3 tips to conserve water and keep linens sanitary

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Hotels around the world use huge amounts of water every day. According to the Australian Tourism Board, medium to large hotels can use as much as 20,000 gallons of water per day. It's a lot of water, but some might say it's necessary to maintain sanitary conditions within the building. It's true that sanitation shouldn't be sacrificed for conservation efforts, but there are ways to save water, save energy and save money while maintaining a clean hotel. Hotel managers, housekeepers, and hotel guests can all work together to make this possible.

1. Only wash linens when necessary
Many hotels have already introduced a system in which housekeepers will only change out new sheets and towels if the old ones are left on the floor. Towels remaining on the racks are simply folded neatly for the guests' use the next day. If a guest thinks the towel needs to be replaced, he can leave it on the bathroom floor. This way, linens are only washed when they are dirty, or when a new guest checks into the room. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, this simple measure saves water and water related costs by 17 percent. Additionally, linens tend to wear out less frequently while using this method.

"Tunnel washers can save hotels an average of $176,000 per year."

2. Check washer capacity
Another way to save on water and energy costs is to only run washing machines and dryers at capacity, said the California Department of General Services. Anything else is just a waste of resources. But this isn't all the hospitality industry can do to save the bottom line. Using energy efficient machines can really cut down on costs. National Geographic reported that some Las Vegas hotels have even purchased special washing machines called "Tunnel washers," which push clothing through a tunnel containing water and detergent. The source said these machines use less water and save the hotel an average of $176,000 per year.

Poor indoor air quality could mean infested sheets and towels.Poor indoor air quality could mean infested sheets and towels.

3. Air Quality Affects Linens
Maintaining the cleanliness of the air inside a hotel is normally thought of as a measure to protect guests with allergies, asthma and other sensitivities, but it also affects the condition of bed sheets and towels. According to a research paper published by Cornell University, high humidity levels in hotel rooms can cause mold and mildew to grow on shower curtains, towels and other fabric items. These dangerous growths can irritate allergies or cause serious asthmatic reaction.

Regular cleaning of hotel room HVAC systems also prevents dangerous particles from entering the air and landing on linens. Legionnaire's Disease, which presents symptoms similar to influenza, is capable of living in air conditioning cooling towers.

Most people only spend a few days a year in hotel rooms, but it's still important to educate the population about the importance of conserving water away from home. As for hotel managers and staff, conserving resources should be a part of daily operations. Together, staff and guests can help out the environment, lower costs and stay healthy.

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