Extending Linen Life

When managing your laundry, one area which can impact costs is the life-cycle of your linens.


How long can linen last?

150 washes = industry standard

200 washes = with considerable care

400 washes = with care and no chemicals

Cotton (with no washing) may last about 100 years and then disintegrate

Linen (with no washing) should last for ever-ref: Egyptian mummies.


What can I do to lengthen the life of my linens?

Good control of your wash chemistry

Good control of your wash chemistry can help minimise chemical damage. For example, bleaching removes stains but over-bleaching can rot cotton and linens. Therefore it is important to use the right detergents rather than being reliant on bleach. In addition, if you are using an alkali wash boost only use it to obtain sufficient alkalinity in the wash to remove soiling. If you use too much it can shorten linen life.

Circulate your linen

When thinking about how much linen you need to stock and assessing costs, don’t forget to take into consideration how linens are impacted by washing. For example, if you are washing a towel every day it will last for 150 days (using the industry standard for the number of washes linen lasts). If you only have to wash it every other day as you rotate your linen, the same towel will last for 300 days.

Fault free equipment

Make sure that all of the equipment which is used during the laundry process is in good condition. Equipment defects can cause holes and tears, for example, sharp protrusions from bed assemblies, broken edges on chutes, misaligned cages in washing machines and tumble driers

Staff training

As part of your staff training ensure that your team know that they need to use the right linen for the right job. For example, not to use towels for cleaning chemicals off bathroom services, not using napkins and tea cloths as kitchen wipes or for knife polishing.


Linen Life