Completing a quick health check on your laundry

July 23, 2018

Whether you realise it or not, the health of your laundry is incredibly important. You can achieve a much more efficient operation, with a great result, just by ensuring that your laundry is in a healthy state.

The laundry is the central cleaning hub for any hotel or healthcare facility, so it’s important to ensure there is consistent health and safety protocols kept in place. You’re probably wondering, “How do I measure the health of a laundry?” Well, Aqualogic are the experts that have the tools to measure this important area of your business.

A great place to start is to have a laundry health checklist. Here’s our recommended checklist that covers all the basics:

Safety: Looking at all things that effect your personal wellbeing:

  • Do your staff have the necessary PPE (Personal Protective equipment)?
    • Disposable gloves
    • Aprons
    • Face masks
  • Is there a spill kit available and accessible to clean up a chemical spill, in case of emergency?
  • Are your Chemical Safety Data Sheets up to date?
    • What are your results? Do you need to follow up and bring resolve to sections that don’t meet criteria?

Statistics: Logistics to be aware of:

  • What is your rewash percentage (%) per week?
    • Around 3% is acceptable, but anything over 5% is getting excessive.
  • How much do you spend on linen replacement per year?
    • Did you know that the average aged care facility spends close to $10k every single year, just on new bedding and linen;
    • Keep a record of all linen removed from circulation which will help you know how much to reorder
  • Consider reviewing your linen inventory on a regular basis to identify stock shrinkage, usually due to staff throwing out a linen piece that is heavily soiled.
  • Is there a feedback system to enable guests and residents to provide feedback and suggestions?
    • Setting up a system that allows people to share their experience and pass on genuine feedback could be a great asset for the health of your laundry.

Efficiency: Are you achieving maximum productivity? Goals to hit:

  • How many kilograms per operator hour do your staff process?
    • Keeping in mind that every laundry size is different; an average of 25 kilos per operator hour is considered good.
  • Are you washing full loads? What percentage of all loads are not full loads?
    • It’s important for both saving money, and saving water that you utilize the washing machines to their full potential. You should be running full loads as much as possible. If you’re running more than 10% under a full load, consider adjusting collection times, increase your linen inventory or replace your machines with the correct sizes.
  • How often are your staff removing and cleaning the lint screens?
    • Within 2-3 loads, the lint will reduce airflow, extending drying times. It’s recommended that lint build-up is scraped off the lint screens after every load, and then clean the lint compartment at the end of the day. This will improve dryer efficiency and reduce drying cycle times.

Compliance: Are you staying in line with Australian Standards?

The Australian Standards for laundry have guidelines that need to be followed. How does your operation shape up?

  • Do you have a fly zapper/insect trap installed in the soiled area of your laundry? [AS/NZS 4146:2000 2.2.1 (j)]
  • Do you have a copy of the wash formula records for every program used in your laundry? [AS/NZS 4146:2000 3.6.2]
  • Do you have the appropriate records to prove the wash process is disinfecting your linens?
    • For thermal disinfection, temperature check/logs should be undertaken by the laundry staff; for chemical infection, a bacterial enumeration test report should be available. [AS/NZS 4146:2000 3.6.3 and 3.6.4]

Reliability: Checking the consistency of your operation:

  • Do you have a maintenance program in place for your laundry equipment?
    • If not, why not? AS/NZS 4146:2000 outlines requirements to have a cleaning and maintenance program in place. [2.2.1 (i) (i)].
  • How often are your machines breaking down per month?
    • This should be no more than 1 breakdown per quarter per site.
  • How often are you getting the dryer exhaust ducts cleaned?
    • This should be done by a professional on an annual basis.

It’s always helpful having a checklist, or a list of things to take note of on a consistent basis to ensure health and safety are kept up to date. If you follow this simple checklist, we at Aqualogic believe that you will have a much healthier, more efficient and compliant laundry that people will feel safe using.

Your Commercial Laundry Experts

Aqualogic knows that a health check on your laundry will absolutely benefit your business. If you have any questions, or you would like some more internal advice on how you can have a healthier, more sustainable and more efficient laundry, then look no further than our services. Get in contact with us today, either online or call 1300 222 119.