Richard Hawarth, which supplies linens to hotels such as Radisson Edwardian, Hard Rock Hotel, Gleneagles, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, among many others, is offering advice to hoteliers on how best to ensure laundry is spotlessly clean and bug free. The advice is particularly useful to establishments with on-premises laundries (OPL) that do not outsource their textile care needs to commercial laundries and linen rental businesses.

The Covid-19 pandemic has concentrated public attention on hyper-cleanliness so hotels will need to demonstrate to their guests that they are taking the business of protecting them from Covid-19 (and other pathogens) very seriously.

A blog on the Richard Haworth website offers top tips for ensuring laundry is spotlessly clean and Covid-free. It urges hoteliers to start with good quality, cotton rich products that are durable and can stand up to higher wash temperatures without suffering any damage to the fabric.

Thermal disinfection
Richard Haworth advises: “Thermal disinfection occurs at 71 degrees centigrade, a temperature that laundries use frequently. It is possible to achieve thermal disinfection at 65 degrees centigrade but to do this successfully; the cycle must be extended by at least a further 10 minutes, increasing the costs incurred. Using a cooler or shorter wash cycle will not entirely destroy the potentially infectious bacteria. As superior quality cotton products will be able to withstand the higher temperature option, it is best to go this route, for high standards of cleanliness, without reducing the lifespan of the product.

Detergent disinfection
The blog goes on to explain that detergents act in two main ways. First, the ingredients contained in most common detergents quickly break down soiling. Second, the detergent acts as a suspending medium to keep the dirt that is released from the fabric in the water, so that it is not re-deposited back into the linen and towels.

“A critical success factor in using detergents is that they work optimally when the machine is not overloaded. We recommend that machines are filled to 80% of their capacity. This will ensure proper water flow and movement of the fabrics during the mechanical action of the machine. The suspended dirt in the water will be washed away before it has a chance to resettle in the fabric fibres.”

Chemical disinfection
Adding chemicals such as bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and chlorine to laundry is not necessary if the correct temperatures are used. Washing with bleach can weaken the linen and reduce the lifespan of the product

If additional chemicals are to be added apart from detergent, Richard Haworth recommends checking that they are still active at such high temperatures. “By following the steps above, you should have peace of mind that your linen is safe for guests and Covid-free during these trying times,” says the blog.

Read more from Richard Haworth here