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10 Sep

Linen Life, Replacements and Rejects – The Make or Break Impact in a Laundry


Linen life, replacements and reject percentage. These three powerful phrases are so dear to the heart of the laundry owner/operators these days.  As laundries fight to win, maintain and keep business, these key factors can and will continue to play an important role in the success and failure of any given laundry. As we continually launder products such as scrubs, patient gowns, blankets, uniforms, sheets, pillow cases and terry towels, at what point do we consider replacing products and rejecting items is what makes or breaks us day in and day out.  

Fabrics being used today in the products being processed in our laundries or rent or sell on a daily basis have advanced dramatically from years’ past. A higher percentage of synthetic yarns as well as more ring spun cotton is being integrated into the manufacturing of the fabrics used to produce scrubs, patient gowns, bed linen, uniforms and toweling. This new wave of fabric technology plays an important role in adding to linen life and reducing replacements and keeping the reject level down.  Because more and more garments and textiles are being manufactured using a higher percentage of synthetic yarns as well as ring spun cotton, life is being added to any given product in this category.  

At one time, for example, 100 percent cotton scrubs were the norm.  But as laundries wanted a product that would last longer and enable them to get more servings on that specific product, polyester was introduced into the fabrics thus adding life to the product.  Over the years this transition continued as poplins that were poly rich in content were developed, adding life to the garment compared to its 100 percent cotton predecessor. Today we are seeing a new wave of 100 percent poly products rolling into our marketplace, thus yielding products that seem to last forever, “so to speak”. With this added linen life comes a higher purchase price to the laundry. But if you take into consideration the decreasing replacement factor, ultimately so does your ultimate overall costs.  

Another factor that we as laundries need to consider is how we process our garments on a daily basis. This includes the machinery we use and the chemicals used to clean and process our goods each and every day. As fabrics have evolved, so has the machinery being used to process products and the chemicals used in developing our wash formulas. These two factors can and will have a direct impact on the linen life of product.    

Times have changed and the way we do business is changing on a daily basis. If we want to add linen life to our product, reduce our replacements and keep our ragout factor low, we need to take stock in what we use and how we process. Are we keeping up with the change in today’s technology? It can be a fast-paced race, but one worth running.  

Want to learn more? Contact Scott at

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