One Towel at a Time

seaside tavern on the island of Crete

The Situation

Astor S.A. is a commercial laundry that for the past 10 years has provided high quality linen service to the food service segment on the island of Crete in Greece. The laundry serves approximately 200 hotels and tourist accommodation entities, delivering fresh, clean linen within 24 hours to any location in Crete. Due to the seasonal nature of the business, the laundry operates only during the summer months of the year, making productivity and resource optimization even more essential. 

Over the last two years, Astor and Ecolab have implemented several laundry optimization solutions to ensure sustainable business growth for Astor, while helping to preserve the natural beauty of the surrounding environment.

AquaCatch skid unit and AquaCatch control panel

The Solution

Wastewater limits on the island are very strict. Astor and Ecolab agreed to work together to reuse as much water in the washing process as possible to reduce the laundry’s freshwater consumption. These efforts also serve to reduce the amount of wastewater that goes into the sewer, minimizing the risk of penalties and helping the business grow responsibly. 

The team decided to focus on reducing the press water volume. Press water is the water that is pressed out from clean textiles at the end of the washing process with a continuous batch washer. This water is clean and can be reused in the different phases of the washing process. By sending the water back into the process, we can reduce the amount of water that gets drained into the sewer and it also means we use less fresh water in the process. 

Ecolab’s AquaCatch, a press water recycling unit, has been connected to both continuous batch washers at the laundry. This unit measures press water with its inductive flow meter and ensures highly efficient rinsing with the programmed rinse water volume.

With the help of this technology, the consumption of the fresh water has been reduced by 1.5 liters per kilogram, saving almost 9,000 cubic meters per year which is helping the business to thrive.

Reusing as much water in the washing process as possible helps the laundry grow responsibly.

Graph visualization of Ecolab's study on rinsing with hot water

The next Step

After the successful water optimization project, the team set its sights on the next challenge. The existing laundry equipment was not allowing the processing of more textiles because the washing capacity had been higher than the drying capacity.
To address this issue, Ecolab’s Thermo-mixing solution uses hot water for rinsing the textiles, which reduces the residual moisture after rinsing. This shortens the drying times and therefore increases the volume of textiles dried per hour (see illustration on the right) as well as the total laundry capacity by 15 percent.

Hot rinsing shortens drying times and therefore increases the drying capacity as well as the volume of textiles washed per hour.

A boy drinking of a bottle of water

The Results

By implementing several water and energy solutions, the following goals have been achieved:

  • Water savings of more than 9,000 cubic meters per year. This is equivalent to the annual drinking water needs of 8,200 people.
  • 15 percent higher capacity of textiles being processed

Following the success of these projects, we’ve also introduced EU Ecolabel-certified washing program OxyGuard40. The Ecolabel certificate and future projects to optimize laundry operations will not only help Astor expand its business, but will also allow the island of Crete to preserve its environment and remain a top location for tourism in Europe.

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