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CHAPTER 8. Managing an On-Premise Laundry Objective : examining how to manage a laundry within the hotel. Responsibilities of the Exec. HK and Laundry Manager in OPL Management. preventing resoiling of clean linens extending the life of linens keeping OPL efficient and cost-effective.

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chapter 8


Managing an On-Premise Laundry

Objective: examining how to manage a laundry within the hotel

responsibilities of the exec hk and laundry manager in opl management
Responsibilities of the Exec. HK and Laundry Manager in OPL Management
  • preventing resoiling of clean linens
  • extending the life of linens
  • keeping OPL efficient and cost-effective
planning the opl
Planning the OPL

While planning the OPL, consider;

  • the design of the OPL to handle maximum output for peak business periods.
    • Output is measured in pounds. The number of pounds is related to the occupancy levels and covers in F&B outlets.
  • space needed for the OPL.
    • laundry needs, amount of equipment, amount of linen in storage, extra space for growth
Equipment that should be purchased
    • output level for amount of equipment, type of linen for type of equipment, energy and water conservation
  • Whether to have a valet service or not
    • dry-cleaning equipment, separate work areas for valet staff
  • The size of the property and type of service
    • small OPL is around 400-800 square meter and process 400000 pounds of laundry per year , medium is 1500-2000 square meter and process 1.5 million pounds, large is 8000-18000 and process 8.5 million pounds of laundry per year.
laundering linens
Laundering Linens
  • Choice of fabric of the linen directly affects the cost of OPL operation.
  • Types of fabrics;
    • synthetics (polyester, nylon and acrylic): requires no-ironing and is more durable than all-cotton ones
    • all-natural fibers (wool and cotton)
    • polycotton (polyester and cotton blend): requires less care than all-natural but still has most of its comfort
When choosing linen, consider;
    • absorbing ability
    • whether ironing required, whether wrinkle resistant or not
    • durability
    • washing or drying temperatures (high or low)
    • shrinking
    • color retention
    • quick or slow drying
    • heavy or light

Ex. 4, pg 203 - General Care of Linen Fabrics

flow of linens through the opl
Flow of Linens through the OPL

The laundry cycle includes the following steps;

Ex. 5, pg 205 - The Flow of Laundry Through the OPL

  • collecting soiled linens; never use linen for any cleaning purposes
  • transporting soiled linens to the laundry; hand-carry/cart/linen chutes
  • sorting; by the degree of soiling (lightly, moderately and heavily soiled) and by the type of linen (fibers, weaves, colors and categories); important for the right temperature and formulas
washing; weigh the linen, and consider (1) time needed, (2) temperature - 83 to 88 centigrade for oily soils, 72 for heavy soils, 60 for kitchen rags and linen, (3) agitation “scrubbing”, (4) chemicals -include detergents, bleaches, softeners, etc.
    • wash cycles includes the following steps;

1. flush (1.5 - 3 min): dissolve and dilute water-soluble soil to reduce soil load

2. break (4 - 10 min, optional): a high-alkaline break products is added to loosen soil

3. suds (5 -8 min): actual wash cycle with detergent

4. carryover suds or intermediate rinse (2 - 5 min): removes soil and alkalinity to help bleach

5. bleach (5 - 8 min): kills bacteria, whitens fabric, removes stains

6. rinse (1.5 - 3 min): removes detergent and soil

7. intermediate extract (1.5 - 2 min, optional): high-sped spin removes detergent and soil, after the first rinse step. should not be used after suds step because it could drive soils back into the fabric.

8. sour/softener or starch/sizing (3 - 5 min): starches are added to stiffen cotton fabrics; sizing is added for polyester blends. Starching/sizing replaces the sour /softener step.

9. extract (2 - 12 min): high speed spin removes moisture, length of it depends on fabric types, extractor capacity and extractor speed

chemicals:a laundry’s chemical needs depend on (1) the types of linen it uses and (2) the soiling conditions encountered. Commercial OPL uses more alkali to enhance the detergent’s cleaning power. Major chemicals used in the laundry;

1. water: 2 to 5 gallons of water are used for every pound of dry laundry. Other chemicals must be added to help it clean better.

2. detergents: (a) synthetic detergents effective on oil and grease, (b) builders or alkalies are added to “a” to soften water and remove oil and grease, (c) soaps - neutral or pure soaps contain no alkalies, built soaps do.

3. fabric (optical) brighteners: keep fabrics looking new and colors close to original, often pre-mixed with detergents.

4. bleaches: help remove stains, kill bacteria and whiten fabrics. There are two kinds (a) chlorine: used with any washable, natural, colorfast fiber. safe for some synthetics and destroy others. (b) oxygen: is milder. safe for most washable fabrics. works best in hot water and on organic stains. Both should not be used at the same time because they neutralize each other. A bleach’s pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity) and water temperature must be controlled to prevent fabric damage.

5. alkalies: help detergent lather better and keep stains suspended in the water after they been loosened and lifted from the fabric. Also help neutralize acidic stains (most stains are acidic), making the detergent more effective

6. antichlors: used in rinsing to ensure all the chlorine in the bleach has been removed.

7. mildewcides: prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus on linens for up to 30 days. These microorganisms can cause permanent stains that ruin linens. Moisture helps these to grow, that is why, soiled damp linen should not be allowed to sit in carts for long periods, should be dried and/or ironed when they are removed from washers or extractors.

8. sours: are mild acids to neutralize alkalinity in fabrics after washing and rinsing. Detergents and bleaches contain alkali and any residual alkali can damage fibers and cause yellowing/fading, and skin irritation and leave odors.

9. fabric softener: make fabrics more supple and easier to finish, added with sours in the final wash, can reduce ironing, speed up extraction, reduce drying time, reduce static electricity in fabric. Too much can decrease a fabric’s absorbency.

10.starches: give linen crisp appearance, added in the final step in washing.

  • extracting; removes excess moisture through high-speed spin, reduces the weight of the laundry, makes it easy to lift, reduces drying time.
finishing; gives the linen a crisp, wrinkle-free appearance, may require only drying (include towels, washcloths and some no-iron items) or include ironing (sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, damp napkins).
  • folding; time consuming when done manually; inspect the linen and reject stained, and torn items.
  • storing; post sorting and stacking, separates any linen types and sizes that were missed in pre-sorting, allowing to rest on shelves for 24 hours.
  • transferring linens to use areas; via clean carts
machines and equipment
Machines and Equipment

The choice of OPL machines and equipment is important for the success of the operation. Bad choice of OPL machines and equipment result in;

  • damaged linens
  • unsatisfactory cleaning performance
  • excessive energy and water costs
  • increased maintenance costs
  • higher linen and equipment costs
types of equipment for opl
Types of Equipment for OPL
  • Washing Machines
    • sized by capacity (vary from 25 to 1200 pound capacities)
    • there are “tunnel washers” with separate chambers
    • newest machines have automatic detergent and solution dispensing capabilities; older machines have manual dispensers
    • microprocessors; regulate water temperature, ease and flexibility in programming
    • re-use water; save energy, sewage, water and chemical costs
    • most has extraction capabilities; to remove excess water
Drying Machines
    • remove moisture by tumbling in a rotating cylinder through heated air passes. Air is heated by gas, electricity or steam.
  • Steam Cabinets and Tunnels
    • eliminate wrinkles from heavy linens such as blankets, bedspreads, curtains. A steam cabinet is a box in which items are hung and steamed to remove wrinkles. A steam tunnel moves items on hangers through a tunnel, steaming them and removing the wrinkles as they move through.
Flatwork Ironers and Pressing Machines
    • Ironers roll over the material, items can be fed into
    • presses flatten it, must be placed on the presses manually
    • both is time consuming
    • linen must be clean and moist
  • Folding Machines
    • holds one end of the item to be folded so that staff can fold it more easily.
    • provide the worker with an extra set of hands to assist in folding linen.
  • Rolling/Holding Equipment
    • used for linen handling.
    • carts are used to move linen
preventive maintenance
Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance program is essential to the efficient operation of OPL.

  • Daily maintenance procedures include;
    • checking safety devices
    • turning on steam, water, air valves
    • checking ironer roll pressure
    • cleaning dryer lint screens
  • Periodically;
    • checking water levels in washers
    • keeping records of utility use to identify leaking valves, damaged insulation, constricted gas, air, water paths
staff training
Staff Training

Manufacturers and distributors can help train employees about;

  • using the machines properly
  • providing safety instructions and updates about safety
  • inspecting all equipment daily before start-up
  • treating all equipment with care
valet service
Valet Service;

Means that the hotel will take care of guest laundry needs. Can be handled in two ways;

  • contract outside laundry or dry cleaning operation
  • have its own valet service equipment and staff
  • can be either same-day or over-night service
advantages of on premises valet service
Advantages of On-Premises Valet Service;

1. often quicker

2. promotes more goodwill with guests

3. allow the OPL to handle employee uniforms

4. generates revenue

staffing considerations
Staffing Considerations

To efficiently schedule the laundry staff, exec. HK or laundry manager must;

  • be able to forecast the hotel’s daily linen needs for three or four weeks in advance; by (1) reviewing the past records and determining the average number of pounds of linen used per occupied room and per dining room cover; (2) obtaining occupancy forecasts from FO and cover forecasts from F&B + should include special events that will affect the hotel’s linen needs
Total number of pounds of linen that the laundry will have to process the next day = the number of expected occupants (covers) ×the average number of pounds of linen used per occupied room (or cover)
  • be able to determine how many workers it will take to handle the load by paying attention to;
    • productivity records
    • minimum/maximum staff levels
    • 2 or 3 equally staffed shifts
other staffing considerations
Other Staffing Considerations
  • cross-training; allows every personnel do all the kinds of tasks in the laundry so that the operation is more flexible in emergencies e.g. illness.
  • when to schedule shifts; if the laundry is located at the ground floor, it should not operate at night.
  • shift staggering; allows one or two workers begin their shift early and then bringing in other workers at intervals of two or three hours. Such shift staggering provides full staffing in the middle of the day when the laundry load is heaviest.