Many care homes, food production and serving facilities and hospitals, among other enterprises and institutions, are now using disposable linens rather than the traditional fabric varieties. Single-use items, like disposable aprons and gloves, or soluble laundry bags, are becoming more and more commonplace as businesses catch on to the advantages they offer.
Let’s take a quick look at the main advantages of swapping over to disposable linens.
1. Disposable linens can save a lot of time
If clothing, protective equipment and hygiene appliances are disposable, it saves a lot of time on laundry. Hospitals and care homes in particular find that a lot of time is spent on cleaning bed linens, aprons, scrubs and gloves. Sometimes a load has to be put through a wash again if it’s not quite clean enough and this can cause shortages or delays. If there’s a plentiful, ready-to-use supply of linens, the hospital can operate that little bit more smoothly.
2. Disposables can save money
Most disposable linens cost less than it costs to launder reusables. You also need to factor in the costs of laundry powder, bleach, fabric conditioner, water and maintaining and replacing washing machines and dryers.
Additionally, by switching over to disposables, you know when you’ll be paying for them – you may have a monthly or weekly order and it’s a predictable amount at a predictable time. A sudden breakdown of a washing machine not only interrupts the cleaning cycle, it also represents a sudden (and not insignificant) expense. If you rely on several staff members to do all the laundry too, then sickness or absence can disrupt the flow of clean linens. With disposables, as long as you have the right re-ordering schedule, you’ll always have them to hand.
3. Disposables are a reassuring sight
Image means a lot to clients, customers and patients, so if they see staff wearing single-use gloves to prepare and serve food, or disposable aprons to take care of children, they’ll be reassured that these linens are clean. Using disposable linens means that everything’s as clean as possible, with no risk of, for example, having been washed at too low a temperature to kill bugs. If you have a sudden spike in demand or activity, your staff will also have everything they need to carry out their duties safely, without waiting for the drying cycle to finish.
Can using disposables ever be environmentally-friendly?
Most manufacturers of disposable linens make their products from recycled plastics – post-consumer waste. There are already lots of innovative manufacturing processes that can produce strong, flexible films that can be used in lots of applications. Some manufacturers try to make their products biodegradable, or at least recyclable, too. It’s an area that needs improvement, it has to be said, but the improvements are being worked on.
It’s important, then, if you decide to switch to disposables, that you try to recycle them, or at least dispose of them appropriately. Once viewed with suspicion by environmentalists, disposables have come a long way and are now increasingly accepted. After all, if they biodegrade and are recycled, they’re better for the planet than an energy-hungry washer-drier; not to mention all those detergents and bleaches!