If you’re considering shutting down your on property laundry and outsourcing to a commercial laundry service to save money, you may be skeptical about what an outside vendor can do and whether they’ll be able to match the high standards you set for your property.
Are their machines equipped to leave your high-quality sheets and towels as soft as guests expect? Are they as green as they say? How can you be sure they aren’t mixing your linens in with materials from other properties?
With your frequently asked questions – and cautious skepticism in mind – here’s an overview of what a hotel laundry service does.
From Start to Finish
To provide a complete picture of what a service does, let’s walk through the laundry process from start to finish, from pickup to delivery.
This is assuming a property has taken all of the necessary preliminary steps, including: comparing commercial laundry service costs to the costs of on property laundry, gathering quotes, taking plant tours, selecting a trusted eco-friendly provider and clarifying contract terms.
Once that’s complete, it’s time to kick off the outsourcing partnership.
Hotel staff are key to the success of a relationship with a hotel laundry provider, and the right service will include training as a crucial step in its onboarding process.
At least one representative from the laundry service briefs hotel staff on elements such as how best to sort linens according to the provider’s processes, how to prepare for pickup and how to weigh laundry correctly before it leaves the property.
With a fully trained staff in place at the hotel, the laundry service is ready to start picking up dirty linens at an agreed-upon time. In general, clean linens will be delivered back within 24 hours.
Weight Tracking and Check-in
Once linens arrive from hotel properties, they’re weighed, and that weight is recorded and tracked at various points along the laundry process.
Linens are also checked in to a central computer system that tracks and monitors, among other things, the property of origin. The high-tech system, along with checks by the provider’s staff, ensures that linens from different properties are never co-mingled.
Linens are sorted by hand according to size and type. Hand sorting ensures that any non-linen items that have inadvertently been collected by housekeeping – clothing, glassware, stuffed animals, you’d be surprised – is separated and set aside.
Energy Efficient Washing > Drying > Ironing > Folding
For hotel laundry services, energy efficiency isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for business. Their high-tech, large-scale commercial laundry machines, like the ones that use tunnel washer technology, can process linens using less water, energy and manpower than the machines found at hotels’ on property laundry facilities.
They also have technology in place to protect fibers and materials and lengthen the lifecycle of hard-working hotel linens.
Washing: After sorting, linens are whisked away to be washed. The best energy efficient machines use up to four times less water than a conventional washer.
Drying: To prevent the kind of over-drying that can waste energy and damage fibers, commercial dryers have built-in sensors.
Ironing: Linens are loaded by hand into large-scale ironers, where they’re dried and folded.
Folding: Materials that aren’t ironed are processed into machines for folding, sorting and stacking.
Weight Tracking and Check-out
Linens are weighed onsite one last time before they’re loaded onto trucks for delivery. Damaged or stained materials that need a special wash are bagged and weighed separately.
In a nutshell, that’s the hands-on process for a large, eco-friendly hotel laundry. Most importantly, and underlying everything they do, a commercial laundry service drives savings for linen and laundry service in hotels in terms of cost, energy, resources, labor and space.