Clean versus dye – what’s the future of dirty linen?

Hotel guests have higher expectations than ever before. And dated linen is a no-no for nine out of 10 of them, according to one UK survey.

As a result – and rightly so – hospitality managers have a scrupulous approach to anything faded, marked or tired-looking, whether that’s bedclothes, tablecloths, napkins or chef’s whites.

No establishment wants to see withering comments – or, worse damning photos – exposing its terrible towels or stained sheets on Trip Advisor or the like, so constant vigilance is needed.

However, the real burden of meeting these ever-increasing standards rests with the commercial laundry sector, rather than the hotels they serve. There is more pressure than ever to send back washing that’s literally as good as new – every item, every time.

Healthcare providers, too, require excellent standards, albeit not hospitality-style perfection.

This situation is causing the industry to condemn tonnes of good linen needlessly, simply because it is stained with fake tan, food, oil, mildew, rust or anything else – linen that could live to clothe many more beds, dining tables, chefs and medics, before ending its life in service.

As a result, laundries are spending an average of 10% of their turnover on new stock when much of that is needless – because most dirty linen can be saved.

Two options to save condemned textiles

Sending textiles to rag or landfill in current quantities is simply unsustainable. So is manufacturing to meet ever-increasing demand. The devastation of cotton production is fast catching up with plastics in the ocean as a high-profile, global scandal.

So what is the future of dirty linen? There are two options capable of saving condemned linens that are still strong and serviceable, but faded or stained. Laundries all over the UK and beyond are now waking up to both solutions offered by pioneering cleaning and dyeing specialists, Regenex.

Dyeing can give linens a fresh lease of life

Much of the linen being discarded too early has simply lost its colour. A good example would be a buttermilk-coloured napkin that has faded However good quality linen items are, they are likely to fade with repeated washings long before the fabric begins to wear out.

Using long-established and ever-evolving dyeing processes, experts at Regenex can rejuvenate, or top up, colour, so that items can be returned to stock. The same principle applies for any colour of items – and we can also work with brands to create tableware or other items in bespoke, custom colours.

Likewise, off-white towel rolls used in dispensers can be dyed blue to continue their lifespan, or towels can be given a darker hue for new uses.

Specialist cleaning can rescue up to 80% of condemned linen

The majority of condemned linen consists of white items that have been seemingly, indelibly marked. But Regenex has developed a gentle, multi-bath cleaning system that can lift tough stains that more traditional ‘kill or cure’ methods cannot.

Developed over many months and tested in university research laboratories, our treatment is proven to be successful for 75% to 80% of condemned linens – and we do not charge for processing anything that we cannot rescue.

Though a number of the UK’s 134 laundry houses, processing over 700,000 tonnes of washing per annum, are already turning to Regenex, we have been something of a well-kept secret to the wider sector. However, we have built capacity and are now in a position to take on more customers.

So, to return to the question, clean versus dye – the answer is “either!”.

Depending on a customer’s requirements, one solution or other is highly likely to allow written-off linens to be brought back into circulation, benefiting a laundry’s bottom line while lowering its carbon footprint – and ensuring nothing but praise regarding bedclothes on Trip Advisor.

Regenex is offering a FREE trial of 400g of kilos of linen to any new customer. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

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