This is the fourth article in our series on laundering best practices. Be sure to check out the other articles: Laundry’s Dirty Little Secret: Redeposition, Are These 5 Problems Ruining Your Hotel’s Linens? and 5 Tips to Help Your Hotel Laundry Reduce Wrinkles
Extending performance and product life starts with using higher quality materials with higher tensile strength. And although you can’t prevent all wear, we recommend these 5 critical steps to help maximize your linen performance and longevity:
Collect linens promptly and segregate them into defined classifications (i.e., sheets, towels, and visibly stained items). Towels should not be washed with sheets and pillowcases, as they require their own laundry processes, chemical detergent mixture, temperature, and timing. You shouldn’t wash visibly stained items with non-stained items, as the stain could spread to other items.
Load the washer to the correct load size. We recommend loading to 70% – 80% of rated capacity. This allows for good water flow, and efficient chemical and mechanical action. When properly loaded, the tumbling action will allow the load to drop at the 11:00 position during clockwise rotation or 1:00 position during counterclockwise rotation, allowing the linen items to open up as they fall.
When the wash cycle is complete, transfer the damp linens to the dryer. Don’t overload the dryer as good tumbling and airflow is needed. Select proper dry time and cool-down time.
When the dryer stops, remove linens promptly. They should feel slightly cool and the hems should feel slightly damp. Fold the linens as soon as possible to prevent basket wrinkles from forming. Use your hands to smooth out any creases or wrinkles that are present.
Stack the linens and allow them to sit and “condition”. Conditioning is the process where the cotton fibers are given time to rest after laundering and regain some lost moisture, as cotton holds 7-8% of its “dry” weight in water. Water acts as a lubricating agent so it is recommended that after drying, sheets and towels be given ample time to re-hydrate before use. This will allow the drying process to complete, and provide time for the linens to develop a pressed appearance. Storing the linens for 24 hours before use is recommended.
Have any other questions about laundry? Ask Our Laundry Experts Today.
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