The Essential Guide to Linen Handling

The Essential Guide to Linen Handling
The Essential Guide to Linen Handling teaser

19 Nov 2018

For those who work in the hospitality and health industry, handling linen is at the core of your business. Though it’s not often thought about by your clients and customers, linen handling can be an issue if handled improperly – for your staff and your customers. A study conducted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) showed a 70% increase in efficiency of barrier protection against infections and sanitary complaints when linen is laundered and handled properly. To assist you in correct linen handling we have put together this essential guide.

Collecting and Storing Clean Linen

When freshly laundered, clean linen must be stored in a clean and closed-off cupboard, preferably dedicated to clean linen storage. It must not be stored on the floor. A good procedure is to keep soiled or dirty linen away from any clean linen to reduce the risk of contamination. Clean linen, especially in the case of hospitals, should be stored in a bag in a designated colour to show staff the contents.


Transporting Linen – Trolleys

A laundry trolley is the most practical transport system. To reduce back strain and ease of use for personnel, a spring-loaded, wire-mesh trolley is best as it ensures clean linens are always at a height which removes the need for bending down or picking up at any time. As linen is removed, the spring base returns to the starting position. A mesh or wire cage around the linen prevents contact with the floor or other surfaces. Remember: if clean linen touches any surface other than the one it’s intended for, it’s no longer considered clean linen.
Pictured: Large Wet & Dry Laundry Trolley

Handling Dirty Linen

Dirty linen should be placed into a designated bag. The bags should not be more than two-thirds full in the best case. Soiled or infected linen should be handled with personal protective equipment (PPE) and stored in bags marked as biohazards. One should never shake linen in the environment – it should be placed into the bag immediately. Linen handlers should also wash their hands before and after handling dirty or soiled linen, even while using PPE such as gloves or face masks.

General Storage Tips

A general rule for linen circulation is 50% of the total on shelves, 25% in use and 25% in processing (about to be washed or washing.) You should always keep your linen stores locked and tidy, have your linen trolleys covered to prevent contamination and theft, and make sure linen is never unattended or unprotected. When linen is being transported, make sure trolleys are safe and secure at all times.
If your hotel or healthcare facility are looking for high quality laundry trolleys that meet occupational health and safety standards and allow for maximum contamination protection checkout the Backsafe range. The Backsafe range includes laundry trolleys that are available in small, medium, large, and custom options. Contact us on 1300 305 314 or email us at

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