Why use a laundry service rather than simply washing garments at home?
Posted on Dec 15, 2021
Although the idea of employees washing and managing their own workwear is - at first thought - a reasonable and inexpensive approach, dig deeper and this can lead to problems, as well as ultimately costing you more.
If you have chosen to invest in purchasing your employee uniforms, you will naturally want to maintain them as well and for as long as you possibly can. This will be particularly true if you have paid for bespoke branding, bought expensive protective workwear, or have purchased your garments from a specialist provider. Naturally you will also have certain standards of cleanliness and presentation that you would like your employees to maintain, and a clean and well-kept uniform will be a key part of this. Vitally – and most topically - PPE workwear, must be washed, dried, and repaired correctly to maintain its protective qualities, remain safe and fit for purpose, and ensure its durability.
In a smaller business it may be tempting to ask employees to launder their own uniforms at home, or to give the responsibility to one or two individuals to run in-house. Not only can this be less cost effective than you might think it can also be less hygienic and impact the longevity of the garments.
Hygienic, Consistent Standards
Now, more than ever, thorough cleaning is vital to maintain hygiene and safety standards. A specialised laundry service, such as CLEAN, will be able to wash and dry large volumes of items at a time and have the expertise and the equipment to treat stubborn stains including oils, paints, and chemicals. Expert laundry services know how to wash at a high enough temperature to destroy harmful bacteria without harming fabrics and undermining the quality of specialist protective garments. When washing workwear CLEAN exceed UK regulations by holding the 71oC threshold temperature for more than 3 minutes to give even greater reassurance that clothing is safe and fit for purpose. These hygienically clean products are then rinsed until pH neutral to avoid skin irritation and are then dried at 120°C, before being swab tested to validate thermal disinfection.
This level of thorough and accurate cleaning would be very hard to replicate and maintain consistently in a domestic environment.
Over time, washing and drying at home (particularly under time pressure to return the garments to the workplace) can cause shrinkage to fabric often rendering the items unwearable, and therefore costing you money. Additionally, any damage repaired at employees’ homes will be completed in different ways and to different standards, making it harder to maintain a consistent neat, corporate image.
Minimise effort and cost
Choosing to clean workwear in house can be labour intensive with employees either pulled from core responsibilities - if they are running the laundry service on premises in work hours - or required to wash, dry, and repair their own uniforms at home, in their own time. You need to decide if you want to include this effort in their contracted hours, which will add cost and could be complex to manage and supervise. Running your own laundry at home or in your business also consumes a large amount of water and power and requires specialist chemicals and cleaning products. This will increase your utility bills and the cost of your business consumables.
If you engage a commercial laundry service, you will have a fixed, predictable cost for a regular service and won’t have to manage or track extra staff hours, overtime, or a separate in-house laundry function.
Efficient management of garments, and prevention of loss or damage are also essential for keeping an eye on costs. This can be hard when workwear and uniforms are being transported to and from the business in an uncontrolled way. When CLEAN are managing your workwear for you, all garments are tagged with a unique barcode that links them back to the wearer and RFID tags for tracking them through the laundry process. All garments are scanned when the dirty workwear is collected and are traceable throughout the laundry process. Once CLEAN have laundered your workwear, all stock is securely packed in laundry hampers that have been thermally disinfected to maintain hygiene levels. As an extra measure laundered garments can also be shrink wrapped in plastic before being dispatched back to your business. They will be delivered either to a designated delivery location or directly to individual lockers, after being scanned to ensure they are returned to the right member of staff.
Positive effect on morale
Providing a uniform for your employees means that individuals don’t have to worry about what they wear at work. Although expecting employees to wash their own uniforms may seem a reasonable requirement, it could be perceived as a hassle or an intrusion into their home life. Additionally, employees may not be able to do their work properly if they don’t have fresh uniforms readily available to wear - impacting productivity and engagement. By providing a service where employees can simply collect a freshly laundered uniform when it’s required means there is one less thing for them to worry about and they can carry out their roles feeling smart, clean, and engaged.
So, why use a laundry service?
Cleaning and maintaining workwear is a laborious process and, unless you are a large organisation with an already established laundry service, it will be hard to meet the right levels of garment hygiene and maintenance without considerable additional cost and effort. Employ a specialist workwear rental and laundry service such as CLEAN and you can be confident in a consistent and reliable level of care, hygienic, efficient delivery, and flexibility for a changing workforce - all at a predictable and manageable cost.
CLEAN are one of the UK’s leading providers of workwear rental and laundry services. Regardless of the size or location of your business, we can help you source, manage, and maintain your workwear.
For a no obligation quote, contact us here.