It is a question that continues to be asked throughout the industry, “what is the desired number of washes for a treated garment?” As a supplier of antimicrobial and anti-odor solutions, our answer is simple: let the brand decide.
The home launderings (HL) specification a garment is expected to perform to can vary based on the product or application you are talking about. For that reason, it difficult to standardize on a specific number. For example, if you are applying anti-odor technology to a product such as socks, would you expect the same performance specifications to be applied to high performance athletic wear?
In general, the industry standard seems to be 50HL. We have found that this number corresponds to the assumption of the garment being washed once a week for about a year. With that said, it's important to consider the wash frequency of the particular garment or product in question.
For example, products such as underwear, socks, baselayers, etc. will be washed more frequently than outerwear, so they may need to be treated with a more durable solution. One step further, the expected life cycles for products such as underwear and outerwear should also be considered in conjunction with the wash frequency.
Having an antimicrobial and anti-odor partner that can provide customized levels of performances is also important. This customization allows for cost effective ways to differentiate your product from the market whether it is an undergarment or high end sportswear.
There is certainly a lot of factors to take into consideration for what seems like a simple question. With that said, there are several questions to consider when adding an antimicrobial or anti-odor solution to fabric. We've put together a list of 7 questions every apparel brand should ask when considering odor control which you can download below.