In March 2007, NSF International announced the development of a new protocol that will test and certify residential clothes washers to make sure they effectively sanitize laundry.
NSF Protocol P172 – Sanitization Performance of Residential and Commercial, Family Sized Clothes Washers (NSF P172) is the first protocol to test and certify residential clothes washers with sanitizing cycles. NSF P172 addresses consumers’ interest regarding proper sanitization of residential and family-sized clothes washers. The protocol combines provisions from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) under one protocol.
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The clothes washers that have met the stringent requirements of NSF Protocol P172 and bear the NSF certification mark include the Whirlpool® Duet HT® and Duet®Sport™ HT, the Maytag® Epic™, and the Kenmore Elite® HE2t™, HE3t™, and HE5t™.
The protocol requirements include testing to ensure that:
- at least 99.9% of test organisms are removed when the washer’s sanitization cycle is selected, and
- there is no carryover of test organisms between loads after sanitization cycle is used.
“All consumers have to do is look for the NSF Mark on the washing machine to make sure that the proper sanitization requirements have been met,” said Tom Bruursema, general manager of NSF’s Engineering & Research Services. "Annual certification will assure continued confidence in NSF certified clothes washers."
The protocol was developed by a panel of experts including representatives from the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Silliker Laboratories, Stilwell Consulting, American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) and the Centre for Research on Environmental Microbiology (CREM).
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