In this instalment of our Love your Linens series, LTC Worldwide give their tips on keeping towels soft and fluffy, prolonging linen life and avoiding skin irritations problems.
Keeping towels soft
We all love soft, white, fluffy towels. Scratchy, harsh fabrics will result in negative reviews and a fall in customer satisfaction.
Towel harshness can occur, and can even be the result of too much softener in the final rinse! Don’t immediately increase the softener dosage thinking this will help however, as it could do more harm than good. Softeners coat the fibres, making them water repellent, reducing absorbency and trapping in moisture and dirt. The result is that towels may not wash or dry properly, develop musty smells and become stiff.
Instead, it’s important to keep softener use to a minimum, maximise water extraction, and have a short initial drying period with no or low heat for a minute or so to allow the terry loops to open out. The optimum time to stop drying is when there is about 2% moisture left in the towel. This will prevent over-drying, harshness and greying.
Prolonging linen life
Premature holes and tears in your linen is frequently the result of excessive bleaching in stain removal. This causes the fibres to degrade long before they should and therefore shortens the linen lifespan.
To avoid this, careful preparation is key. Try to minimise any staining by ensuring the first (pre) wash temperature is kept below 40˚C. This softens the protein stains to help them come away in the main wash, leaving only vegetable dye stains to be bleached.
Bleaching is great for removing vegetable stains, but be careful not to put in too much and use only when required.
Avoiding skin irritation issues
If washing detergent or bleach has not been properly rinsed at the end of the wash, guests could suffer from skin irritation. This would obviously lead to dissatisfied customers and could lose you their business.
Work with your detergent supplier to ensure that you are using enough water to correctly neutralise the fabric, returning the alkalinity back to less than 0.04g/litre above that of the incoming soft water.