Two important factors in proper washing of the cleanroom garment is the type of water and the detergent. Improper washing procedures can reduce the life expectancy of the garment to less than half.
The appropriate water is an ultra-pure, deionized (DI) water or reverse osmosis (RO) water. In order to produce DI water, you will need a special water purification system and the handling of DI water requires all stainless steel fittings. The benefit of using DI or RO water is that this water will help release the surface tension of particles clinging to the cleanroom garments. Additionally, the water should be very hot.
The detergent should be non-ionic. Non-ionic detergents are very low in non-volatile residue (NVR). It is important that you do not introduce a detergent that is high in ionic contamination because once that ionic contamination comes in contact with the garment, it will be hard to get it off. It will leave behind ionic contamination. The other important consideration for detergent is the pH level. The pH level should be just about neutral - between 6.5 and 7.5. You will not want a detergent that is too acidic or too alkaline. If the detergent is too acid or alkaline, it will break down the thread and fiber of the garment.
To summarize, make sure that the water is ultra-pure, deionized or reverse osmosis water and that the water is ultra hot. It is also important that your detergent be a low-ionic, low-sudsing, pH-balanced detergent.
A properly washed garment should not exceed 100 cycles of washing. An improperly washed garment, using the wrong water and detergent, can have a life expectancy of 50 wash cycles or less before losing the filter ability and protection that the garment provides.