St. Paul laundromat using UV rays to combat COVID-19

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Getting your laundry properly washed has some added challenges during a pandemic, but a laundromat in St. Paul is using new technology to make sure clothes are completely cleaned.

Arcade Laundromat is the first in the U.S. to use UV rays to clean clothes. It's a technique co-owner Nick Dillon says will bring peace of mind to those worried about COVID-19.

"Everybody is scared about COVID-19, and we are too," Dillon said. "We had to figure out what can we do about it. Everybody needs clean clothes. Everybody deserves clean clothes. So what better way to do it than bring something that can clean these clothes better than they've ever been cleaned before to a laundromat setting?"

The UV rays and ozone the laundromat uses bring its level of cleaning comparable to hotels and hospitals. The technology was developed by Wisconsin-based Omni Solutions.

"You reduce the use of water because of the ozone, and UV takes care of the bacterial and virals," said Tim Clancy, business development manager at Omni Solutions.

These washing machines are different because they can perform to specs that ones at home can't reach. Dillon said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the coronavirus will die at 160 degrees, but home washing machines can only get up to 120 degrees.

Dillon said the technology works like bleach — only more powerful. And it won't have any negative effects on your clothes.

Customers at Arcade Laundromat won't notice a difference in pricing, Dillon said. The business has also rearranged its tables so customers can maintain a safe distance of 6 feet apart.

 Clancy said the technology used at Arcade could one day be available for home washing machines, but not for several more years.