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November 17, 2021

#1 Action for the Cleanest Hotel Linens

3 industrial laundry machines in a row

When you decided to go into the hospitality industry, did you imagine you would do so much thinking about laundry? Industrial laundry isn’t easy or straightforward – it includes chemicals, engineering, precision, and processes.

When it comes to hotel linens, a hotelier’s goal is to minimize linen replacement, while maximizing guest experience, ensuring guest requirements are met or exceeded. Fluffy, white towels and crisp, clean sheets that are free of stains is the standard for guests.

What do you do, however, if you find yourself with a high rewash rate – more than 3-5% – to get the clean, bright linens that guests demand? We have a “laundry list” of suggestions and best practices for removing cosmetic stains, preventing wrinkles, and minimizing redeposition.

Before tackling any of those “how-to’s,” take our pop quiz to discover the number one thing you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your laundry processing.

Which of the following makes the biggest impact on getting laundry clean?

    1. Chemical Treatment
    2. Water Temperature
    3. Mechanical Action
    4. Time Spent in Wash

Answer: C.

When it comes to industrial laundering, 90% of cleaning is due to the mechanical action and water flow. Mechanical action is the movement of your sheets and towels within the washing cylinder and the flow of washing solution through them. This means:

The #1 thing you can do to ensure your linens get clean is to NOT overload your washer.

Yes, the biggest barrier to effective laundering is overloading. Overloading a washer will prevent mechanical action and linens won’t come clean. Overloading also contributes to staining, redeposition, and wrinkling. Chemical treatment, water temperature, and cycle time also contribute to a successful laundry program. If you have a high rewash rate (again, more than 3-5%), take a look at your load size before tinkering with the other variables.

Loading Recommendations for Hotel Laundries

Our experience indicates that laundry loading should be at 70-80% of rated weight capacity. For open pocket washer/extractors, your eyes can be your best tools. When your linens are being laundered, you’ll also want to “check the clock.”

You’ll want to see the fabrics being picked-up to 1 o’clock during counter-clockwise rotation and 11 o’clock for clockwise rotation. The subsequent drop of the products will maximize mechanical action and cleaning efficiency.

washing machine icon illustrating clock motion for optimal laundering

Check that your linens are shifting between 1:00 and 11:00 when laundering to ensure maximum cleanliness!

Just be careful and don’t overcorrect! Underloading can cost your hotel more in electricity, water, and laundry chemicals. Be sure to use a scale to weigh your loads to make sure you’re running your loads at the optimal capacity.

Don’t Overload – or Over dry – the Drying Cycle

For products being tumbled dry it is critical that the dryer not be overloaded. Overloading contributes to longer drying times which can damage linens. It can also contribute to wrinkling. An appropriate cool-down cycle should be used, and the products need to be folded immediately after completion of the cycle.

Also, to minimize wrinkling and surface pilling, do not over dry products. Sheets should be slightly damp to the touch around the hems. This moisture will evaporate due to residual heat in the product during the recommended 24-hour rest time in storage prior to the item being placed back into service.

Technical Services and Support from Standard Textile

If you’ve adjusted your load sizes and still find yourself with a higher-than-average rewash rate or other laundering issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. In our CORE, we have a full-scale commercial laundry operation for the purpose of testing and supporting our partners. The experts here have full understanding of laundry processing at hotels and resorts. Contact us or your sales consultant if you need assistance.