Best Practices for Laundry Care

by Steve Kovacs

It’s an important function that can affect the general perception of your hotel and your bottom line – quality laundry care. A recent P&G Professional consumer survey revealed that 89 percent of respondents equate soft, bright whites to clean towels and bedding.  When linens and towels are perceived as dingy, guests will often complain to the front desk or may even ask to switch rooms. This can make a big impact on overall guest satisfaction and that rate at which a business gains repeat customers, so it’s important to take a look at your on-premise laundry practices to ensure you’re consistently delivering the best results.

Two priorities that should drive your laundry care operations are efficiency and effectiveness. The following tips emphasize these priorities to help maximize performance, protect linen investments, improve cleaning results, and ultimately, provide hospitality to your guests. 

  • Keep linen inventory levels up to par. Inventory levels that are too low result in linens being washed too frequently, causing fading and wear and tear at a more rapid pace. To ensure a longer shelf life, make sure you have the proper amount of linens in stock. 
  • Empower employees. Labor accounts for nearly half of laundry operational costs. Employee training does not start and end with the hire. Effective, continual education on following the proper procedures is important to achieving productivity and results in guests feeling comfortable in an away-from-home environment. 
  • Ensure ideal wash conditions. Create and utilize proper procedures by following linen guidelines, sorting laundry and treating soiled items. Keep rewash rates below five percent by making sure wash time and temperature are always set correctly. 
  • Load linens and fill water properly. Under filling or over filling can reduce cleaning efficacy. 
  • Select the right detergents. Linen replacement has been shown to represent as much as 22 percent of laundry operational costs. Linen life can be extended by using a phosphate-free, near-neutral pH laundry detergent, such as Tide Professional® which helps maintain fiber strength and longevity, and keeps linens whiter and stronger for longer. 
  • Make a good first impression. Do not send unacceptable pieces of linen to guest rooms that could potentially be returned, causing unplanned rework and a possible bottleneck in overall laundry operations. 
  • Green begins with clean. Clean linens right the first time – avoid having to repeat washing linens that don’t look right by using products that get the job done right. 

Interestingly enough, products that get the job done right the first time and work quickly, in addition to simpler cleaning routines, were reported as the three most helpful elements when it comes to performing cleaning services in four industries, including hospitality/lodging, according to the P&G Professional 2011 “Cleaning Industry Insights” survey.

By establishing effective procedures and using the latest innovations in laundry care, hoteliers can decrease operational costs through a reduction in linen replacement costs and labor costs, plus enjoy the benefit of keeping guests happy by providing bright, white and fresh towels and bedding. This kind of customer satisfaction can lead to repeat business and a “clean” reputation.

About Steve Kovacs
Steve Kovacs is R&D Section Head at P&G Professional, where he leads product development and customer understanding for cleaning product solutions provided for the Hospitality, Healthcare and Building, Cleaning and Maintenance businesses. Prior to joining P&G Professional, he held numerous R&D positions at P&G with consumer understanding, product design, and technology development responsibilities spanning many of P&G’s leading brands, including Tide®, Dawn®, Cascade®, Pantene®, Olay®, Ivory®, Pampers®, Always®, Crest® and Vicks®. Steve also has extensive global operations experience which includes assignments in Germany and England. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville and a MBA degree from Xavier University. He is an inventor on seven U.S. patents.