7 Hotel Laundry Room Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Bottom Line


Identifying methods to reduce expenses and enhance profits is crucial for the success of every company. Striking a balance between delivering exceptional customer service and maintaining financial sustainability poses a significant challenge for hotels, often underestimated by outsiders.

One area that requires careful consideration is the laundering of guest linens, including bedding and towels. The quality of laundering can profoundly impact a guest's experience at the hotel. From the freshness of the bedding to the cleanliness of the towels, every aspect influences a guest's perception of their stay, all of which hinge on the performance of the hotel's laundry operations.

Despite the pivotal role of laundry in a hotel's operations, even seasoned hoteliers often commit common mistakes. These errors can lead to inflated operational costs, guest dissatisfaction, and compromised service quality.

Here's an overview of the challenges associated with hotel laundry equipment:

#1. Overloading Laundry Machines

This is a common error committed by both commercial laundries and individuals alike. The allure of large, industrial-size laundry machines often leads to overfilling them beyond the recommended load size.

Overloading a laundry machine prevents proper distribution of detergent throughout the load and hampers the agitation process, leading to incomplete cleaning cycles and residual soil in linens and towels.

Moreover, operating at maximum capacity imposes excessive strain on the machinery, accelerating wear and tear and resulting in more frequent breakdowns. Consequently, the expenses associated with laundry machine repair or replacement escalate.

#2. Under-loading Laundry Machines

On the contrary, some operators, concerned about overburdening their machines, may err on the side of caution by not loading enough laundry into them. However, this approach can be highly inefficient. Even with a half-load, a typical laundry machine consumes the same amount of water and electricity as a full load.

Half-loaded machines waste water and time spent by laundry staff in-house operations. This practice effectively cuts in half the laundry processing capacity per day. Therefore, if your laundry business operates at full capacity with full loads, running half loads could result in falling short of guest requirements for items like bedding linens and towels.

#3. Neglecting Washing and Drying Machine Maintenance

This common oversight is often disregarded by inexperienced hotel owners and managers, who may question why machines designed to clean themselves need maintenance. However, the reality is that residual water often remains in washing machines between loads, leading to unpleasant odors if left unattended. Regular cleaning at the end of each day is essential to prevent water stagnation and preserve machine efficiency.

Another critical aspect that is often overlooked is the maintenance of hotel dryers. Failure to clean these machines can lead to various issues, including reduced performance due to lint buildup, fire hazards from accumulated lint, poor laundry quality caused by lint transfer, and increased maintenance costs - all of which could lead to a negative guest experience. Regular dryer maintenance is necessary to optimize performance, prevent fires, maintain quality, and ensure guest satisfaction.

#4. Excessive Chemical Usage

Using excess chemicals beyond what is necessary for the task at hand does not significantly improve fabric care or cleaning efficacy. In fact, it can accelerate premature wear and tear on fabrics.

Overdosing on detergent or other chemicals during the washing process can exacerbate issues such as color bleeding, causing fabrics to lose their vibrant appearance. Moreover, when lighter-colored garments are washed alongside darker fabrics, excessive dye from the latter may transfer onto the former, resulting in unsightly discoloration.

To mitigate this problem, we advise calculating the appropriate chemical formula per load based on the recommended amount provided by the detergent manufacturer for your specific load size and type of machine. This ensures efficient cleaning without compromising fabric integrity or appearance.

#5. Neglecting to Monitor Monthly Utilities and Chemical Use

Many hoteliers are unaware of the exact utility usage associated with their in-house laundering. Developing an efficient plan for optimizing laundry operations becomes challenging without regularly monitoring water, electricity, and chemical consumption.

While the monthly utility bill provides insight into overall water consumption, it fails to pinpoint specific usage related to the laundry operation. Consequently, excessive utility expenses may be attributed to the laundry rather than other factors. Implementing monitoring systems to track utility and chemical usage accurately is essential, enabling informed decisions for improving efficiency and reducing costs.

#6. Not Adjusting Machine Settings for Different Fabrics

Sometimes, in a rush between wash loads, the laundry staff overlooks the importance of adjusting machine settings according to the type of cleaned fabric. This could lead to delicate items like silk or lace fabrics, such as curtains, getting damaged or torn when exposed to intense heat and strong chemicals meant for heavy-duty towels or comforters.

Similarly, running heavily soiled items through a delicate cycle may result in inadequate cleaning, requiring a second wash cycle. This damages clothing and wastes water, electricity, and chemicals. It's essential to correctly set machine parameters based on the specific requirements of different fabrics to ensure optimal cleaning results while minimizing resource wastage.

#7. Persisting with Outdated and Inefficient Machines

For a considerable period, there was little incentive to upgrade hotel laundry equipment, particularly if the existing laundry machines were still functional. However, commercial laundry machines have seen several types of innovation in recent years, making upgrades a justified expense that can add financial value to your organization.

The landscape of hotel laundry has evolved with the emergence of innovative solutions like Dexter Laundry's advanced systems, including their O Series products. These modern machines offer enhanced fabric care and substantial cost-saving benefits, including

  • A reduction of up to 80% in water utility usage,
  • Half the amount of chemicals required, and
  • Decreased reliance on heating utilities for cleaning processes

Everyone has a phone, so several companies, like Dexter laundry, have developed applications for managing machines remotely.  Dexter Live, for example, offers convenient features for managing both on-premise and vended laundry solutions.

For on-premise solutions, Dexter Live provides:

  • Easy management of laundry operations with precise controls.
  • Simple programming via DexterLive.com for customized cycle settings.
  • Settings for up to 100 unique cycles and multi-lingual options.
  • Detailed reporting to track machine downtime and cycle usage

For vended operations, Dexter Live offers:

  • Real-time monitoring of business performance, revenue, and machine usage.
  • Customizable reporting options for in-depth analysis.
  • Easy programming for maximizing revenue and adjusting cycles.
  • Remote access to quickly respond to customer needs, including free vend options.

It's also important to note that today's commercial laundry machines are generally more durable than older models due to technological advancements, more robust materials like stainless steel, and design improvements that reduce wear and tear. Modern machines often feature more efficient motors and advanced programming to prevent overloading. They are designed for easier and less costly maintenance with modular components.

Optimizing Hotel Laundry Operations for Enhanced Guest Satisfaction

You can significantly boost your laundry room's energy efficiency and overall effectiveness by rectifying these common mistakes in your hotel laundry operations. This will ensure that your guests receive the clean, high-quality linens they anticipate and contribute to elevating their overall experience during their stay.

We understand the importance of optimizing hotel laundry operations to meet the highest cleanliness and guest satisfaction standards. Our team is dedicated to providing tailored solutions addressing your needs and challenges.

Whether you require equipment upgrades, training programs for your staff, or expert guidance on enhancing your laundry processes, we are here to assist you every step of the way. We also offer financial incentives and leasing to make it easier on your wallet.

Contact us today to explore how our comprehensive range of products and services can help increase the performance of your hotel laundry operations and drive greater success for your business.