When the World’s 2nd Oldest Profession becomes More Dangerous than the 1st.

Originally Posted by Jeff Wile on LinkedIn | June 11, 2014

Laundry. It’s really the world’s second oldest profession – and it is big business. If you aren’t aware of the “oldest” (as my 6 year old son would say), Google it.

Laundry is everywhere. It shows up at your workplace, throughout the restaurants you eat at, the clinics your family visits, the hotel beds you sleep in, at your local gym, on your massage table, in your mechanic’s shop and all of the places in between. You probably do a little bit of laundry at home too, but we’ll trust you’ve got that under control.

Despite laundry’s omnipresence, it goes almost unnoticed. However, businesses need to begin paying attention.

The most potentially hazardous laundered items are used by healthcare facilities. Sheets, towels, gowns and medical uniforms can all transport harmful (and potentially deadly) pathogens. Commercial laundry is also usually processed and exchanged between 100’s or 1,000’s of local facilities, so it’s even possible for these microorganisms to be transported into a clean business. Unless the laundry service is delivering to a major hospital, the laundered healthcare products are delivered and picked up at multiple locations. It’s for this reason, the soiled products must be kept entirely separate from the clean laundry throughout the route.

As recently as April of this year, articles in major publications such as the New York Times and Fox News have resulted in an increased awareness throughout the healthcare sector. Ultimately, any surge in information at the customer level will increase demands on every laundry to increase their standards, as well as to achieve processing certifications. The Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) is one of the organizations leading the way when it comes to laundry compliance certifications. Hygienically Clean, Hygienically Clean – Healthcare, Clean Green and Hygienically Clean – Food Safety are certifications they offer. Learn more about the details and specific requirements for each of their programs, as well as other certification types atLaundryCompliance.com/Laundry-Certification/.

Although healthcare requires the most stringent laundering processes, other types of laundry providers must pay attention too. Restaurant patrons usually don’t stop to think, “What was the process to get this napkin from the rotten soil hamper in the back of another restaurant, to the local laundry facility, processed, touched several times, prepared for delivery, and finally shipped to the restaurant?”, as they go to put their linen napkin across their lips. And unless you’re lucky enough to be the first delivery of the day, your crisp clean linen and uniforms are being transported with nauseating soiled bar towels, aprons and mats from earlier pickups.

Now that we’ve seen the Good, the Bad and the Ugly about laundry services, what can businesses do to keep their business safe and clean? Do your research and hire a compliant laundry. Perhaps you might want to request a plant tour from any prospective vendor. References from similar businesses are also a great idea. To learn more about the certifications laundries can work to achieve, visit our Laundry Compliance website. You can also find local companies by selecting Find Compliant Laundries.

So as the unofficial World’s 2nd Oldest Profession, it’s clear laundry service needs to be taken seriously. Leave it in the hands of professionals who maintain compliance in their laundry, on the road and at their customers’ businesses. As awareness for laundry compliance grows, we’ll be here to help businesses get the information they need to keep their organizations protected and educated.