There are lots of things to consider when it comes to hotel laundry planning – not least whether to keep things in-house or outsource your washing, drying and finishing to a hotel linen service. One of our hotel laundry specialists, Martin Aston answers some common questions we’re asked by owners, managers and laundry decision-makers when scoping out the commercial laundry process in their hotels.

Should I run an in-house hotel laundry or use a contract linen service?

If you’re able to do everything yourself, you’ll be able to take full control of what you wash, how and when – and you won’t need to depend on a third party to pick up and deliver your laundry on time or wash things to the standard you need. Plus, there’s no risk of your linen getting tangled up with another hotel’s pile.

While outsourcing laundry services in hotels may seem like it could free-up staff time at face value, you need to think about how long it will take to count linen in and out, manage your contract (admin time for PO’s and payments, chasing late deliveries and filing complaints can all steal staff time).

Choosing to have onsite hotel laundry facilities means you can also control your own electricity and water costs, reduce the amount of linen stock you need (no need for as many spares/pars). It’s also easier to react to changing demands like illness outbreaks or changing and seasonal occupancy levels – contracts often come with minimum monthly charges which can leave you paying more than you need to in low season.

Check out the ‘Hotels’ section of our testimonials >>

What are the benefits of an in-house hotel laundry?

  • Save money – Outsourcing your wet or dry cleaning requires double the PAR stock compared to on-premise laundries, and with expensive fees per item, this multiplies your spend significantly – as do minimum charges.
  • Save time – Rather than waiting for laundry bag deliveries, counting stock in and out, processing paperwork and maintaining storage areas, staff can concentrate on their front-end duties. Operating commercial laundry machines is a straightforward, quick process and will free up hours of labour time
  • Take control – Choose the quality of items you want to use and extend the life of your towels and linen. If an emergency arises – such as a spillage, you have the in-house facility to deal with it quickly

I’d like to keep things in-house but we don’t have much space?

If space is an issue, bringing just your towel laundering in-house with can instantly make a difference. Towels, bath mats and robes are some of the heaviest, yet easiest items to wash. And because they don’t require ironing, you don’t need to account for space for finishing equipment.

Blog: How to get soft, fluffy towels

The more labour intensive items such as tableware and bedding can continue to be outsourced if absolutely necessary, but with expert advice there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to create a ‘compact’ hotel laundry room layout that allows you to process items that would cost more to wash (and take longer to turn around) as part of an external hotel laundry contract.

Isn’t running an in-house hotel laundry expensive?

With external services you could be paying a premium for your laundry without knowing how old, how good or how environmentally unfriendly their equipment might be. The added benefit of choosing your own equipment for your own laundry onsite is the ability to install energy-efficient. Washers and dryers are highly efficient and designed to provide a high quality wash experience whilst reducing utility costs.

Blog: Are you making these hotel bedding mistakes?

Clever features mean the most intelligent machines on the market can determine how much water and detergent your fabrics need in each load ensure you’ll only ever use the amount required per wash load – saving you money and ensuring optimum wash quality on every cycle.

What are the key features I need to look for when choosing washers and dryers?

Firstly, to run a professional hotel laundry service,  you must have commercial laundry equipment that’s purpose-built for business use. While this might sound expensive at first glance, the benefit here is that such machines are often available as part of all-inclusive supply and service packages which include emergency breakdown cover (yet another thing that’s good to have in your control if something happens – linen hire companies may have long SLAs on any repairs which could leave you without towels or sheets).

We used to use contract towels but it was decided to have our own on-premise laundry so we could give the guests a better service, with a daily towel change if needed. The towels smell fresh and stay fluffy, and OTEX ozone laundry means we can disinfect lots of them at a lower water temperature and make a saving on utilities too. Read more…>>

Penny Thomassen, Head Housekeeper at Bembridge Coast Hotel (Bourne Leisure)

Commercial washers and dryers are by their nature larger in capacity – and let you do bigger loads, less often. That’s less time spent on laundry itself, and less money spent on energy bills.

Choosing the right hotel laundry equipment

The washers, dryers and finishing equipment a hotel laundry needs varies depending on each individual requirements. However, a general guide would be:

10-50 bedrooms…

Combination to consider: JLA 22 SMART washer, SD35 SMART dryer and a 1.5m rotary ironer

100+ bedrooms…

Combination to consider: JLA50 SMART washer, SD80 SMART dryer and a 1.9m dryer ironer

Contact us with your hotel laundry planning questions >>

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), there are more than a million cases of food poisoning every year in the UK. Many of these cases are the result of eating food prepared in a professional kitchen, while Salmonella causes the most hospital admissions – about 2,500 per year.

What is the Food Safety Act?

The Government’s Food Safety Act of 1990 makes it an offence to “render food injurious to health” or to sell food that doesn’t meet safety requirements – with severe penalties – including unlimited fines, or even imprisonment for failure to comply.

“The Food Safety Act 1990 (as amended) provides the framework for all food legislation in the England, Wales and Scotland. The main responsibilities for all food businesses under the Act are to ensure that food businesses serve or sell is of the nature, substance or quality which consumers would expect.”

The Food Standards Authority

Why is the Food Safety Act important?

Working in line with the Food Safety Act can dramatically reduce your exposure to risk; helping to protect your customers, and your hard earned reputation.

Food Safety Act 1990

Focus on food poisoning

Of course, the best way to stop your customers getting food poisoning is to maintain the highest standards of personal and food hygiene. To help do this, the FSA has prepared a helpful food safety management pack.

Where hygiene standards are not met, the court may forbid you from using certain processes, premises, or equipment. You could also be banned from managing a food business and face fines or even prison.

It goes without saying that correctly cleaning and cooking food is essential to meeting food safety regulations. However, it is just as important to adopt the upmost care when it comes to chilling and avoiding cross-contamination. And to do this, you need commercial catering appliances that are up to the job, and regularly maintained.

Chilling food in line with the Food Safety Act

All commercial kitchen operators know the importance of keeping food at the correct temperature to prevent harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. However, to help avoid food poisoning it’s also essential that cooked food is cooled as quickly as possible. Indeed, if you’re chilling cooked food, you’re required by law to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Act.

This means that, whenever cooked food is chilled or frozen, it must be in the ‘Danger Zone’ – where bacteria multiply fastest – for as little time as possible.

Current food safety guidelines recommend that cooked food should pass through the Danger Zone in no more than 90 minutes, and, subsequently be stored at 8°C or less. A temperature of below 5°C will further reduce the likelihood of bacteria multiplying and should be achieved wherever possible.

However, standard refrigeration equipment is incapable of extracting heat fast enough to comply with these guidelines. As such, specially designed rapid chilling apparatus such as a blast chiller is required by law to ensure the necessary rapid reduction of temperature is achieved.

Designed to give caterers complete control over the chilling process, JLA’s blast chillers deliver performance that exceeds food safety legislation, is HACCP compliant, and meets guidelines for cook-chill catering systems worldwide.

Preventing cross-contamination

The food and catering industry in the UK has changed dramatically over the last few years in the face of changing dietary requirements, allergies, and food intolerances. Today’s commercial kitchens MUST be structured in a way to avoid cross contamination.

Cross-contamination occurs when bacteria are transferred from one food (usually raw) to another. Catering equipment such as fryers carry a particularly high risk of allergen cross contamination. It only takes a minuscule amount of a food substance to cause an allergic reaction, so in many cases, separate or twin tank fryers are recommended.

Another way to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading is to store raw and ready-to-eat food in separate fridges, freezers, and display units.

As well as the right catering equipment, it’s vital that commercial kitchens use specially designed catering detergents. Not only do these result in a consistently high quality of finish – but they also maximise the performance of your dishwasher and prevent cross-contamination.

Maintenance = compliance

Effective maintenance is essential to meeting the requirements of the Food Safety Act, and to ensure your cooking, hot holding, and chilling equipment is working correctly and doesn’t let you down.

It’s a false economy to wait until something goes wrong, with the expense of calling out an engineer every time you have a problem (not to mention the risk to your reputation), far exceeding the costs of regular planned maintenance. 

When it comes to the health of your customers, ignorance is not an adequate defence. And to ensure a conviction, the prosecution only has to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that food safety requirements have not been met.

Are you considering upgrading your catering equipment to help improve hygiene standards and protect your valuable reputation? Get in touch to find out how JLA can help.

Now is the perfect time to get ahead of the annual rush, and consider a boiler upgrade to make sure your business’ heating system is ready for when the cold comes back to bite in autumn – especially if your system has been out of action for longer than it might otherwise have been during the COVID-19 lockdown.

September provides the ideal opportunity to upgrade or replace your commercial heating equipment, or book a new boiler installation, and make sure your heating is ship-shape for the autumn/winter period, when any loss in heating or hot water can cause major disruption.

Do I need a new boiler? >>

Engineers and installers tend to be less busy at this time of year, because fewer premises will be using their central heating, so any problems remain ‘hidden’. That means you’re more likely to secure an appointment quickly to explore your options for boiler replacement – and you’ll have more time to look into a new boiler cost as well as getting a new heating system properly designed and installed.

Do I need A New Boiler?Download our Top 5 Heating Headaches GuideOnce autumn returns – especially where businesses are re-opening after Coronavirus closure – many staff, owners and facilities managers will be turning on their heating for the first time in months, only to find that there are problems with their boiler… so demand for engineer appointments tend to rise significantly rise making it difficult to get work completed quickly.

Replacing a boiler can take up to two days to ensure that everything is sited appropriately and works properly. Two days can feel like a long time in winter with no hot water or heating, so avoid this by scheduling any work in over the warmer months.

If your boiler is older, it’s probably not as efficient as it could be, which means that you could be paying more than you need to for your energy when you turn it on in winter. Boiler efficiency has improved considerably in the last decade, and upgrading your heating system now could see you make huge savings. For example, replacing your boiler with a condensing model that has a gross energy efficiency level of 98% could significantly reduce your winter outgoings.

Ask us about a boiler replacement cost >>

An older, non-condensing boiler simply wouldn’t be able to keep up with a condensing model because it has to raise its temperature to such a degree that water vapour doesn’t condense and start to corrode the heat exchanger.

We can help you review your heating and hot water systems, and prevent something going wrong at a critical moment. Contact us today for boiler prices and to learn more about the best boilers (wall hung and floor standing) we offer for your business, as well as our range of robust hot water cylinders. and hot water storage tanks.

Lockdown Maintenance

We know the current lockdown measures are having a huge impact on lots of businesses, particularly in hospitality and retail – whether you’ve been forced to close fully, or scale back significantly. However, closure also presents a rare opportunity to catch up on maintenance that could help you hit the ground running when things return to normal. 

Adjusting to current challenges and working out how your premises needs to be maintained during this time can feel daunting – but by taking advantage of a challenging situation and using the ‘spare’ time you now have, you can ensure your most critical facilities and equipment are ready to work at their best when lockdown is lifted. Below, we‘ve put together a quick list of the basic things you can do to look after your key equipment and core systems.

Review your fire safety plans and processes

Even at the best of times, day-to-day priorities can get in the way of properly taking stock of the way you approach fire safety. Now, with changes to the way we all work, as well as changing restrictions and possibly reductions in your staff numbers, it’s more important than ever to make sure your plans are up-to-date.

From legally required inspections of your alarms, doors and extinuishers to carrying out a full fire risk assessment, there’s plenty to check across your premises. This list of the vital things you should review while your building is closed for business is a good start, but it’s important to seek help from a fire safety expert if you need further all-round support.

Put your heating into lockdown mode

Although you may not need to keep customers and staff warm while your business is closed, leaving your heating on (and even having it managed remotely) can continue to protect your building’s pipes, furnishings and electrical devices.

While the latest lockdown has left the hospitality and retail businesses with unwanted time on their hands, it does provide the perfect opportunity to carry out basic preventative boiler maintenance and also get any essential servicing works completed without disruption.

Maintain your fridges and freezers properly

It’s important to fully clean and maintain your chillers and freezers before leaving them unused during lockdown. By following a few simple steps, you can make sure your most important kitchen appliances are ready to get back up and running when your business is able to re-open.

‘Hibernate’ your dishwashers

Preparing your commercial dishwashers by going through the right care and maintenance checklist can protect them during downtime when the time comes to use them again – the last thing you need when you can re-open is a breakdown that leaves you with a pile of dirty dishes and stops you serving your customers for even longer.

Carry out laundry housekeeping

If you have an onsite laundry for uniforms and tableware, you’ll want to ensure your washers and dryers are in full working order (and hygienic) when you need them again.

This handy laundry maintenance guide will help you tick off some important boxes and make sure everything’s done safely and that your machines are in the same condition when you switch them back on.

Double check the support that’s available

A number of schemes have been put in place by the government to support businesses, including grants up to £9,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for smaller businesses; and the Job Retention Scheme which helps you protect your workforce.

You’ve probably looked into these before, but some schemes have been improved upon and extended, so it’s worth using this time to double-check the financial support you could be eligible for.

If you need help with maintenance or compliance during lockdown and beyond, contact our friendly team – we’ll be happy to talk through any legal obligations you need support with, or arrange site visits where possible to assist with any servicing or repairs you might need.

Get expert help

The risk of infections spread by contamination is an ever-present concern for many businesses. And for a number of hospitals – and those looking to meet laundry guidelines for care homes – one of the major tools in the battle against contamination has proven to be an ozone washer system – which uses a natural gas to kill 99.999% of infections.

What is an ozone laundry system?

An ozone laundry disinfection system uses safe O3 gas at low temperatures instead of high heat or chemicals that can damage garments and linen fabrics. Harnessing the natural power of ozone, this innovative way of washing kills bacteria, moulds, yeasts and viruses and eliminates the risk of cross-infection in laundry.

The process provides disinfection verification for audit trails and inspection documentation, with simple controls to ensure effective use. O3 itself leaves a pleasant fragrance, and leaves towels fluffier that traditional methods will.

How does ozone laundry work?

By converting ‘free’ air from around the washing machine into 90% oxygen, splitting this into ozone and injecting particles into a wash, the system removes the need for water heating and safely lifts stains out of fibres while the natural gas eliminates the smallest trace of harmful bacteria. Natural disinfection also eliminates wastage on the balance sheet, cutting detergent, energy and water costs by up to 35%.

Watch our ‘How OTEX works’ guide here.

Why choose an ozone washer system?

For healthcare organisations, OTEX’s built-in validation provides the means to prove that their methods meet ‘Essential Quality Requirements’ as well as ‘Best Practices’, as set out by the new Choice Framework for local Policy and Procedure (HTM 01-04).

9 ozone laundry benefts for your business >>

With the ability to print ‘disinfection verification receipts’, OTEX users can comply with the guideline that “linen should be processed using a disinfection cycle complying with the specified level of reduction in bacteriological contamination and this process will be required to be validated”. Training is provided by JLA and advice is also given on how to categorise contaminated or soiled linen, as well as the handling of laundered items.

Easy installation

OTEX machines from JLA are installed on-site, with a Total Care package that provides 7-day breakdown cover for your commercial laundry equipment and a 24/7 helpline, ensuring businesses have total peace of mind that their laundry system is both effective and reliable.

Find out more about OTEX ozone disinfection >>

Case study: York Hospital

York Hospital, the flagship hospital of York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, installed the OTEX ozone disinfection system for the disinfection of their microfibre cloths and mops as part of its plan to bring Domestic Services back in-house.

Wendy Dale, domestic services manager at York Hospital, says:

“Microfibre mops and cloths basically act like magnets for bacteria. What impressed us most about JLA was their OTEX innovation. The system’s ability to thoroughly disinfect and also reduce costs was a major factor when it came to choosing them as our supplier.”

“The OTEX washer system uses mostly cold water and faster wash cycles, dramatically reducing utility and detergent costs, and cutting labour bills by saving time.”

“Our laundry is in operation round the clock seven days a week, processing over 4,000 microfibre mops and cloths a day,” continues Wendy, “so being able to save energy was vital. JLA actually metered the electricity supply to the laundry and established that OTEX was saving us 82% compared to a conventional laundry. An added bonus is that we are using half as much detergent because of the way the system processes laundry.”

The disinfection system is so successful that York Hospital bosses recently announced the passing of a year without a patient acquiring the MRSA superbug infection.

Laundry in a care home, hospital, hotel or any other busy business is about more than just meeting the challenge of keeping up with a constant flow of linen. It’s also about getting the job done in the most cost-effective way and ensuring your balance sheet looks as good as your bed sheets…and towels…and microfibre cloths…and clothes…and anything else you need to wash every day.

Here are our top five laundry tips to help you keep your energy consumption down and reduce bills when it comes to commercial laundry.

1. Bring everything in-house

If you’re considering an on-premise laundry (OPL), you’re already well on your way to cutting your laundry costs.

You’ll be able to take full control of what you wash, how and when – and you won’t need to depend on a third party to pick up and deliver your laundry on time or wash things to the standard you need. Plus, there’s no risk of your linen getting tangled up with another client’s pile.

Going in-house is also a more effective way of staying compliant if you’re in a sector that demands constant compliance for infection control.

Take a look at the Laundry Guidelines For Care Homes here >>

Advantages of an in-house laundry:

  • Control your own electricity and water costs
  • Ensure the quality of your own washing process
  • Reduce the amount of linen stock you need (faster turnover so no need for as many spares)
  • Keep a close eye on your own compliance practices
  • React to changing demands (i.e. illness outbreaks or changing occupancy levels)

Time is money – and an OPL will help you save both

Doing everything in-house will cut the time you spend on laundry, as well as the money you spend on it…

We were constantly having problems with the towels we sent off to be cleaned, and staff were spending a lot of time counting towels or re-washing them. Getting our own small laundry in the salon has lifted a weight off our shoulders as they get through the washing quickly with no fuss. The time and money JLA has saved us has made a huge difference to the day-to-day running of the salon.

Teagan Halliday, Salon Manager at Strokes Salon

2. Choose energy-efficient commercial machines

While it may be tempting to stick with what you know and use domestic machines in your business, doing so can be a false economy and will not achieve the same results or consistency.

A high-performance commercial machine is designed to complete up to 35,000 cycles, while even the best domestic high street washers are generally only built to exceed just 10,000 cycles (and the cheapest may only keep going for around 600 hours).

Most domestic machines also only come with a one or two-year warranty (which may become void if you use the machine in a commercial laundry room), whereas commercial alternatives can be bundled with inclusive maintenance, repair labour and parts cover as part of a business contract.

Commercial washers and dryers are by their nature larger in capacity – so you can do bigger loads, less often. That’s less time spent on laundry itself, and less money spent on energy bills.

Laundry Tips: Choose Smart Machines

Find out how a ‘SMART’ laundry system could save money on your utility bills

3. Consider ozone laundry

The way an ozone washer system works – and disinfects – means it can give you significant savings across all types of wash cycle. This can be extremely useful whether you’re working in healthcare, hospitality or any other business which requires a high – and hygienic – laundry turnover.

JLA’s OTEX ozone disinfection kills 99.999% of micro-organisms on laundry at lower temperatures. That means you can add another layer of reassurance to your laundry process, while increasing the lifespan of your fabrics and keeping your utility bills down.

An ozone washer system  has design features that reduce water use on every cycle compared to a traditional ‘thermal’ process, looks after your linen and even helps you get soft, fluffy towels.

Discover the key ozone laundry benefits for your business >>

It is effective at lower temperatures too, so it’s a great way to eliminates wastage on the balance sheet by significantly cutting your detergent, energy and water costs. Avoiding higher temperatures also means your towels, sheets and other linen will last longer – saving money on unnecessary re-stocks and replacements.

Laundry Tips For Saving Your Business Money

4. Educate your staff

To really get the most out of your in-house laundry, it’s important to make sure those who look after your linen understand how to run your machines efficiently.

Here are three simple things they can do to save your business money…

Avoid overloading your machines

Your staff will also spend more time on laundry than they should be doing, reducing the value for money you might get from their shift.

Clean dryer lint filters regularly

Linen and towels will take longer to dry, putting your energy bills up even higher. And your items could get damaged due to exposure to high temperatures, meaning you’ll have to spend money on new stock more frequently than your balance sheet might like.

Wash according to laundry type and state

Remind your staff to always check labels and washing instructions, especially if you’re cleaning more expensive items. A quick wash won’t do the trick on stains or heavy soiling (so you’ll end up re-washing and using more costly energy) and using high temperatures on the wrong garments or linen will damage fabrics which will force you to buy replacements sooner).

Read our guide on avoiding hotel bedding mistakes in your laundry >>

5. Go all-inclusive with a supply and service package

Having a constant supply of clean linen is vital for care and service businesses, so down-time is not an option when it comes to your washers and dryers. When shopping around for new (or upgraded) laundry equipment,  always look for an option that allows you to source the kit you need together with quick emergency response that will get them back up and running quickly if anything goes wrong.

Business-friendly laundry machine ‘rental’ options often combine equipment supply with breakdown cover for a simple monthly payment, with nothing to pay upfront and provide a cost-effective alternative to purchasing equipment outright.

Nothing quite says ‘professional’ like crisp, clean white sheet or fluffy white towels. However, a number of common washing mistakes (many of which you may not even realise you’re doing) can leave your once bright whites a washed out shade of grey or yellow over time.

Whether you run a laundry room in a care home, school, hospital, spa, restaurant or another busy business, here are four simple steps for keeping whites white – and they’ll work at home too.

How to wash whites

By following these simple tips for your white laundry, it’s easy to ensure that your sheets, towels and other items stay as bright as the day they were bought. Here’s how to keep your whites white in a busy business laundry…

Separate colours and fabrics

While it may be common practice to not mix black and white laundry garments in the wash, it’s easy to overlook the mixing of other, lighter shades (such as blue, green and pink) with white items. This won’t necessarily result in colour transfer or ‘bleeding’, but white fabric is prone to picking up fluff from darker items, which will make it appear dingy and unclean.

If you’re in a hard water area, this can discolour your whites.

Ask a laundry expert about water softeners.

As well as colours, you should also take into account fabric types when washing whites for residents, uniforms for staff, chef whites or things like table cloths and towels. This is due to the fact that some delicate materials will require laundering at a lower temperature, or even by hand.

To make separating your fabrics as simple as possible, refer to the following guidelines: 

  • Acetates and acrylics can be washed together
  • Cotton, linen and similar materials can be washed together
  • Wool should be washed separately
  • Delicates should be washed separately (often by hand)
  • Do not skip rinses as detergent carryover will discolour items when drying

Avoid overloading your washer

Packing laundry into your machine might seem like a good way to get more done in less time, but it could lead to poor results on your load of whites (and re-washing which uses up more water and electricity and will bump up your bills). Always leave enough space between items for the water to flush away the grease, grime and dirt to get the brightest whites.

Wash at the highest temperature possible

As a general rule, white garments should be washed at a temperature of at least 65 degrees. This is typically the best option for white clothing or sheets as higher temperatures are the most effective at removing ingrained dirt (as well as sanitising and killing germs).

However, as we already know, wool and similarly delicate fabrics will shrink or obtain further damage if laundered at too high a temperature. To ensure such items retain their original brightness without their quality being compromised, you could add a whitener or brightener to the wash (please ask our experts for advice on this).

While the above guidance is a good ‘rule of thumb’ guide for keeping whites white, it’s also possible to get the same results or better at low temperatures – using ozone laundry. This natural (disinfection) method also opens up fibres more than a traditional thermal wash, which can help you get soft, fluffy towels that impress your guests.

Discover OTEX Ozone Laundry system and get bright whites at low temperatures >>

Use the correct detergent

White laundry, black and brightly coloured garments all have different requirements to keep them looking their very best. To boost the brightness of your items and prevent dingy whites, opt for a detergent with an added bleaching agent. Be warned though…bleach shouldn’t be used to get the same effect on bright colours as this will fade them.

Once you’ve found the most suitable detergent, it’s important to use the right amount during each wash cycle. While items may not be badly stained (leading many to believe that they only need to use half of the recommended amount of detergent) this can have a detrimental effect on your washing equipment. Find out how detergent auto-dosing could help.

By not using the recommended amount of laundry detergent, grease and limescale will build up in the washer, resulting in garments picking up more dirt during the wash. Use too much, and your items will come out of the wash with sticky residue that attracts dirt quicker than a fully rinsed item.

Prevent and pre-treat stains

We’ve all had those moments – you’re wearing a new white outfit, when suddenly you’ve spilt something down the front of it. The same can happen with new bedding, uniforms, towels and other expensive-to-replace items. Luckily, it’s easy to salvage your items with these simple tips…

  • Check each item before you put it in the laundry. If a stain is visible, it should be treated before it goes into the washing machine.
  • ​Don’t let the stain dry – soak and treat it as soon as possible, ideally within 15 minutes. As soon as it becomes ingrained in the fabric, it will be all the harder to remove.
  • Immediately pre-treat the garment with a stain removal product (ideally oxygen based or a product from a professional detergents range rather than vinegar or lemon juice as some might suggest) formulated specifically for the stain type (such as sauce or ink). Alternatively, you can use a small amount of detergent.
  • Use chlorine bleach as a pre-treatment only as a last resort– it has the potential to damage delicate garments, so always check the inner care label before applying to the fabric.
  • After pre-treating, try a cold wash (or look into ozone laundry) – in some instances, hot water can seal in stains, making them harder to remove in the long-run.
  • If your stain isn’t removed after laundering, don’t let the garment dry. Pre-treat and wash for a second time (or until the stain is considerably faded or removed).
  • To prevent yellowing from everyday wear, simply add half a cup of baking soda to each wash. ​Bonus tip: use a colour remover – they can be very effective on whites too.

Remember: if in doubt, check the clothes washing labels before washing or treating garments.

Iron carefully

Always check the recommended ironing settings for the clothes or fabrics you’re washing. Too hot and you could scorch the fabric, too cool and you won’t remove all the wrinkles, which can leave your whites looking dull due to ‘crease shadows’.

Our friendly commercial laundry team has all the advice you need when it comes to tips on how to wash whites to keep them white, so please get in touch if you’re having issues.

Your hotel bedding can be the difference between an unwelcome complaint at reception and a five-star review on social media. But with so many things to look after around the clock, it can be easy to overlook your laundry processes and forget just how important this ‘chore’ is to a guest’s experience.

Below are some of the most common things to avoid when it comes to your hotel bedding – with eight mistakes that could make your laundry less effective and your customers less likely to return.

Mistake 1: Outsourcing your laundry

Asking someone else to do your hotel bedding laundry can be a costly mistake. You lose control of the washing process (and standards) and could face delays when it comes to your supplier picking up or dropping off a load. You’ll also need to buy extra sets of spares or ‘pars’ for when bedding is taken off-site – or damaged.

“We used to outsource our laundry, and it was very expensive even though the quality wasn’t great. We tried every company we could find, but the washing always came back stained, damaged or creased – and we never seemed to have enough. We decided to bring everything in-house and do the laundry ourselves. We haven’t looked back since…

Shirley Trinder, The Grand Hotel

The disadvantages of linen hire:

  • Minimum charges often apply – usually for long fixed contracts
  • Smaller hotels often pay more ‘per piece’ than larger hotels, for the same service
  • You’ll have to pay charges for lost or damaged bedding
  • Linen takes a long time to count out and in when hiring, putting more strain on your staff
  • A hire partner may deliver substandard bedding that you have to reject, leaving you short
  • Your provider may be (or have been) bought out, putting quality of service at risk

Hotel Bedding Mistakes To Avoid

Need help with your hotel laundry? Request a callback from our friendly team.

Mistake 2: Relying on domestic washers

Many hotels think that they can use domestic equipment to handle their laundry, assuming they will save money on the machines themselves, but not taking into account other hidden costs and flaws. Choosing ‘retailer’ white goods to use, for example, as a hotel washing machine, is a false economy. Over time this can lead to issues around efficiency, performance and hygiene.

For example, high street washers may be too small (you’ll need to do more washes, costing you more in energy consumption), may not get up to – or hold – the temperatures needed for a thorough germ-busting wash, and your warranty will be void if using a domestic machine in a commercial setting leaving you with costly, reputation-damaging downtime in an emergency. Commercial laundry equipment on the other hand is designed especially for heavy-duty, constant use and achieving the best results in busy hotels.

Commercial Laundry Equipment For Hotel Bedding

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Mistake 3: Overloading your washing machine and dryer

Your hotel washer should be around ¾ full for each load, which will give your bedding enough room to rise and fall in a ‘10-to-4’ position. This will ensure a good circulation of water, heat and detergent, and ensure your sheets don’t bundle-up, preventing a full clean.

If your staff don’t leave enough room in the drum (a rule of thumb is to be able to move your hand up and down above the bedding once the machine is loaded), the cycle could also end with a poor spin, causing the washer to hold water and leaving you needing to repeat the spin. Wetter bedding could also mean a longer time in the dryer, which will damage fabrics and increase your energy bills.

Mistake 4: Underloading your washing machine

Is underloading a washing machine bad? We understand that you’re a hotel, you’re busy and you need fresh sheets constantly. However, it’s important to avoid the temptation of rushing a wash and putting too small a load in your machine. Underloading your hotel washing machine can result in lower friction, and bedding can end up floating in the wash water with no ‘lift’ and in turn leave you with poor wash quality

Mistake 5: Using the wrong settings

Lots of hotels who come to us for help with their laundry service have made the mistake of thinking big loads and big sheets need high temperature washes. But using the wrong setting can lead to damaged sheets and pillowcases – as well as ‘fixing’ stains. Always read the labels to make sure your fabrics – and investment – is protected.

Again, when you’re under pressure to achieve a quick room and laundry turnover, it can be easy to fall into the trap of putting your bedding through a quick wash or express cycle. This won’t be suitable for linen (as well as towels and laundry from your kitchen) that have fallen victim to tea, coffee or food stains, and you could even end up with ‘soiling residue’ in your machines over time…with biofilms also exposing every subsequent load to a risk of malodours and even cross-contamination.

Mistake 6: Not using laundry detergent correctly

The washing machine detergents you use – and the way you use them – can have a huge bearing on wash quality. Too little and you’ll struggle to get the cleaning results or stain removal you need. Too much and you’ll reduce the washer’s mechanical action by ‘over-cushioning’ your load – preventing soap, water and heat penetration. Poor wash quality can also increase the risk the build-up of residues on your bedding, which can even cause skin irritancy and staining from the chemicals themselves.

It’s a good idea to look for ‘auto-dosing’ pumps when doing your commercial laundry in-house. These can be tailored to your needs (like water type and the bedding fabric you’re washing) and ensure just the right amount of detergent is used every time.

Mistake 7: Ignoring the need for disinfection

Clean is not always clean. Many hotels understandably make the mistake of judging their laundry purely on appearance, but it’s vital that you take steps to disinfect your bedding too.

Poor wash quality can put your guests at risk of Norovirus, E.Coli and other outbreaks

Unique to JLA: OTEX ozone disinfection provides a way to prove disinfection has taken place – harnessing the natural power of ozone O3 to kill bacteria, moulds, yeasts and viruses and eliminate the risk of cross-infection in laundry. Learn more about our ozone washer system here.

Request a free callback to discuss JLA’s OTEX ozone laundry disinfection

Mistake 8: Forgetting to clean your dryer’s lint filter

When lint from your bedding builds up and clogs your dryers, the machine can overheat (while also taking longer to dry and increasing your energy bills). And with lint itself trapped in the filter, that overheating could even lead to a fire in your laundry. Cleaning can often be overlooked in a busy hotel, but it’s important to make sure staff carry out this simple task regularly.

Using a ‘SAFE’ commercial tumble dryer in your on-premise hotel laundry not only gives you the peace of mind of having an in-built fire extinguishing system, but also comes with the advantage of an automatic ‘clean lint filter’ prompt for maximum efficiency.

Top tips for washing your hotel bedding

Washing Guidance for Cotton Bedlinen

  • Wash before use
  • Wash at 50°C or 60°C
  • Expect 4-8% shrinkage (our sizing allows for this)
  • Hot iron when slightly damp to give a crisp finish
  • Don’t bleach – This will reduce the life of the product
  • Soak stained bedding in water if immediate laundering is not possible

Washing Guidance for Polycotton Bedlinen

  • Use a detergent intended for colours (to avoid colour fade due to OBA build up)
  • A light iron is suggested

Tips provided with thanks to our friends at Mitre Linen

For more advice on how to get the best results for your bedding, get in touch with our laundry team and ask for expert advice on the machines you need.