Setting realistic goals and achieving them consistently is a great way to increase hotel laundry productivity. This can seem daunting for busy managers so we will be discussing how to tackle it without having to be an expert in laundry.
We begin with some basic objectives, which should be enough to impress the morning management meeting. Then we detail how to measure these and reach them. We assume that there is not enough money to make even the simplest improvements in this current environment. Instead, we provide some management “rules of thumb”.
What are you trying to accomplish?
These are the top priorities for laundry managers:
To reduce linen costs, minimize damage to linen during laundry and bed-making.
Textiles that are stain-resistant.
Delivering guest towels that are WOW! For softness and thickness,
How to maximize laundry output within the given time.
Reduce the laundry’s carbon footprint
Reduce laundry costs by reducing labor and utility costs
This seems daunting at first, but let’s look at how we can make it easier.
1. Reduce linen damage in laundry
If staff are trained to care for linen with respect and care, then the washing process is the main cause of linen damage. The de-stainer’s oxidizing agent is most likely to be the main cause of linen damage, particularly if it is being used at a higher than necessary rate. Keep the pre-wash temperature at 40C. Make sure the stage runs for at most 4 minutes. This will ensure that any protein stains, such as blood, skin, or other body fluids, are removed. These stains will then be removed in the main wash without any need for excessive oxidation. You can reduce the amount of de-stainer to remove any vegetable dye marks (from red wine or coffee spills).
This simple step alone has allowed some hotels to reduce their linen purchase by half. Some machines can run automatically with the correct pre-wash and low temperature main washing. Low wash temperatures will reduce linen damage.
2. Stain-free laundry
The first step towards achieving stain-free textiles is to apply the ideas in the paragraph before. After determining the correct pre-wash temperature, time and detergent dosage, you can reduce the amount of de-stainer in small steps until the minimum amount is required to remove vegetable dyes. This will remove blood and blackcurrant stains and leave only oily products for cosmetics and spa treatments. These are not likely to be treated with de-stainer (and too much of it will cause rot in the cotton); repeated washes can also prove inefficient and wasteful. Essential oils found in spa products can be the most difficult to get rid of. They leave a stench that eventually turns rancid and causes a problem on cotton towels. You can solve residual fatty/oily staining by adding a small amount of the right detergent emulsifier. Your detergent supplier should be capable of helping with this.
3. Soft, fluffy towels
Towel softness has little to do with washing conditions and not much to do with textile design. The key lies in tumble drying.
It is important to not use high temperatures for drying the airstream at the beginning of the drying process. Towels should be tumbled at a low temperature for several minutes until the terry loops are open and allow airflow to circulate freely. This will prevent the towel from drying to a hard, thin material with no bulk and softness. This allows the air temperature to be safely raised. It is important that the fabric retains between 2 and 3% moisture at the end of the drying process. This is based on the fabric’s bone dry weight. This will result in a towel that is as thick and soft as possible. The cotton will become crisp and hard if it is dried to the bone, and guests will be dissatisfied. It is easy to see the difference between a normal drying cycle and the right one.
4. How to maximize laundry output in the shortest time possible
Washer loads should be weighed, water consumption reduced to a minimum, and washed at 40C. This will maximize washhouse throughput and reduce fill time and warm-up time. To remove almost every stain and ensure disinfection, use the correct chemical. This will allow you to achieve maximum productivity with minimal time.
Hydro-extraction is crucial at the end for fast ironer speeds and minimal tumble drying time. These will reduce energy consumption by reducing energy consumption. It takes five times as much energy to dry with an ironer than it does to tumble dry. Hydro-extraction is the best way to increase productivity. This does not require fancy dryers or ironers.
5. Reduce the laundry’s carbon footprint
To reduce your carbon footprint, eliminate rewashing by getting rid of stains the first time, using full machine capacity, getting the water levels correct, and correctly using low temperature washing. Although each improvement is small, they add up to a significant impact. Hydro-extraction is a great way to get the job done right. High output and cost reduction are possible by spinning at the right speed. Experimentation can provide the answer to the question, “How long is enough?” You can spin for longer in half-minute steps until the weight of your wet load does not decrease.
Implementing the recommendation of making fluffy, soft towels can often save 10% on drying time and drying energy . You can increase this amount by installing automatic dryer cycle terminators, but this requires a small investment. Laundries that use direct gas firing are more profitable than those that use steam. However, the most significant savings can be made by laundries that use expensive electric heating.
6. Reduce laundry costs by reducing labor and utility costs
The tips here have one huge side benefit : Optimizing productivity, quality, and energy consumption has a tremendous side effect . This automatically lowers the laundry’s overall operating costs and increases hourly productivity. The labour input is also reduced.
These are better ways to cut costs than buying lower detergents, overloading washers, or reducing detergent dosages. While there is a slight increase in cost if you identify the need for a better detergent and de-stainer, these costs are often minor compared to the savings.
The majority of the laundry tech recommendations this month are simple and rely on common sense. However, they are not all possible overnight.
First, you need to determine the laundry productivity in terms of pieces/hour and parts/operator hour. This will require some counting and timing. Next, you’ll need to determine the starting prices for water and energy. This can be difficult, and if they are not separately metered you might have to rely upon estimated percentage improvements based off the reduction of washer loads, ironing time, and dryer times.
The expected benefits of each recommendation are clear and prioritized. However, it is important to not get distracted by local circumstances that make it difficult for you to focus on your priorities. Tell your colleagues that it could take three to six months to gain all the benefits from this exercise. Long-term improvements are what you want to achieve, which will bring benefits year after year.
Try to focus on the “low hanging fruits” first. If the big prizes seem too daunting initially, a few wins can help you gain confidence and get the support of others. Good hunting!