dustrial laundry program

A Quality Laundry Program Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts.

So, let’s take Aristotle’s, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (~330 BC) at face value. Let’s talk about synergy, the working together of different components of a laundry program, and how attention to detail in one area of the laundry will pay benefits in other areas. Let’s talk about how the components of a well-run laundry program work together to generate greater efficiency, performance, and economy:

We’ve all studied Laundry 101 and understand the following pie chart for Laundry Costs: Think about the interaction between these components in your laundry:

industrial laundry expense categories


Labor represents typically 46-55% of your laundry budget. Do you have a well trained/cross trained staff who can fill in and move around as needed? Are they trained to identify program (both chemical and mechanical) problems? Do they comment on rewash, spotting, staining, and dryer lint to assist in identification of changes and failures in your program? Early detection by your laundry staff can help deter costly linen replacement, equipment malfunction and utilities costs.


Linen Replacement can demand 20% (and more) of your laundry budget. Optimization of machine programs and chemistry will extend fabric life. Knowledgeable staff can correctly choose best wash programs and sort strategies to avoid rewash.  Training of laundry staff and end users will protect your investment. Educate for specific use of certain textiles and manage par well to avoid replacing linen that disappears from your program before you even get a chance to process it.


Chemical Costs run from 5-6.5% of your laundry budget. Attention to chemical choice, amounts and correct dosing are paramount to a good program. Cutting corners on chemistry can result in rewash, increasing overall labor, energy, and chemical costs. The converse is true as well. Setting unreasonably low rewash targets can result in higher chemical cost and increased labor. Energy and linen replacement costs increase when linen is over-processed.


Utilities are targeted at 10% of your program cost. Again, well managed chemical and machine programs can provide huge economies. Knowledge of sanitizing options and fabric categories can optimize chemical, water, and temperature costs. Efficiency from water softeners and heaters, to washers, dryers and finishing equipment can pay high dividends in energy savings.


Equipment and Space require around 10% of your budget and should routinely be reviewed. Are machines sized correctly for soil loads and categories? Are repairs needed to avoid water loss or energy consumption? Is there newer technology available that would impact labor or fabric life and what are the trade-offs? Is your staff working in an efficient environment, avoiding extra steps, and repeated handling of linens? Do you have extra capacity and could you be soliciting additional work? Over-burdened? Outsourcing might be your answer.

So it’s just like Aristotle could have said. The whole of your laundry is a collection, a synergy, of the individual components. Reviewing individual areas and looking at their impact on other areas of your laundry can be a profitable exercise.

Marlene WilliamsMarlene Williams
Lab/R&D Manager Anderson Chemical Company
(800) 366-­2477