What to Look for in Commercial Laundry Detergent


commercial-laundry-detergentTo achieve the flawless linens your guests expect, every piece of your commercial laundry service needs to play its part, including your commercial laundry detergent. You need a detergent that’s hard-working enough to meet your property’s diverse demands but gentle enough to protect your linens – and the environment.

Whether you handle your property’s linens onsite with an on-premise laundry (OPL) or contract out with a commercial linen service, it’s a good idea to know what kind of commercial laundry detergent is being used on your behalf. Particularly if your property has a sustainability plan in place, you’ll want to be sure your commercial laundry operations, and the products used, align to your overall environmental goals.

 With the guest experience, the condition of your linens and sustainability in mind, here are some tips for what to look for in commercial laundry detergent.

Formulas Specific to Hospitality

From feather-soft pillow cases to sturdy bathroom mats to spotless table cloths, your property has a wide range of linens to deal with, and you need a commercial laundry detergent that’s up to each job.

One way to ensure you’re covering all of your bases is to choose a detergent that’s specially formulated for hospitality. Your unique laundry challenges mean you need a unique commercial laundry detergent solution. You need your detergent to power through whatever your staff – and your guests – throw its way.

Availability from the Manufacturer

Not sure if your commercial laundry detergent was built with your business in mind? If you buy direct, you can ask the manufacturer. A number of commercial laundry detergent makers sell directly to laundry services and hospitality properties.

Other than having access to the company’s knowledgeable customer service and support teams, buying direct also means you may be able to get the manufacturer’s trainings for your staff on how best to use their products. They, after all, are just as invested as you are in having their commercial laundry detergents succeed.

Effectiveness Across a Wide Range of Temperatures

Commercial laundry detergents or boosters that are effective in cold or cool water are a win-win for your linens and the environment.

With cold water, you avoid the energy expense of paying to heat the water, which is a big deal given that an estimated 40 percent of water use in hotels can be attributed to laundry and kitchen operations.

And hot water can be hard on your linens by weakening weaken fabrics and contributing to shrinkage. Look for commercial laundry detergents that promise results in all temperatures or low temperatures.

Biodegradable and Free of Toxins

There was a time when harsh chemicals were thought to be the only way to make sure linens were clean. Luckily, times have changed, and there are plenty of commercial laundry detergents available that are effective and environmentally friendly.

The fastest way to tell if a commercial laundry detergent is eco-friendly is to check the label. You’ll want products that are “biodegradable” and free of chemicals and toxins such as: caustics, EDTA, nonylphenol ethoxylates, phosphates and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice labelling program works with all kinds of manufacturers to identify products that “perform well and are safer for human health and the environment.” 

In order to earn the Safer Choice label, products must meet the EPA’s requirements for: 

  • performance;
  • packaging;
  • pH; and
  • VOCs.

All of those factors have to do with the impact on the environment and on human health, including the potential for skin irritation.

Armed with the right information, you can choose a commercial laundry detergent that delivers safe and comfortable linens to your guests and a lesser impact to the environment.