Buying linen and cotton in bulk can be an expensive purchase for hotels and restaurants. But once you have bought it all, the last thing you want to do is to see it damaged in some way. Hotel and restaurant owners across the UK will know all too well how quickly linen and cotton can stain but there are a few things you can do yourself to ensure your linen and cotton is looking its best.
Washing linen and cotton:
All linen and cotton products will have washing instructions attached, always read these as they usually make you aware of specific requirements for water temperature, for example.
Look out for detergents containing bleaching agents. Whilst these are great for white cotton & linen, coloured items will start to look washed out and dull. To make sure your coloured cotton & linen stays as bright as possible, add a drop of vinegar when rinsing.
Ironing linen and cotton:
Once washed, the most arduous task is ironing it all. If you hang your items to dry, make sure each item is stretched out as much as possible, to avoid wrinkles from developing. If possible, dry white linen in the sunshine to retain its original brightness.
When ironing your linen and cotton, it is best done when the items are slightly damp, you will have better results and get the job done much faster. When ironing napkins, many restaurants recommend spraying them with starch. This will help achieve a nice crisp feel and allow your staff to easily fold the napkins into decorative shapes.
Storing linen and cotton:
When storing linen and cotton, it is imperative that all items are completely dry in order to avoid mildew from growing. Storage areas must be cool, dry and well ventilated.
Removing stains from linen and cotton:
The rule of thumb when it comes to stains is, try to wash them immediately, particularly if you use an external launderer. Stains that are left to dry on the linen or cotton become stubborn and tricky to remove. Some of the most common stains from hotel and restaurant use can be easily washed away using these techniques.
Ballpoint Ink: Hairspray is the secret tool here. Spray from behind, but make sure you have a spare cloth to hold in front of the linen.
Beverages: Soak in cool water, then wash with stain remover. If youre washing white linen & cotton, use oxygen bleach for optimum results.
Cosmetics: Pre-wash the item with stain remover, or simply scrub with soap.
Fruit Juice: Simply rinse in cold water.
Coffee/Tea: Pull the item tight over a bowl (or other large container), and then pour boiling water over the stain.
Wine (Red or White): Club soda works well for both of these. For red wine, pour salt on the stain immediately and then rinse in cool water.
Tooled up with these techniques, youll be able to keep all your linen and cotton in pristine condition, reduce your repair costs and impress your guests time after time.