Best Practices for Keeping Linen Clean
It is a challenge to keep hotel linen, such as sheets, comforters and comforters, clean due to the large number of guests that smaller hotels receive each year. There are many things that can stain linen, including makeup and nail polish spilled from room service meals or lipsticks.
It is difficult to prevent guest stains from happening, but there are steps housekeeping can take so they do not become permanent. Hotel laundries should follow the recommendations to prevent misuse stains, color bleeding, and other in-wash problems from ruining linen. These best practices, when combined, will prolong the life of linen and reduce rewash costs. They also support sustainability and guest satisfaction.
White linen is a popular choice in hotels due to its crisp appearance. White linen is a smart choice as it’s easy to match worn or stained linen. White linen is more resistant to stains than white linen.
Common linen stains include: * Cosmetic stains like makeup, nail polish, lotions and bleaching creams are common on towels and pillowcases.
* Coffee, juice, juice, and soft drinks can cause stains
* Room service food stains accompanied with grease, oil, dressings and condiments.
* Bodily fluids, including saliva, blood and sweat
* Shoe polish
Some stains are more difficult to remove than others. If chlorine bleach is not available, it can be difficult to get rid of Asian food dyes on table linens and napkins. All wash types, from towels to bed sheets, can have iron or rust stains. These stains cannot be removed by standard washing processes. They can be removed only with a stain remover in the case of very few stains or with a specific wash process that uses oxalic acids.
The best way to prevent additional marks and stains from developing is to wash linen the first time. This will also prevent the need for rewashing and prolong the linen’s life. Rewashing linen incorrectly will result in laundry operations costs increasing as it takes more water, energy, and labor. The wash classification has a strong relationship with the rewash rate. A property shouldn’t expect to wash sheets more than three percent. For towels, however, there is an industry standard which varies from one country to the next.
A proper laundering reduces the chance that a stained piece or washed linen slips past the quality control and ends up in the hotel’s room. This can adversely impact the hotel’s image as well as guest satisfaction.
Laundries can help prevent certain stains, such as:
* Staff misuse stains can be caused by insufficient linen transportation. Linen drops from overloaded trolleys onto the floor and is then swept over by housekeepers.
It is nearly impossible to remove these black and grey marks. This can only be accomplished with a very high dose of a detergent. This can be costly so it is best to train staff to avoid these stains. The hotel management should ensure that they have special cleaning cloths, or even rags available to staff so that they don’t use hand towels or bath towels in the bathrooms and clean up after them. They also need cloth napkins to polish cutlery.
* Stains can be caused by guests who use a towel to polish their shoes. A special shoe cleaning cloth can be provided in every room by housekeeping managers to reduce the likelihood of guests slipping and falling.
Color bleeding and dye transfer are common with table linen. This is because the textile supplier has not properly fixed the dye to the fabric. High temperatures and/or high pH can accelerate dye bleeding.
Color bleeding can be reduced by purchasing linen made of 100 percent cotton. Color bleeding can be caused by colored paper napkins. This linen’s whiteness can be restored if it is 100 percent cotton. If any polyester is incorporated into the fabric, color bleeding can be permanent.
Laundry managers need to be aware of water treatment and product usage in order to prevent stains from being set or created by washing.
Not all laundries have the resources to properly treat their water. While many people are aware of the detrimental effects of hard water on stain removal, it is often overlooked that there may be heavy metals in the water. Iron and Copper are particularly harmful to stain removal.
Laundries need to carefully choose detergents that have been tested against a variety of stains. A detergent should be capable of removing complex metals in water, without interfering with bleach. This not only removes and prevents stains but also slows down the accelerated loss in tensile strength.
Laundries often increase the bleach dosage when tomato sauce, curry, and tandoori are not removed from the wash cycle. The increased bleach dosage doesn’t affect wash results. Non-removed fat soil is what covers the food dye and stops bleaching from happening. For a good wash result, it is important to remove oily and fatty stains.
Cleanliness of hotel linens can make the difference between a glowing review from a loyal customer and a harsh critique of a property’s lack of hygiene and guest satisfaction. Laundries should train their staff on how to properly remove stains and misuse of linen. This will help to maintain the quality of all wash types of linen, as well as extend their life expectancy. These best practices and recommended washing processes will help ensure that guests are provided with clean linen throughout their stay.