The do’s and don’ts for storing clean linen

February 12, 2019

Why storage is important for consideration

Hospitality venues and health care facilities generate large amounts of soiled linen which need to be processed daily in a commercial laundry environment. The investment in linen forms a large part of these business’ operating costs. Therefore, it makes sense to ensure linen is stored and handled correctly to minimise replacement costs. But how can you get longevity without compromising on the quality of the linen?

An essential part of every laundry operation is to ensure that there is enough clean linen available at all times for the use of residents or guests. It is also important to keep enough in storage to have on hand as required, and to ensure that storage complies with hygiene requirements. So, the two key factors to increasing linen life and reduced replacement costs are rotation of stock and storage.

Do’s and Don’ts for storing clean linen

Do:

  1. Reduce handling – In order to reduce contamination of linen and maintain hygiene standards, handling of linen should be kept to a minimum. Storing linen in assigned areas which are easily accessible to staff and labelled is vitally important – Such areas may include linen closets, or on trolleys using an impress system which eliminates double handling.
  2. Cover –When storing linen it is important to ensure that dust or other contaminants are not able to soil it. If it is on a trolley without doors, use a cover. If it is stored in a cupboard, ensure the door is kept closed when the cupboard is not in use.
  3. When transporting, such as between buildings where pathways are not undercover, it is important to cover the clean linens with a trolley cover.
  4. Regular cleaning of the storage area with a good quality disinfectant also ensures that linen remains in a clean environment. This may be a cupboard or the linen trolley itself. No soiled linen should be placed in the linen cupboard, and no food or beverages should be consumed where there is a risk of contamination.
  5. Labelling – Labelling storage areas ensures all linen has a place to be stored and makes it easier for managing inventory and replacing linens. It also helps to reduce handling.
  6. Stock rotation – Ensure that stock is being rotated regularly, from back to front, and bottom to top.
  7. Ensure there is a ‘rag out register’ to ensure that you keep track of retired linens and to give visibility on what needs to be ordered as replacements.
  8. Handy tip: linen should be stored at a maximum 2 piles deep to maximise stock rotation, making it easier to ensure that the stock is rotated regularly. The rotation pattern should be standardised so all staff follow the same procedure. For example, pull back pile forward, flip the pile upside-down.

 Don’t:

  1. Handle clean linen with dirty hands, which can contaminate the linen before storage. Wash hands first with disinfectant.
  2. Don’t transport linen in a trolley that is not fit for purpose.
  3. Stacking linens too high will cause issues during transport such as linen falling. An OH&S incident is more likely with a highly stacked trolley. Impaired vision can cause collision with people or objects. Trolleys should always be pulled rather than pushed to avoid blind spot collisions. When manually towing multiple carts, no more than two should be towed at once.
  4. Don’t allow staff to store linen into a non-designated area such as patient rooms or a counter top. This ensures that all linen can be found and reduces lost linen and therefore costly replacements.
Your Commercial Laundry Experts

If you are looking for a laundry supplier that has a solution for your every need, then Aqualogic are here to help. Our wide range of linen storage, trolleys and trolley covers are offered to all types of businesses, from hospitality and healthcare institutions to coin-operated laundromats and commercial laundries. For any more questions or general enquiries, please contact us here or give us a call on 1300 222 119.