Expert Interview – Hotel Laundry Solutions

This month, I interviewed Billy White, Dade Paper’s Director of Hospitality Sales. Billy is an expert on hotel laundry and housekeeping products and procedures. He spends much of his time working directly with hotel housekeeping managers, helping them improve their operations and elevate guest satisfaction. The appearance, softness and cleanliness of towels, bedding and table linens can make a big impact on overall guest satisfaction, so it is important to ensure laundry practices deliver the best results.

LC: How many years have you been in the business of providing solutions to the hospitality segment?

BW: I have been working in the hospitality segment since 1976, so about 40 years. When I started in the laundry segment of the business, the majority of on-premises laundries were processing their linen with dry chemicals, that is to say powders. Powders were economical and effective. The problem was dosing. The operators were either pouring in too much, too little, or the product was not getting in to the wash wheel.

Right around this time, chemical suppliers started introducing liquid laundry alternatives. This allowed the operator to introduce the proper builders, detergent, bleaches, softeners and sours in the proper dosing at the correct formula time.

LC: So, procedures are just as important as the products?

BW: Absolutely. There are excellent products on the market but they must be used properly to be effective. As an experienced distributor, this is where we can help our customers.

LC: What are some of the challenges hotels are having today?

BW: Over the years, linen prices have risen dramatically. It is extremely important to get white, bright, soft, and pleasant smelling sheets, towels, pillowcases, wash cloths, etc. in one wash cycle. This reduces replacement linen cost, water, sewage, utility and labor costs. These costs represent 92% of the total laundry operations. The chemicals only represent 8% of the cost.

LC: What innovative solutions are available that can help operators reduce their costs?

BW: We have started implementing cold water washing cycles that reduce the temperature of the water to save on utilities. Also, using less water per cycle saves on water and sewage charges and shorter cycle times save on labor. New chemical formulas utilize neutral pH chemistry which does not harm the cotton fibers, prolonging the life of the linens. We have been able to save operators 30%-37% of their total laundry spend.

LC: What are some simple things hotels can do to make a big impact in a short period of time?

BW: The simplest thing is to provide training classes for laundry personnel in pre-spotting, sorting, loading and proper drying times. All of these procedures, when done correctly, save time and money and ensure the linens look and feel great.

Billy White can be reached at wwhite@dadepaper.com.  He is available to consult with all of Dade Paper’s current (and future) hospitality segment customers.

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