The Benefits of Cold Water Washing

by Stephen P. Askin, President, The Ashkin Group

Finding ways to be profitable and keep the budget in check has always been a top priority for hoteliers, however, new issues like sustainability and green cleaning are increasingly important to industry leaders and guests alike. The Green Hotels Association reports that the hospitality industry is increasing eco-friendly purchasing and operations, as such matters are increasingly important to guests.

In the 2014 P&G Professional Cleaning Industry Insights Survey, two-thirds of cleaning managers in the Hospitality/Lodging sector said that they would be much more likely to consider a laundry product that would offer bottom line savings, reduced linen replacement costs, lower energy consumption, less water use and foster sustainability.

Laundry care is one important aspect of cleaning that impacts both hotel staff and their guests. Today’s hoteliers have more options than ever when it comes to their on-premise laundry operations with new technologies in commercial laundry programs. Cold water washing, in particular, is gaining momentum as it has been shown to be able to significantly benefit a company’s bottom line and make progress against corporate sustainability goals.

Saving Resources

New and innovative cold water wash systems, like the Tide® Professional Coldwater Laundry System, can reduce the number of fills and water used per wash which can translate to:

  • Up to a 40 percent reduction in water1 used compared to traditional wash methods.
  • Up to a 75 percent reduction in energy1 usage because water is heated to a lower temperature (compared to standard systems) and less water has to be heated per wash.
  • This reduction in water and energy can lead to significant savings on a hotel’s utility bill that, when combined with up to a 15 percent linen replacement cost savings from using a high quality cold water washing system, could save a 150-room hotel property up to $8,700 per year2.
  • To put it into context, the amount of water saved at one hotel in one year could equal the amount needed to fill 20 average-sized swimming pools3.

Using national average water and energy cost data combined with the Uniform & Textile Service Association’s On Premise Laundry (OPL) Processing Costs Study, 41 percent of the operating costs in an on-premise laundry room can be directly impacted by which laundry system is selected for use. If hotel operators are doing it right and paying attention, they can achieve savings on water and energy costs and make a positive difference in their facilities. Decisions hotel managers make for their individual properties can collectively make a big difference in our world.

Additionally, using a cold water laundry system, like the Tide Professional Coldwater system, can help deliver clean towels and linens to guests but with less water and energy used. Today, modern laundry formulations include new developments in enzymes specifically designed for lower wash temperatures that can help effectively break down stains without the need for high water temperatures, resulting in clean, soft linens and towels for your guests.

The Benefits of LEED Certification

Water is an important resource, and considering ways to reduce usage is good for the environment and our global resources. It can also be helpful in achieving the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) certification.

  • For many hoteliers, this green building certification program can be an important aspect of corporate sustainability goals.
  • To achieve certification, hotels must go through a process that entails satisfying prerequisites, including green cleaning, and earning points to achieve different levels of certification.
  • As part of a new version of LEED (Version 4) that will go into effect on October 31, 2016, USGBC added a requirement to reduce energy and water consumption specifically relating to laundry operations.

For the numerous hotels that have already gone through this process or are currently working on it, the benefits of LEED certification can result in operational savings, reducing environmental impact and appealing to guests who prefer staying in an eco-friendly hotel.

A Home Away From Home

It is important to remember that hotels serve as homes away from home and guests expect clean, soft, white linens and towels during their stay. A high quality cold water washing system can help provide these and other benefits to customers.

Laundry systems that use a near-neutral pH formula provide guests with noticeably softer sheets and towels. A near-neutral detergent also helps promote guest and employee safety with no harsh alkali, acids or phosphates, and helps protect fabric integrity for longer lasting linens. This, in turn, can contribute to less wear and tear on linens and a decrease in linen replacement costs, along with a reduction in the environmental impacts associated with manufacturing the linens (especially if made from cotton) and disposal of old linens.

Hotel operators can consider placing small tent cards in guest rooms (or adding to the cards they already use) to share what they are doing to save water and energy. Additionally, they can provide a short list of easy things guests can do in their own homes to save water and energy, including washing in cold water, not overfilling the washer or dryer and more.

By using the latest innovations in cold water washing, hoteliers can decrease operational costs through bottom line savings with a reduction in water, energy and linen replacement costs and boost guest satisfaction.

For more information on cold water washing please find "The Benefits of Coldwater Washing" webinar on www.http://pgpro.ca/webinars.

Author Biography

Stephen P. Ashkin is considered the “father of green cleaning” and is president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm specializing in greening the cleaning industry, and CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, which offers a cloud-based dashboard that allows organizations to measure, report and improve their sustainability efforts.