Five mistakes you're making with your hotel laundry
Are you making these five mistakes with your laundry operations? We'll show you where you're going wrong, and how to fix it.
It's important for any business to minimise their costs in order to maximise their profitability. For those businesses in the hospitality trade, it's vital to find the right balance between providing great customer service and being economical with money. One of the key areas in which a hotel can save money without compromising customer service is their laundry operations. Fresh bedding and soft, clean towels are two of the things that your guests will judge your hotel on, so it's important to get them right.
Are you making these five mistakes with your laundry operations? We'll show you where you're going wrong, and how to fix it...
1. Overloading washing machines
Industrial washing machines are large and can hold a lot of laundry at once, but that doesn't mean that you should fill them more than the manufacturer guidelines state. When a washing machine is too full it can't agitate the fabrics properly or distribute the detergent evenly through the load.
This leads to insufficient cleaning of linens and towels, often meaning that they need to be re-washed. This not only wastes water, electricity, and time, but also places extra wear and tear on the washing machines, causing them to need repairing more often. It also shortens the lifespan of the fabrics.
Fill the washing machines in accordance with the operating manual, ensuring that they don't have to cope with too much weight or too high a volume of linen.
2. Under-loading washing machines
Worrying about overloading your machines can often lead to you not filling them up enough, which is just as bad. No matter how much linen is in the washing machine, it will use the same amount of water, electricity, and time, so under-filling it is very wasteful.
If you've worked out your staffing levels and budget based on maximum capacity washing machines, doing only half loads will cause you to lose money and fall behind on providing guests with clean bedding and towels.
Ensure your laundry room staff are trained on the correct use of the washing machines, including how to fill them and which settings should be used for best results. This will ensure all linen and towels are washed adequately without being wasteful of water, energy, manpower, or time.
3. Not adjusting settings for different fabrics
Thick, cotton towels need to go on a separate wash cycle to delicate yet bulky bed linens. Towels need to be sanitised properly with high heats and strong chemicals, which can cause excessive wear and tear to fabrics, drastically shortening the lifespan of delicate fabrics.
Likewise, putting heavily soiled items through a delicate wash cycle may lead to them not being cleaned sufficiently for your guests, meaning that they need to be re-washed. This wastes water, electricity, and time.
Ensure that all of your laundry room staff understand the different settings on the washing machine and know when they should be using them.
4. Not cleaning the washing machines
You may be wondering why a machine designed for cleaning needs to be cleaned; however, between loads not all of the water leaves the machine. This standing water can stagnate if left overnight, which creates unpleasant odours which will stick to the fabrics, leaving them smelling musty and mouldy.
You should clean all of your washing machines at the end of each day to ensure that your towels and linens are always fresh-smelling after washing. Use cleaning products specifically designed for cleaning industrial machines, and if you're in a hard water area it's also important to use de-scaling tablets to prevent a build up from forming in the machines.
5. Using too much detergent
It's understandable that you want to use lots of detergent to get the linen and towels as clean as possible; however, using too much chemical-based detergent can actually have a detrimental effect on the quality of the fabrics.
Using too much detergent can cause undue wear and tear on fabrics, as well as encouraging colours to bleed and run into lighter fabrics, ruining their appearance. The best way to avoid this happening is to use the correct amount of detergent for the wash cycle and the amount of soiling on the fabric.