In Search of Clean Napkins

Posted June 26, 2015 at 11:09 am

Put a drop of clean water on a clean napkin, and it should absorb the water in under three seconds. That’s a test that Kristin Dempsey, vice president of sales and marketing, Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply Inc., Jessup, PA, gives potential customers. It works every time, says Dempsey, for a properly washed spun-poly napkin. “The cleaner the fabric, the faster the water will absorb.”

Dempsey recently weighed in on how to maintain high-quality polyester restaurant napkins in a Washington Post article, from using the right surfactants to dislodge grease to high-tech, high-speed machines that sanitize, dry and iron. She should know. Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply, co-founded in 1959 by her father, Patrick Dempsey, a recipient of TRSA’s Textile Services Operator Lifetime Achievement Award, washes a half-million pounds of linens every week.

When mid-range restaurants typically rent napkins, they look for durable, colorfast and 100% polyester goods, but improper cleaning can unintentionally minimize customer service. Although cheaper than spun poly by 50%, basic or filament poly’s continuous fiber gets coated with food fats and odors. Spun poly, on the other hand, has short fibers woven into a cottony web that can trap droplets of liquid.

Back to Dempsey and her test for properly cleaned napkins. A worthy encounter for potential customers. For more, click here.