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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are Textiles and How to Clean Them

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

SystemSure Plus An ATP Meter tests the Relative Light Units given off by contaminated textiles and helps us determine the level of contamination.

What Are Textiles and How to Clean Them

Contaminated textiles happen at almost all water damages and fires damages.  Our team at SERVPRO of Richardson routinely packs up contaminated items and takes them to our in house cleaning facility for sanitation.  

What Are Textiles?

Picture your home being flipped upside down.  Everything that is not attached to the house itself will fall down.  Those items that fall are called contents.  Now imagine going through all those fallen items and sorting them by what broke versus what did not break.  The items that did not break are most likely textiles.

Textiles include items like:

  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Shoes
  • Clothing
  • Stuffed animals
  • Toys
  • Sports equipment, including helmets
  • Hats

We take all of these kinds of items from your property and get them ready for a specialized sanitation wash in a machine called the Esporta.  We are one of the few Esporta certified businesses in North Texas, and our technicians have successfully cleaned over 100,000 items that otherwise would have been thrown away.  Our success rate is over 85% -- among the highest in the textile restoration industry!

Testing Cleanliness in Textiles with ATP Testing

One of the first actions our textile team does is test the items for their contamination levels.  

To test cleanliness, we use ATP testing -- adenosine triphosphate.  ATP is found in all living cells. The higher the ATP number something has, the more contaminated it is.

ATP Testing Process

We take an ATP sample of your textiles before and after they are washed.   We test before they are washed to prove that your textile is actually contaminated enough to warrant professional cleaning.  If it isn’t, there’s no reason to pay us to wash it.

We also test after the item is washed to prove our team has successfully decontaminated your item.  This is how we make sure your clothes are safe and healthy to wear again.

Taking an ATP sample is simple.  

First, we use an ATP Sampling Swab and swab the surface area of the affected textile.  The swab is coated with a detergent that lifts ATP from the textile.

Then, we moisten the swab with a bioluminescent reagent, which will make the ATP create light.  The amount of light that is created is directly correlated to the amount of ATP on the textile.

Finally, we insert the wet swab into an ATP meter, which measures the light.  The result we receive is in Relative Light Units (RLU). Using this data, our technicians know the level of contamination.  

A “pass” score on the ATP meter puts the item at a food grade safe level, meaning it is clean and safe to handle or wear again.  If an item receives a fail score, it will be washed again.

How Esporta Works

The Esporta Wash System process is simple.  Our machine uses a combination of up to six environmentally friendly detergents according to the type of contamination the clothing contains.  

Textiles are placed inside the machine in separate compartments.  Inside, they spin in detergent-laden water while staying in place.  Since the items don’t move inside the machine, the textiles are cleaned by hydraulic pressure instead of agitation.  This makes the Esporta system gentle on all fabrics, even as contaminants are literally pushed out of the fabric by the detergent water.

The end result is textiles that are near neutral pH and food grade clean.

We have successfully sanitized items with the following contaminants:

Most textile cleaning projects are packed out, cleaned, and delivered back to the homeowner within two weeks.  

If emergency items are needed, we ask the homeowner what items they need and make sure to wash those on an emergency basis, which cuts down the time of delivery to less than 72 hours.  

We offer emergency items because we understand that everyone needs clothing to continue their day to day living, even in the middle of a disaster.  


At SERVPRO of Richardson, we have invested in the most advanced wash system -- the Esporta Wash System.  With Esporta and the ATP sampling system, we can always prove our results.

An independent study by Wonder Makers Environmental took sewage contaminated textiles.  The study concluded that the Esporta Wash System is effective at removing bacterial contamination and that the ATP sampling system is an effective means of field verification.

Since textiles are what we wear, what we sleep on, and what our children play with, cleaning and making them safe to handle again is our top priority.  

We can prove it.

Trusted Leader in Water Damage Restoration and Fire Damage Restoration in Collin County, North Texas

SERVPRO of Richardson is a water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration company on the border of Richardson and Plano Texas.  We have performed work in Dallas, Plano, Grapevine, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and other North Texas communities in Collin County for over 30 years.  We also have a Texas Mold Remediation Contractor License and offer free mold inspections.

Our crews are available dispatch for 24 hour emergencies every day of the year.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 690-1414.  Call us any time!

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