A staggering 99 per cent of guests surveyed considered good-quality towels and bed linen, very important, and 96 per cent said they wouldn’t return to a hotel if they were poor-quality or stained. The laundry department thus becomes crucial says Vicki Williams.

Do towels and linens influence guest decisions about hotels? The answer is yes, according to one study. A staggering 99 per cent of guests surveyed considered good-quality towels and bed linen, very important, and 96 per cent said they wouldn’t return to a hotel if they were poor-quality or stained. It follows on that laundry equipment is connected to guest satisfaction. What are the current options open to hoteliers so they can manage water and energy consumption while still maintaining the integrity of the towels and linens? AHCT spoke to some experts to learn more.

Technology is important, says Rick Kelly, vice president, sales and marketing, Milnor. “One of the best options for the hotel industry is our RinSave, a proprietary software that drives the basket at a precise G-force that slings the wash liquor (including water, chemistry, and soil) out of the goods after a wash step. This feature saves up to two rinses per load.”

Sustainable Automation

Y S Wang, sales manager, Jensen Asia, agrees that state of the art equipment that focuses on sustainable automation is key. “Hoteliers should consider standalone washer extractors which are soft mounted instead of traditional rigid mount. This is because soft mount machines are usually high spin machines which has a higher G-force. This will reduce moisture retention of full dried linen like towels which means that less energy is required to dry them.”

As for ironers he says, flexible chest design EXP ironer has a higher efficiency than conventional chest design. If gas is available, hoteliers can also consider Gas Heated EXPG ironers.

Wang says its products continue to be popular in the market place due to proven technologies. “Our tunnel washer Jensen Senking Universal with standing bath design revolutionised the market with its proven technology for being able to process different types of linen material in the same tunnel washer. It also reuses energy and water internally.” Each new version of the washer comes with enhanced features inline with technical advancements.

Alliance Laundry Systems’, Andrew Kan, regional director of sales, SE Asia confirms, hoteliers are spoilt for choice for reliable products to meet their needs. “Hoteliers select equipment that are designed with ecologically-saving features and reputable and established manufacturers such as Alliance Laundry Systems that have washer extractor machines that do just that.” In regards to its own products they come with such environmentally friendly, cost control features such as Optispray, Eco cycles, high G force, which Kan says give benefits such as higher performances, lower costs, water savings, cycle time savings, superior rinsing, etc. “Also, controls for such superior machines have come a long way, resulting in such features as Unilinc and Totalvue, that allow laundry management to set goals and track results in monitoring washing performances.”

Service Is Key

On the Drying side, he says, new technologies include Optidry, whose over-dry prevention technology features stop dryers at the ideal moment that ideal dryness levels are reached, eliminating expenses associated with over drying.

In addition to its products and technology Kelly saves that a defining factor of the company is service. “Local service support is key. We use a network of dealers worldwide who provide service support.”

Wang agrees that local contacts are important. “The reason why hotels purchased from us is because we have reliable products and also local distributors which can be trusted, with excellent service backup.”

Also pointing to service as an important purchasing factor, and company definer Kan says, “Aside from popular branded products, the other most important factor is the service and maintenance support provided by suppliers. Hence hoteliers need to evaluate the products not only based on the best products, but also that manufacturers of these products provide the service, parts, and warranty services readily and locally available to the hotel locations.”

Kelly says that regardless of equipment that are other steps that hotels can take. “For example, a simple thing a hotel can do to save water and energy is to load the machinery to full rated capacity. Just doing that alone utilises machinery to its fully designed efficiency. Under-loading machinery wastes water, energy and chemicals.”

Cordis, Hong Kong’s, assistant executive housekeeper, uniform & linen, Ricky Lau agrees that choosing the right equipment is only part of the equation.

“Part of the reason that Cordis are able to consistently provide high quality linen and towels is because we carefully manage the washing temperature, chemical dosage, mechanical action of the machines and time control.”

Lau says that management of the process is also vital. “For example, when washing the linens, adjust the water temperature and control the timing appropriately, which enables the cleaning products to effectively perform.”

Lau should know, on average, at full capacity the hotel laundry washes and dries 4,500 towels (of varying sizes) or a total of 1,890kg, each day. When adding in linen that total increases to 3,865kg.