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Sorting Washing

Tumble drying


Manual or automatic

© Partner Program Guide 2009 1

Different Types of Processing
Today, the laundry process is handled differently depending on
where in the world you are. The two major ways are the American
way and the European way.

American Way

Washer Dryer
Extractor 5 minutes
200G 55% 20% Dryer Ironer Cyl.
residual residual D500 8 m/min
moisture moisture


It is possible to pre-dry linen in a tumble dryer before ironing. For

this type of setup, normal spin washer extractors are sufficient.
Since linen has lower residual moisture, it is possible to iron at a
higher speed.

In some countries the linen is taken directly from the washer

extractor to the tumble dryer. In others, a washer extractor with a
lower G-force and a hydro-extractor are used before the linen is
put in the tumble dryer.

There is nothing wrong with this process, though it involves more

steps. There are a lot of machines in the laundry requiring enough
space for the operators to move freely. Besides this, pre-drying
entails significant costs as dryers are one of the most expensive
units to run (in terms of energy consumption costs) in a laundry.

© Partner Program Guide 2009 2

Different Types of Processing
Northern European way (AHL)

Washer Dryer
Extractor 10 minutes Chest Ironer
300G 50% 15 à 20 %
D400 4 m/min
residual residual
moisture moisture

80 G

It is also possible, and this is frequent in Europe, to combine

high spin washer extractors (or separate washers and
extractors), tumble dryers and ironers.

For this kind of setup small chest ironers (ELS IB423 series),
which are not drying, are sufficient.

They allow excellent finishing of the linen.

European way (OPL)

Dryer Ironer Cyl.
D500 4 m/minute


© Partner Program Guide 2009 3

Different Types of Processing
European way (OPL)

Flat linen
Dryer Ironer Cyl.
D500 4 m/minute


Terries & clothes

To optimize the space, use and cost of the laundry, OPL runs
with High Spin washers. Here, terry towels and all shaped
garments are dried in the tumble dryer while all flat linen is fed
directly from the washer to the ironer where it will be dried,
ironed and, depending on the options, folded and stacked in
the same operation.

© Partner Program Guide 2009 4

The Different Laundry Steps
The following description is for general purposes only and does not take into
account specific applications, such as the barrier concept, clean rooms and so

From sorting to storing

The washing process in a laundry comprises several stages, from collecting the dirty
laundry to the delivery of the finished goods.

The flow chart on the previous page provides an overview of the entire washing
process, a process which begins by sorting the soiled laundry. Sorting the laundry
correctly is essential to obtaining a good washing result.

How to sort the laundry

Before actually putting the laundry into the washer extractor, the laundry has to be
sorted. By carefully sorting the laundry, mishaps in the washing process are avoided.
The list below can be used as a guide. Sort the goods according to:

1. The washing symbols

Always begin by checking the washing labels in the garments.

2. The textile material

If there are no washing symbols in the garments, sort the laundry according to the type
of textile.

3. The colour of the laundry

White and light coloured items can be washed together. Dark coloured items can be
washed together, but pay attention to any colour bleeding indicated by the washing
instruction labels.

4. The degree and type of soiling

Sort the laundry according to the degree of soiling – lightly or heavily soiled. Lightly
soiled laundry may be bed linen at a hotel, while kitchen laundry or industrial laundry is
heavily soiled. It is also possible to sort the laundry according to various types of dirt,
such as oil, blood and infected goods.

5. Textile families
When the laundry has been sorted and is ready to wash, it is important to load the
washer extractor with the proper amount of laundry. This will ensure the optimal
washing economy as well as the best washing result.

© Partner Program Guide 2009 5

The Different Laundry Steps
5. Textile families
A textile family is comprised of by that require the same finishing. Nurses shall, of
course, be equipped with soiled laundry trolleys allowing to them to sort the different
textile families, of which there are four:

LF: Large Flat

Bed sheets, undersheets, items measuring more than 1m², bedspreads
(that can handle high temperatures)
SF: Small Flat
Pillowcases, hospital nightdresses, handkerchiefs, kitchen linen
LD: Linen to Tumble Dry
Terries (incl. possible face masks to be washed in nets), underwear
(that can handle high temperatures)
ATR: All the Rest
Garments, bedding

Bags can be of different colours, however:

Never use red bags reserved for contaminated items

If you use colour bags, please note that the colour of the laundry bag indicates its
content, never its origin.

Ideal for collecting the dirty laundry in the health services is a trolley carrying bags of
different colours with lids order to prevent the spread of bad odours and even airborne

Practice to avoid

Laundry collection with plastic bins:

Some customers collect the laundry in plastic bins. In terms of bacteria, this seems like
a good idea, but in practice it is a catastrophe. Moreover, plastic bins or bags do not
allow the moisture from the linen to evaporate. Moisture remains in the garments and
creates fungus, which is unpleasant for the guests/patients.

Always sort on a table at a comfortable height to avoid fatigue and discomfort.

Sorting on the floor, even if protected, is bad as floors always convey numerous
bacteria, germs, viruses and so on. There is no reason to contaminate the already
soiled laundry.

© Partner Program Guide 2009 6

The Different Laundry Steps
The following pictures illustrate good and bad sorting


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The Different Laundry Steps

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The Different Laundry Steps

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The Different Laundry Steps

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The Different Laundry Steps

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The Different Laundry Steps
The washing result
When the laundry has been sorted and weighed according to the different kinds of
textile and degree of soiling, it is washed. The washing result is affected by several
parameters, such as the quality of the water, the detergent and the washing
programme. It is important to load the washer extractor with the proper amount of
laundry. This will ensure the optimal washing economy as well as the best washing

Two main factors have to be considered to know whether the washing process is
satisfactory: Rate of re-washing
Life-time of the laundry

Rate of re-washing (re-washing to be done daily):

To be considered on a daily basis. It should comprise between 1 and 2% of the
daily load.

< 1%: Detergents are too strong, too aggressive and will wear the
laundry quite fast. Looking at the tumble dryer, you would
notice the results on the lint, the presence of oxycellulose.
> 2%: The detergents are not suitable for the type of soiling.

Tumble drying
The tumble dryer is used to dry garments, or in other words to bring about water
evaporation with the purpose of obtaining a quick and efficient drying process.

Energy consumption and drying time are closely related. Tumble dryers are the most
energy-demanding units in a laundry. They account for up to half of the total energy
consumption in a laundry. To save energy and thereby achieve a more profitable drying
process, proper air flow and accurate temperature control are essential. In addition,
Electrolux Laundry Systems dryers feature Residual Moisture Control (RMC).

RMC stops the dryer when the garments have reached a pre-selected degree of
moisture. This process is controlled automatically, and will bring several advantages to
the drying process:
Energy is saved, as the machine operates only for as long as needed.

There is less wear on the garments, because the machine does not run longer than

The machine stops when the garments are in the right condition for subsequent
treatment, such as ironing.

© Partner Program Guide 2009 12

The Different Laundry Steps
Ironing – Finishing

Removing creases
When the laundry has been washed, some textiles are fully dried in the tumble dryer
while other textiles are just pre-dried. The type of textile will determine how the fabric is
treated in the finishing process. Domestic washing will normally utilise an iron to finish
shirts and the like, but for industrial purposes there are several kinds of finishing

The finishing process may include the following steps:

During a wet cleaning or dry cleaning process, garments will normally be de-creased on
a steam air finisher before being pressed. This process is called conditioning. After
conditioning, the garment is pressed.

Finishing wet-cleaned garments

After garments have been wet cleaned, as in the Lagoon process, a special finishing
process is performed.

Finishing dry-cleaned garments

When garments have been dry cleaned, they are finished in a process similar to

This is when the final appearance is achieved, creases are formed, seams, hems and
panels are pressed. Pressing can be executed in a number of different ways depending
on the type and quantity of items to be pressed. Basically, the heat of the iron removes
the residual water, and the pressure removes the creases.

The purpose of pressing and ironing is the same – to soften the fabric, to remove
creases and to dry the fabric. Flat linen is generally ironed. This applies to bed sheets,
tablecloths and similar items.

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The Different Laundry Steps
Flat linen finishing
Hygienists agree that laundry should not be handled more than 4 times between the
end of the wash cycle and the time it is stored in delivery trolleys.

The best way:

Large Flat: The large flat linen coming out from the washer is put in trolleys or on
stands from which it is back to be directly fed into the flatwork ironer. If the ironer
has no built-in folding device, the operators feed one piece and while this is being
processed they fold the one that just came out. Once folded, one operator puts
the piece of linen in the delivery trolley next to him or her. To avoid excessive
handling, we also recommend that the first piece of linen is only folded lengthwise,
with the 9 following pieces properly folded and placed inside the first, finally
wrapping these latter pieces in the first. This results in a “package” of 10 pieces:
There is no more need after to touch each piece to count them, 1 package = 10
pieces = less handling = less risk of re-infection = time saved.

Small Flat: Put in trolleys when unloaded from the washers, it is fed into the flatwork
ironer, folded rapidly to prevent any creasing and stacked exactly the same way as
for the large flat linen.

Practices to avoid
Laundry should be sorted prior to washing; never after. This is to avoid re-soiling of the
laundry by the operators as hands always convey germs, even if regularly washed.


Folding, mending and storing

After washing, drying and finishing, the laundry is folded and stored. The textiles
should be stored stacked on shelves, or hung on garment hangers or similar.

However, before folding the laundry, it should be inspected to ensure the washing
process has been successful. Moreover, the textiles should be checked to see whether
they need to be mended in any way.

Consequently, the laundry must be able to handle:

•Laundry damage




© Partner Program Guide 2009 14