Guide to infection control for care home laundries

Washing machine drum

Keeping on track with the latest infection control guidelines can seem like a monumental task. With laundry rooms at the front line of a care home’s strict infection control protocols, we’ve asked our experts at WASHCO to come up with their top tips to ensure your care home is compliant.

1. Make sure you have the right machines

First and foremost, you need to make sure you have the right machines for the job, and that your machines are properly maintained and serviced.

  • Make sure your machines meet WRAS regulations. All washing machines in a care setting must be Category 5 rated.
  • Check your machines are the right capacity. Our handy care calculator can help you calculate your requirements
  • Have enough machines for the job. Our Buyers Guide provides all you need to know about laundry equipment for care homes.
  • Service your machines regularly. Find out what a WASHCO service covers.

2. Put the right laundry processes in place

The process behind cleaning laundry correctly hasn’t significantly changed since Herbert Sinner developed a method in the 1950s around achieving good cleaning results. It is built on the principle that four factors must be correct to achieve high standards of cleanliness and is still critical to ensure you get the best results.

Mechanical effect

Making sure the laundry is being agitated enough and receives the right level of force from the water and rotation of the drum, so that stains and dirt are removed. This is it’s important that machines aren’t overfilled because it reduces the agitation of individual items in the centre of the machine.

Temperature and time

The right combination of temperature and time are needed to ensure thermal disinfection is achieved. The current HTM01-04 guidelines provide guidance on the length of time and the temperature you need to reach. to disinfect your linen. Choosing the right programmes for your machines will give you the confidence that correct temperatures and timings are being applied.

The latest smart washers and dryers such as the WASHCONNECT range provide innovative technology to give you the confidence that the correct programmes are always being used.


Chemicals are, of course, also key to the process. Make sure your care home uses the right dosage level, dependent on the level of soiling. The WASHCO range of commercial laundry detergents offers best-in-class results, based on extensive research and development.

3. Ensure your staff have the right training

All staff who come into contact with laundry need to be trained on the impact they can have on infection control from the person who removes linen from a service user’s bed to the staff who work in the laundry to the person who is getting linen from the linen cupboard. You can download our free Love Your Laundry Poster with hints and tips for all staff, to display on your laundry room wall.

If you need advice on infection control within your laundry, please get in touch by calling 08000 546 546 or emailing Our professional, approachable team can help with your questions and are also happy to carry out a free review of your care home’s laundry.