Let's paint a scenario. A customer walks into your coffee shop and heads to the counter to order. The barista is wearing your cafe's uniform: a white button-up shirt with your cafe's logo.
It's spotless. That's a first good impression.
Now, imagine if the barista's shirt had coffee stains or was visibly dirty. What happens then? The customer might still order, but they will have a negative perception of your cafe.
The same is true for other business establishments, whether it's a golf course, a restaurant, a hotel, or even an office building. Let's learn how to keep your staff's uniforms clean and presentable.
How To Properly Wash Uniforms For Your Team
The good news about most uniforms is that they're white. Thanks to the magic ingredient (bleach!), you can get rid of most stains. But white uniforms are also more prone to yellowing and dullness. Similarly, other colors might require specific cleaning methods, too.
Here are a few tips to wash every uniform properly to maintain its good condition:
Read the Care Labels
If you don't want the uniforms fading, irrespective of the color, read the care labels. The tags usually have instructions for washing and drying.
There might also be symbols that guide you on how to wash particular materials. For example, a crossed-out dryer symbol means you shouldn't tumble dry the uniform.
Also, check the heat and ironing instructions – heat can cause fading, shrinkage, and burns on certain fabrics. If a fabric needs to be air-dried, make sure you follow that.
Sometimes, a presoak is just what you need to remove stubborn stains. For instance, coffee stains on white fabric might need to be soaked in warm water mixed with baking soda before washing.
You might need a heavy-duty laundry detergent for grease stains – pre-treat such stains before chucking them into the washing machine.
Separate Uniforms by Colors and Fabrics
The most common materials for uniforms include cotton, polyester, and canvas. Separate the fabrics to avoid color transfer or bleeding.
Also, wash light-colored uniforms separately from dark-colored ones. If you're washing multiple uniforms of the same color, you can group those.
Tend to Stains and Spills Immediately
The longer you wait to treat a stain, the harder it becomes to remove. If possible, treat the stain or spill immediately before throwing the uniform into the laundry pile.
If you can't wash the uniform right away, blot any excess liquid and apply a stain remover on the spot.
Use Cold Water for Dark and Bright Colors
Hot water can cause colors to fade or bleed, especially for dark and bright-colored uniforms. Therefore, use cold water for such colors.
In some instances, dark colors might still bleed during the first wash. But you'll notice that the color bleeding reduces after subsequent washes.
4 Risks Of Having In-House Commercial Laundry Tasks
Now, one way to deal with dirty uniforms is by having them laundered commercially. In simple words, outsource your laundry and dry cleaning.
The other option is in-house laundry. But that comes with its share of challenges, including:
It's one thing to wash your T-shirts and jeans at home. And it's another thing to clean soiled and stained uniforms on an industrial scale. If you have a large workforce, the volume of laundry can be overwhelming, leading to inadequate cleaning.
High Utility and Maintenance Costs
Another risk of in-house laundry is the high utility and maintenance costs. Running a commercial washer and dryer, especially daily, can quickly add up to your energy bills.
Also, there's the cost of maintaining these machines, which require regular servicing to remain in good working condition. You might think you're saving money by not outsourcing uniform laundry, but in-house laundry can end up backfiring in terms of costs.
Damage to Fabrics
In the best-case scenario, the dirty fabric comes out clean. But in the worst-case scenario, the fabric gets damaged during the laundry process. You might accidentally shrink it. Or even worse, your bright blue uniforms are now a faded green due to color bleeding.
That's not a pretty sight.
Maybe you're a restaurant. Or a hospital. Or a factory. Regardless, you have other important tasks to attend to. Do you want to spend hours sorting, washing, drying, and folding laundry?
If certain clothing requires air drying, you'll also need extra space to hang them. And then there's the time spent ironing and pressing, which can be quite labor-intensive.
3 Tips For Commercial Laundry Care
Don't want to run a permanent press cycle loaded up with laundry detergent first thing in the morning? Here are four tips to help you take care of your uniform laundry more efficiently:
Hire a Third-Party Cleaning Service Company
Without a doubt, this is the best option. Simply outsource uniform cleaning to a third-party service, like Rinse. We'll pick up the uniforms from your establishment, wash them according to the appropriate instructions, and deliver them back to you.
It's quick. It's simple. And it doesn't require you to buy a washer or deal with dirty laundry with your customers waiting in line.
Set a Uniform Washing Schedule
Ideally, you should wash the uniforms once, if not twice per week. The frequency depends on how often your employees wear their uniforms and the nature of their work.
You can work out your plan with Rinse. We'll be there to pick up dirty uniforms on your desired day.
Use the Right Detergents
From a sports uniform to an apron, you may think that all of your uniforms can be washed with the same detergent or on the same washing machine cycle. But this isn't always the case.
Different types of uniforms require different levels of care and cleaning. For example, sports uniforms may require a special detergent that can remove tough stains and odors. Aprons require a gentle detergent to prevent premature wear and tear.
When you let Rinse take charge of your uniform cleaning, you won't have to worry about detergent selection. Our experts do it for you.
Keep Your Teams' Uniforms Clean All Year Long With Rinse
Businesses already have to tackle several daily tasks and responsibilities. Laundry shouldn't be an addition to it.
At Rinse, we take the hassle out of uniform cleaning. As your designated laundry partners, we'll ensure that your team looks professional and clean throughout the year.
We understand that your employees' uniforms are a representation of your business finesse. We help you maintain your image by providing top-notch cleaning services for your uniforms.
Even better, if you want us to dry clean the uniforms, we also provide dry cleaning services.
Contact us at Rinse today to see our skill in action.