As a restaurant owner, you have to understand the importance of clean, stain-free linens for every service. If you have been considering ditching the linen rental service in favor of cleaning your own, you just need to be sure that you are handling them properly. Here's what you need to know to do the job right.
Keeping Them Clean
The first thing you'll need to know is how to address stains. Treat your linens for stains right away when removed from the table. This keeps the stains from having time to adhere to the fibers. Hot water is the best defense against tea and coffee. Simply pour boiling water directly through the stain. For meat, fruit juice, and tomato stains, a cold-water rinse is more effective. Keep an enzyme-based stain remover on hand, too, for pre-washing stubborn stains.
Once you've dealt with the stains, load your linen washer. Make sure that you aren't overloading it, though – your linens need to be able to agitate freely in the water. If you're washing white linens, add a gentle bleach product to your wash. For colored linens, make sure that you choose a detergent designed to preserve color.
Remove your linens from the washer and rinse them thoroughly. You'll want to hang them to dry, but make sure that you stretch them back into shape first. If you dry them while they're still out of shape from the washer, they'll dry out of shape.
Finishing Your Linens Before Service
Find an open-air space to hang the linens to dry, because the bright sunlight will help to protect the fabric from yellowing. Take them down from the line before they're completely dry, because otherwise you'll end up with stiff, brittle linen.
After drying, it's time to iron any residual wrinkles and create that flawless, smooth finish you want for your tabletop service. Iron the linens on medium heat using a spray starch product to help preserve the condition of the fabric as you go. The spray starch can help keep your linens stiffer, which may make it easier to fold napkins.
As you can see, the process of washing and caring for your own restaurant linens isn't as complicated as you may have thought. With a bit of time investment and some advanced preparation, you can keep your own linens ready for service. If you want to have more control over the condition of your linens and you want to be able to respond immediately to potential stains, the tips presented here can help. Contact a company like Central Uniform & Linen Supply Company for more information.