Aged Care

The Burden of Soaking

Clint, our technician shares tips from his experience in the Laundry.

I hear it a lot- ‘we just don’t have the time to soak stuff’.

But let’s face it, no matter how ideal the washing procedure is, i.e. correct chemical dosing, cycle times, items sorted painstakingly etc., you will never remove every single stain with the machine cycles. So…we will just take up a few lines to refer to ‘normal’ washing practices.

Once items have been correctly sorted, wash them on their respective cycles.

Ideally, check washed items as you are transferring to the dryer. Any stained garments you notice now will have a much better chance of coming clean before rather than after drying. Drying can tend to ‘set’ some stains.

Next step is ‘Rewash’. This cycle dispenses substantially more destaining chemical to assist in removal of those stubborn stains that did not come out in the initial wash.

Check washed items again. Anything that is still stained goes down for soaking.

If we want our items clean, we have to understand that soaking is part of normal wash procedure. There’s ways of making it easier too, it doesn’t have to be ‘that’ part of washing that you hate.

So at this point, I’m going to make a suggestion – best practice is to set up so the stained items can soak overnight and then there’s no downtime during the day.

Why do I state something so obvious I hear you ask?

Well, it would seem that this hasn’t occurred to many of the staff I come in touch with. The most common complaint I hear when discussing soaking methods is that the staff don’t have the time.

With a little bit of organisation, more time isn’t what’s lacking, just refinement of processes. Speak to your managers to get buckets or tubs that suit your needs: the most convenient solutions are tubs with wheeled dollies and drain taps underneath.

Another option is to program a Soak cycle into the machines and do it that way. Just before you leave for the day, all the stained items go into the machine and you select the Soak cycle. Items sit in the chemical solution overnight and when you begin work next morning, simply put the items straight on for a normal wash and carry out usual procedures. This method however is not ideal if you have only a few items at a time.

So there you have it – with a few simple changes in everyday practices, you’re well on way to running an efficient laundry that is achieving constant satisfactory results!

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