Optional Linen Service

Optional Linen Service means that guests have the option to reuse their sheets and towels when staying for multiple days. Click on the items below for additional definitions, benefits, examples, and resources for finding products and vendors related to linen services.

DISCLAIMER: References and links to commercial products or services do not constitute or imply an endorsement by DEQ or the Commonwealth of Virginia of such products or services, or their providers. DEQ and the Commonwealth of Virginia are not responsible for the content of external sites.

Have signage in each guest room explaining the linen reuse procedures

Definition:

Lodging facilities should have signage in the room that explains how the reuse procedure works. For example, small tent cards or postcards placed near the bed and in the bathroom should explain how guests can indicate they would like to reuse linens (by placing a card on the bed, hanging towels to dry) or how guests indicate they would like fresh linens each day (leaving towels on the bathroom floor, etc.).

Resources:

Sample optional linen service placard; buy tent cards, door hangers, etc. from Project Planet

Change linens only on upon request

Change linens upon request Definition:

Instead of making your guests 'request' linen reuse, you can make it your policy that housekeeping will assume guests will reuse their sheets, etc., unless the guests specifically ask to have them changed.

Benefits:

Since guests don't have to do anything to participate in the optional linen service, you may find higher participation rates and greater savings.

Train housekeeping staff on the process for optional linen service

Definition:

Your guests will be frustrated if they follow the linen reuse procedures (such as hanging the towels to dry) and still receive freshly washed linens. Make sure that the housekeeping staff knows when to change linens and when to reuse them.

Benefits:

Following your own stated procedures builds your credibility. Linen reuse is very visible to your guests as it is one area where you ask for their participation. If your facility does not follow its own procedure for linen reuse, guest may begin to doubt your commitment to improve your performance in other areas: waste reduction, energy efficiency, and water conservation.

Track optional linen participation rate

Definition:

Develop a system to track what percentage of guests choose to reuse their linens.

Benefits:

According to Project Planet, participation in optional linen program ranges between 30% and 80%. If your participation rate is lower than expected, you may be able to boost participation by raising the awareness of guests, including giving them information on the program when they check in. 



laundry services

Purchase water- and energy-efficient washers (washer-extractors)

Definition:

The typical washer-extractors require 3 to 4 gallons (11.3 L to 15.1 L) of water per pound of fabric cleaned. The most efficient machines have built-in water recycling capabilities; storing the rinse water from the previous load to supply wash water in the subsequent load, using less than 2.5 gallons per pound (9.5 L) of fabric. (source: Alliance for Water Efficiency)

Benefits:

Water and wastewater costs represent more than 50% of the total operating costs in the typical commercial laundry.

Resources:

Use this to calculate water savings possible in commercial laundry facilities from Alliance for Water Efficiency.

Use an ozone laundry system; that greatly minimizes the need for detergents and saves water

Definition:

Ozone laundry systems work by injecting O3, or ozone, a form of oxygen, into washwater. The O3 molecule breaks down rapidly, oxidizing the fatty oils that cause dirt to bind to cloth, disinfecting water, and bleaching linens as it does so. Ozone’s only breakdown by-products are oxygen and water.

Benefits:

1) Water consumption and sewer discharge can be reduced significantly.  2) Washing at low temperature can help reduce the energy consumption and costs.  3) It involves no chemical residues in fabrics, hence requiring less rinsing than other bleaching agents. Thus water savings also can be achieved.

 

Use a service that has environmentally preferable 'wet cleaning' for dry-clean only items

Definition:

Wet cleaning is a water-based system that is used in place of traditional, solvent-based dry-cleaning. Currently, most of the nation's 34,000 commercial dry-cleaners use perchloroethylene (PCE or perc) as a solvent to clean garments. Driven by the health and environmental concerns associated with traditional dry-cleaning solvents, recent advances in wet cleaning technology, garment care, and textile manufacturing have resulted in the emergence of commercial wet cleaning as a viable and environmentally-preferable clothes cleaning technology. Trained professional cleaners are now able to wet clean many garments that typically have been dry-cleaned, such as silks, woolens, linens, suede, and leather. (source: Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment: Professional Fabricare Processes)

Benefits:

According to the US EPA, the environmental, safety, and health impacts associated with modern machine wet cleaning are less than those associated with traditional dry-cleaning solvents. Wet cleaning chemicals are biodegradable and generally benign. As a basis of comparison, the impacts associated with wet cleaning are essentially identical to the environmental, health, and safety impacts associated with laundering. (source: Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment: Professional Fabricare Processes)

Resources:

Case Study: Wet Cleaning Systems for Garment Care 

 

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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