Extending Linen Life
For businesses like medical offices, spas, restaurants, and hotels, keeping up with linen cleaning can be frustrating and, quite frankly, a major hassle. Plus, the cost involved in maintaining your linens can quickly add up. We want to take this time to offer some advice on ways to extend the life of your linens should you choose to launder in-house.
Linen Par Levels
Your linen inventory should be broken down into three (possibly four) par groups. One “par” of linens is equal to the total number of each type of linen needed at one time.
- On the bed
- Being laundered
- Stocked on the shelf and ready for the next rotation
- Possible emergency backups
To calculate the amount needed:
- Daily average usage x Safety stock x Number of days supply needed
An important, yet often overlooked part of linen par levels is usage and wash/dry quality determines the life expectancy of the linen. Proper care and stock reduces downtown or inability to fulfill order.
It may sound counterintuitive, but wash capacity is based on dry weights on linen. Dry capacity is based on wet weight of linen. The wash cycle adds, on average, 20 to 30 percent weight.
Factors that affect wash turn out include:
- Wash cycle programming
- G-force extraction
- Control options
Pay close attention to how you’re drying the linens.
- Manufacturer test cycles prove over-drying and improper loading reduces linen life by 35%. To correctly load the dryer, untangle the items and place them into the dryer one at a time.
- Signs you’ve loaded incorrectly include balled or tangled linens or items still wet after the initial cycle.
- Dry the appropriate length of time at the appropriate temperature (hint: check the label).
- Ensure the dryer is not overloaded to allow sufficient airflow.
If purchasing your own commercial dryer, options that will save you money in the long run include reversing, moisture sensor, control options, and additional capacity.
You wouldn’t miss an oil change for your car, would you? Dirty, broken, and/or not properly maintained equipment requires longer cycles, diminishing efficiency. Extend the life of your linen and your equipment by performing routine maintenance. Preventative maintenance reduces equipment downtime and costly repairs since faulty operation and failing parts are found ahead of time.
Preventive maintenance is more than simply cleaning the machines. It includes lubrication, component inspection, operational control, and more. LES offers flat rate preventative maintenance service with convenient schedules, replacing components on a scheduled and as-needed basis.
Daily Use & Maintenance
The LES team can provide in-person training at your place of business to show:
- Proper sorting techniques
- Proper loading and unloading
- Cycle selection for washer and dryer
- Daily operating maintenance
- Keeping your machines clean
Each of these little steps will ensure efficiency in your washing and drying, extend the life of your linens and your equipment, protecting your investments. If you’re interested in a Linen Management Course from LES, please check our events page to see when the next one is scheduled.