Hotel Housekeeping Tips: Preventing Losses in Your Hotel Linen Supply

iStock-524152230-444459-edited.jpgNot even the most thoughtful hotel housekeeping tips can keep all of your fluffy towels and robes safe from occasionally “walking away” or becoming damaged, but there are some steps you can take.

Experts estimate that hotels lose between five to 20 percent of their towels alone every month. But being prepared can reduce that number and leave more of your linens where they belong.

Here are some hotel housekeeping tips for preventing losses in your hotel linen supply.

Provide Cleaning Cloths to Staff and Guests

If you aren’t providing an ample supply of rags to staff and cleaning products to guests, they’re going to turn to your hand towels and washcloths. Not only does this damage the material, it can lead to unremovable stains, both of which reduce the lifecycle of your textiles.

Take the time and resources to make sure your housekeeping staff have the materials they need for cleaning and that guest rooms or suites are equipped with paper towels, sponges or reusable cleaning products. Your goal is to take towels off the table as a cleaning option.

For On Premise Laundry: Make Sure Your Commercial Laundry Equipment is Well Maintained

If you’re handling laundry on premise, maintaining your commercial laundry equipment is essential not only because of your guests’ reliance on clean linens but also because neglected machines can cause stains and damage.

Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and have someone on-call should you need unexpected repairs. If you find yourself making frequent repairs or facing mounting linen losses, it may be time to consider outsourcing to save money and eliminate the hassle of equipment upkeep.

The high-tech equipment used by large-scale commercial laundry providers can also lengthen the life of your linens and help you maximize your investment.

For Laundry Outsourcing: Use a Scale to Track Pounds Picked Up & Delivered

If you outsource your laundry, the right commercial linen service will have multiple systems and checkpoints to prevent losses and provide you with a full accounting of all of your linen. Each delivery should provide you with details of how many pounds are: clean, damaged beyond repair or stained and requiring a special wash.

If your laundry vendor doesn’t provide a scale, ask for one so you can adequately track how many pounds of dirty laundry are being picked up and how many pounds are being delivered. If you begin or continue to experience a high amount of loss, you’ll be able to immediately eliminate your vendor’s handling as the culprit.

Outfit Your Towels and Linens with RFID Chips

Washable Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips can be sown into bath and pool towels, robes and even bed sheets to alert you when they’re being removed from the property. The technology has been available for several years and has been publicized enough that guests might already think twice before turning your towels into souvenirs.

When the first products were launched several years ago, one hotel in Hawaii claimed that it saved $15,000 worth of linens in less than a year and saw thefts dramatically decrease. In addition to deterring theft, the RFID chips can also help you track your linen demand and adjust your supply.

Bonus Tip: Have Enough Pars

Having enough pars on hand at all times won’t necessarily prevent losses, but it will better position you to weather the losses that do happen.

The recommended par level is at least four:

  • 1 in the room
  • 1 in the closet to be used next in the room
  • 1 dirty that just came out of a room
  • 1 being washed

Linen loss is a fact of life for hotels, resorts and timeshare properties, but there are some housekeeping tips that can help. Taking the right steps can be worth the investment to protect your linen assets.