As a hospitality professional, you know the importance of fresh, attractive linen in your guest rooms. Luxurious, fresh-smelling towels, crisp cotton bedding, and soft wraparound robes are a few things that define your style. However, linens are easily stained. Rather than frequently replacing these expensive goods, there are ways to launder them to remove stains, prolong their service life and ensure that they are hygienic. Here are tips for laundering hotel linens to maintain the quality your guests have come to expect from your establishment.
Pay Attention to Chemistry
Hard water, detergents with unbalanced pH, improper water temperature and too many additives affect the outcome of the washing process. These factors affect how much energy and water are required to launder linens. They also affect how long fabric lasts.
Simply adjusting water temperature or reducing the amount of detergent will not give better results. If your establishment is in an area with hard water, invest in a water softening system. Your linens will look whiter and last longer. Calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese, minerals commonly found in water, can affect the way detergent and water combine. The outcome is dingy-looking fabric that stiffens over time. In soft water, the amount of detergent can be reduced by up to 50%. This reduces the amount of toxins released in wastewater. Water temperature can be reduced as well, which saves energy.
Add detergent to the water, not onto fabric. Wash cotton, synthetic and mixed-fiber fabrics separately. Mixing them can damage the fabric. Cotton sheets and towels can be washed in hot or warm water, depending on the amount of soil. Hot water kills bacteria and dust mites.
Clean washing machines regularly. Over time, mildew can build up in components. This smell is transferred to fabric, making clean laundry smell bad. Make sure machines are in good working order to prevent too much agitation, which damages fabric. Clean the lint traps regularly.
Again, check for stains before drying laundry. If stains are present, treat them and launder again. Dry towels separately to keep lint from transferring onto other items. Untangle items before loading them into the dryer to ensure that air circulates freely. Try not to overstuff the dryer, which also affects air circulation. These practices reduce wrinkling, making laundry easier and faster to iron. Cleaning lint filters after each use improves energy efficiency and reduces the likelihood of fires from overheating.
In-house laundering account for as much as 20% of the energy used by your establishment.
Train your staff to use proper dryer settings for each type of linen. Some fabrics melt at high temperatures. Using the correct dryer setting reduces energy use and lengthens the lifetime of fabric. Using a cool-down cycle at the end of drying reduces wrinkling. If possible, remove linens while they are still slightly damp. This also reduces wrinkling and makes ironing easier.
In-house laundering account for as much as 20% of the energy used by your establishment. By implementing these practices, you use less energy and water, reduce wastewater output and use fewer chemicals. Environmentally friendly laundering practices by hospitality enterprises are often favored by guests. Let them know about your efforts to contribute to a healthier, sustainable environment.