Hotel Safety Guide

How to use reusable textiles and other products from linen, uniform and facility services to maintain hotel employee and guest safety and health.

Universal Precautions
Greater Precautions for Safe Textile Handling

Use OSHA Universal Precautions to handle all linens, uniforms, garments and other textiles. All soiled textiles should be considered contaminated. This requires deploying appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for housekeeping, maintenance staff and others. These measures prevent contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials such as other body fluids or unfixed body tissue. Consult linen service personnel regarding tactics to separate higher-risk soiled textiles (stained, harboring needles for medical injection) to minimize employees’ handling risk.

  • Ask your linen or uniform service about the best face mask options to comfort and protect employees and guests. Reusable masks that meet U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and disposable gloves should be worn by staff. Gloves should be replaced often throughout an employee’s shift.
  • If possible, do not shake soiled linen. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
  • Carts and vehicles used to carry both soiled and clean linen must be properly sanitized after unloading and before reloading with cleaned goods. Clean linen must be properly covered during transport.

Daily Linen Changes
Benefits of Steady Linen Changes, Daily Washing

Demonstrate management’s commitment to guarantee a safe and healthy environment by cleaning all textiles daily, used or not, including bed linens, towels and other items used by patrons or staff. Compared with direct contact with potentially infectious materials, the risk of cross-contamination from guest room surfaces imperiling guests, housekeepers or other hotel staff is remote. This aligns with the CDC stance that surface transmission of coronavirus is unlikely compared with person-to-person spread as well as research that shows the lack of adherence of the virus to softer surfaces. However, using a commercial laundry ensures the highest level of hygienically clean linens possible and replacing them as part of day-to-day housekeeping service indicates a hotel’s exceptional dedication to minimizing contamination risk.

Professionally Laundered Uniforms for All Employees

Give staff (front- and back-of the house, food service) hygienically cleaned, commercially laundered uniforms and garments to wear throughout their shift. Research verifies the superior cleanliness and public preference for professional laundering of workwear. Do not permit home-washing: these items should be left at the hotel to be picked up and commercially laundered. Employees should receive a clean uniform or garment at the start of each shift, replacing the clothes in which they commuted to the hotel.

Table Linen
Tablecloths for Hygiene and Social Distancing

Hygienically Clean reusable tablecloths, place mats and napkins should be used to create a healthier dining experience. Switching a clean tablecloth between guests ensures a clean and safe table. Contamination risk is minimized in accordance with laundry best practices when linens are processed according to Hygienically Clean Certified commercial laundry standards. Bacteria has been shown to be present in excessive amounts on bare restaurant tables, even with regular cleaning, in comparison with tablecloths, which can provide a 5-times-cleaner surface. Bare tables can be a breeding ground for all types of microscopic bacteria. Hygienically Clean and safe reusable table linens regularly and dramatically reduce the amount of bacteria patrons are subjected to, ensuring that dining tables are more sanitary.

Social Distancing to Identify Available Tables

Tablecloths facilitate social distancing by identifying only the tables that should be used when such separation is required. Placemats accomplish the same by seating guests further apart at a bar, table or counter.

Laundry Hygiene
Large-Scale Laundries Maximize Hygiene

For greater cleanliness of linens, uniforms and other textiles, outsource their cleaning to an industrial-scale laundry operation. Such companies rent textile inventory as part of their laundry service or just launder hotel-owned items. Processes that foster hygiene are easier and most economical to maintain in these larger laundries.

  • Soil Barrier: Large volume of work creates separate areas of plant for processing clean and soiled items, a wall between them minimizes cross-contamination risk
  • Negative Air Flow: In the absence of such a wall, air can be blown by fans or ventilation systems from the clean area toward the soiled area to protect clean laundry from soiled air contamination
  • Proof of Chemistry: Greater detergent volume enables use of automated delivery of chemicals to machines, tracking proof of delivery
  • Optimal Wash Formulas: Large-scale machinery can consistently expose linens to higher temperatures through washing, drying and ironing, meeting or exceeding standards listed by the CDC and many state organizations, ensuring sanitization needed to produce hygienically clean linens
  • Associate Safety: More floor space and excess equipment capacity enable social distancing
  • Automation: Mass-production processes replace manual handling with automated material handling in sorting, washing, drying, feeding, ironing, folding and packaging. Physical touch points are minimized.

Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizer throughout Your Facility

Select from high-capacity dispensing options available from linen and uniform services for placement in key locations in your restaurant to encourage your employees and patrons to take advantage. Dispensers are ADA-compliant when properly mounted and available in manual and touch-free dispensing options. Work with your linen and uniform service to determine small-quantity placements, too, across dining areas, public spaces and employee-only work areas.

Hygiene Chemicals
Chemicals, Textiles Delivered for Variety of Cleanliness Needs

Use commercial cleaning solutions on all hard surfaces throughout the day, including entryway door handles, kitchen area and bathrooms. Ensure your increased demand is fulfilled for these as well as air freshener, hand soap, disinfectants, sanitizers, other kitchen chemicals and restroom supplies by adding them to your regular linen and uniform service delivery. Use approved disinfectants. Choose mops, towels and other wiping cloths appropriate for each cleaning task; ask your linen and uniform service for a reliable supply of restroom paper products.

Reopening Guidance PDF
Hotel Reopening Guidance PDF

Save and share a PDF of the guidance on this webpage, which shows how linen, uniform and facility services are vital partners in maintaining hotel employee and guest safety and health by creating custom programs that address specific lodging management concerns, rather than simply providing commodities.

Hotel Reopening Guidance

Research: Consumers and Hotel Decision-Makers

See data from surveys quantifying guests’ perceptions of linen quality and conservation and hotel environmental conscientiousness; and hoteliers’ view of our industry’s products and services, hotel on-premises laundry costs and the value of outsourcing

National Online Survey of Consumers
Business to Business Survey of Uniform and Textile Rental Decision Makers