What is Linen Room?
The linen room is the most important department of the hotel for supporting the housekeeping department. Most linen rooms are centralized and act as a storage room and distribution centre for neat and clean linen
Table of Content
- 1 What is Linen Room?
- 2 Activities of Linen Room
- 2.1 Collection and Transportation of Linen
- 2.2 Sorting and Counting of Linen
- 2.3 Packaging of Linen
- 2.4 Dispatch of Linen
- 2.5 Deliveries of Linen
- 2.6 Inspection of Linen
- 2.7 Storage of Linen
- 2.8 Repairs and Alteration
- 2.9 Distribution to Various Departments
- 2.10 Stock-taking and Records
- 2.11 Security of Lenin
- 3 Location of the Linen Room
- 4 Linen Room Requirements
- 5 Planning the Layout of Linen Room
- 6 Soft Furnishing
- 7 Bath Linen
- 8 Napery
- 9 Purchase of Linen
- 10 Standard Operating Procedures for Laundry Management
- 11 Uniform
Activities of Linen Room
The following are the activities of linen room:
Collection and Transportation of Linen
Collection and transportation is an essential activity when laundry services are on outside contract and is facilitated through chutes, canvas bags, trolleys, collapsible wire carts, skips etc. Guest laundry is also collected and appropriately marked for sending off-premises for cleaning.
Sorting and Counting of Linen
Sorting is carried out primarily to make counting easy as well as for streamlining laundry procedures and totally the exchange of linen between the linen room and the laundry.
Packaging of Linen
Linen is packed in canvas bags to prevent damage, spillage during transit to the linen articles. Those articles that need mending and those, which are heavily stained, maybe segregated and put into separate canvas bags.
Dispatch of Linen
The time for off-premises laundry dispatch is usually anytime between 13:00 hrs. and 16:00 hrs. so that servicing of rooms is over by then and guest laundry will have been collected.
Deliveries of Linen
Clean linen is delivered back in the morning hours and evening deliveries are usually for guest laundry.
Inspection of Linen
Checking the quantity to ensure that the number of laundered linen tallies with the number of soiled linen articles sent and as well as inspection of the quality of the wash.
Storage of Linen
The amount of space to be allocated for storage depends on the size and type of operation and the quantum of linen supplies. When designing the storage space for linen it is necessary to consider the type of shelves required, the method of storage as well as hygiene and safety factors.
Repairs and Alteration
Damaged linen is mended by stitching or darning. Alteration of uniforms for correct fit is usual. Condemned linen is converted into useful items called cut-downs and makeovers.
Distribution to Various Departments
This is generally done on a clean-for-dirty basis. Every hotel uses other systems of exchange such as topping up or a fixed issue based on expected occupancy. In some hotels, specific timings are fixed for the issue of linen.
Stock-taking and Records
Many records are entered on a day-to-day basis for the exchange of linen between the linen room, laundry and floors/departments. Purchase records are essential and records of condemned linen and makeovers are usually maintained.
Periodical stock checking is carried out and the annual stock checking is recorded in the stock register, thereby providing the value of linen as an asset. Stock records also help generate purchase orders for the replacement of lost or condemned articles.
Security of Lenin
It is important that access to the linen room is restricted so as to prevent misuse and misplacement and to guard against fire breakouts. The linen room is strictly a non-smoking area.
Location of the Linen Room
The linen room is generally located at
- Adjacent to the laundry if on premises, usually with an interconnecting door between the rooms.
- If the laundry is off premises then it is located near the service entrance if the laundry is off-premises.
- Near the service elevator for easy transportation to various units.
- Laundry is located away from the food production area to avoid a fire hazard as well as prevent linen from absorbing food odours or smoke.
Linen Room Requirements
The following are the requirements of the linen room:
- Storage shelves should be both open and closed.
- There should be a hanging space.
- Drop counter for exchange of linen (stable-type door).
- Trolleys are needed for transport of clean linen.
- Soiled linen hampers.
- Linen keeper’s desk and storage space for records.
- Telephone to co ordination and computer for record keeping.
- Storage for materials required to clean the room.
- Sink and drying rack (optional).
- Iron and ironing board.
- Space to accumulate dirty linen.
- Area to receiving laundered linen.
- Area to sort out and counting of linen.
- Linen stitching section.
- Work tables (with table tops in contrast to white).
- Traffic lane to laundry.
- Traffic lane to uniform room.
Planning the Layout of Linen Room
As the planning of any other operational area, the following must be considered:
- Architectural features.
- Hygiene and safety aspects.
- Activity areas.
What are the criteria’s selecting for Linen items?
Each individual piece of linen requires special consideration in terms of quality, type and size, besides cost.
Bed Linen Bed sheets
Bed linen should have a good finish, usually with a slight lustre, and be made from a non-crease fabric so that to maintain its appearance. For comfort, the texture should be soft and smooth, absorbent and free from static. They should be easy to wash and the fabric should not fade in colour under repeated washes.
Superior quality bed sheets are expensive and made from good quality linen. More frequently used are combinations of natural and manmade fibre like polyester-cotton or terry-cot. The introduction of a manmade fibre increases durability and makes laundering easier and 65% of cotton and 35% of man-made combinations are the best.
These are generally made from the same fabric as that of the bed linen.
Blankets are used to provide warmth to the body. In order to be comfortable, they should be soft, smooth and elastic and not too heavy or expensive.
To cut costs, improve launder ability and prevent damage by insects, wool is often blended with a synthetic fibre (acrylic) and the percentage of woollen fibre is mentioned on the label. A less durable alternative is made from nylon fibres. This is suitable for those who are allergic to wool.
Duvets have become very popular in hotels and are fast replacing the blanket, especially on double beds. They consist of a filling sandwiched or stitched in a fabric case with a changeable cover. These duvets are lighter and can be washed in large-capacity washing machines.
It is essential for the duvet to have an outside cover. To save laundry costs and labour, it is advisable to provide a covering sheer in conjunction with the duvet cover.
Bedspread and Bedcover
These are purchased with due consideration for appearance, durability and size. The colour and print should match the décor, and the soil should not show easily.
The fabric should drape well and not crease easily. Readymade bedcovers lack individuality so they are usually stitched and a number of styles are possible. Bedcovers should be interchangeable wherever possible. The amount of fabric required to stitch a single bedspread is approx. 8 metres.
Curtains and Draperies
Curtains combined with heavy draperies are usual in a guestroom. This combination allows light to pass through and facilitates privacy as well. Sheer curtains are generally made from synthetic plain nylon or terylene.
It is advisable to use a fire-resistant finish or fabric for these curtains. A heavy fabric is usual for public areas and a lighter one in the guest rooms.
Cushion Covers and Upholstery
Like the rest of the soft furnishings, these must also match the décor. It is also important that they are resistant to dirt, accumulation of dust and sagging. The fabric should be non-slip without being rough and free from static so that it does not cling to customer’s clothes.
It also should not lose lint or colour easily.
Cushion covers should be launderable and non-crease. Upholstery fabrics should not stretch after they have been fitted. In both cases, the fabric should be firm with a close weave. This, however, is more applicable in the case of upholstery and in most cases, the fabric has a jute backing.
Bath Linen requires to be gentle on the skin, with a high degree of absorbing capacity. Linen or cotton are the fibres from which the towels are made. When selecting Turkish towels hold them against the light to find out how close the basic weave is.
Coloured and patterned towels may be selected for public areas like the swimming pool, health club or beauty parlour, largely for identification. White towels are preferred especially for the bathrooms.
The fabric selection is largely dependent on its laudability. Stain removal should be possible and it must have the ability to retain colour and shape. As far as appearance is concerned, it should match the décor and have a lustre for a good finish. Linen is better than cotton. Tablecloths should hang 9 inches over the edge of the table. Sizes vary according to the size of the table.
Mountains may be used where the dining tables do not have a baize top attached, baize cloth such as.
These are coloured, lustrous shiny in appearance, usually made from satin or rayon which may be plain or printed. The pleats may be stitched or pleating may be done when draping the table. A variety of styles may be used when draping which will affect the length of fabric required.
The width of the fabric must correspond with the height of the table.
Purchase of Linen
There are three major factors to be considered when purchasing linen:
Generally, a hotel should have a minimum of three sets of linen. Linen Coverage is a term used to refer to the total number of sets of linen maintained by the hotel and their distribution. The number of sets of linen in the inventory is also referred to in terms of ‘par’.
The best quality linen must be selected within the available budget. To select good quality linen, it is necessary to give due importance to the texture fibre selection and quality of yarn and durability and Reputed manufacturers.
Purchasing linen of the correct size is extremely important as wrong sizes can affect appearance and even hamper operations, besides avoidable wastage and loss of money.
Standard Operating Procedures for Laundry Management
The laundry management is carried out every day in the hotel. Here are some standard procedures are given:
Collect Dirty Linen
Collect the dirty linen from different areas in the hotel such as guest rooms, guest bathrooms, and dining area and separate the used linen out of it. The principle is, whatever linen it is, it must not hang over the edge of the collection basket. Transfer the collected linen to the laundry department.
Sort the Linen
Segregate the linen according to the type of fabric, the domain of item use, degree of soiling, and type of soiling. Keep the staff uniforms, guest room and bathroom linen, dining area linen, butchery aprons, and guests’ personal clothes all separately. Always handle the linen using gloves.
Pre-treat the Stains
Before washing or starting the procedure to wash the put, inspect it for stains such as grease or oil. Remove the stains using stain cleaning chemicals. If instructed before, use detergents and cleaning chemicals at the time of washing only, to save time and effort.
Wash and Extract the Linen
Weigh the linen before the washing process to ensure the washers are not overloaded. Put the linen into washers. Set the automatic washers to different wash cycles depending upon the type of linen. For example, embroidered pillow covers need soft wash cycles and the curtains need harder wash cycles.
The following wash cycle is most effective:
Soak -> Flush -> Suds -> Bleach -> Rinse -> Extract -> Starch
Remove as much as possible water content from the linen by using extractors. The linen are then starched to make it a little stiff and shiny.
Dry the Linen
Be careful while transferring the linen from washers to dryers because the weight of the linen increases after washing. Use an automatic dryer that provides drying by hot air blows. These dryers operate on less electricity and yield fresh and completely dry linen.
Iron and Repair the Linen
Check the linen for any wear and tear. Separate the worn-out linen to be given to the tailor. Some linen such as towels, bed linen, and dining area linen require Ironing. Pass this linen through the ironer.
Fold and Stack the Linen
Some sort of linen such as staff uniforms and guest personal clothes still need manual efforts for folding. Operate the folding/stacking machines that ascertains the finished appearance and makes the linen easy for storage and handling.
Deliver the Linen
Transport the ready laundered linen to the uniform room and linen room. Send the linen that needs repair to the tailor room.
Then subsequently deliver the linen at the time of keeping and cleaning the various premises such as guest rooms, dining area, and banquet halls. Give away the guests’ personal clothes according to the rooms they are staying in.
Providing uniforms for hotel staff is the best way to bring all staff to the same standard, by reflecting the standard of the hotel and creating a good impression on the guest. Having a uniform enables the guest to identify staff and their position in the organization.
To the employee, it is a status symbol, creating a sense of belonging and thereby boosting employee morale. Apart from appearance and presentability, uniforms are frequently designed to suit the task that is carried out.
Types of Uniform Used in Hotels
- Aprons: Provided to cooks and utility workers.
- Blouses: For Housekeeping, Front office lady staff and Hostesses.
- Belt : For parking attendant, doorman and lady captain.
- Bell Bottoms : For room attendant. Health club and lady staff.
- Bush Shirts : For health club, laundry and pool area staff.
- Black Bows : For managers.
- Dungarees : Given to Engineering technicians and housemen.
- Caps : For parking attendants, drivers, utility workers and cooks.
- Coats : For stewards, cooks, utility workers, captains, receptionists, gardeners and houseman.
- Gumboots : For kitchen stewarding, laundry, horticulture and engineering staff.
- Jackets : For bell captains and restaurant captains.Ladies
- Ladies Shoes : For room attendants.
- Long Coats : Provided to the cashier, laundry supervisor, house doctor and kitchen steward.
- Woollen Overcoat : For security staff.
- Pullover : For security and horticulture personnel.
- Raincoat : For doormen, parking attendants and security personnel.
- Saree : For hostess, housekeeping supervisors and front office staff.
- Salwaars : For room attendants.
- Shoes Leather : For doormen and parking attendant.
- Loafers : For markers, housemen, security guards, kitchen personnel, engineering technicians.
- Trousers : For cooks, utility workers, stewards, captains, receptionists lobby staff
- Turbans : For the doorman
- Ties : For managers and front-of-the-house staff