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I currently stock 4 linen sets & a large amount of towels at the home for turns. For context the home has 5 beds with up to 10 guests. This helps reduce how often I need to show up at the home to handle laundry. However the time required to wash, fold, and return the linens on my own is exorbitant so I am looking for alternate options.
I have two under consideration. First is having the cleaners handle laundry, the second being finding a wash and fold.
My concern with having the cleaning crew handle laundry at the property is turnaround time and quality of wash. My concerns with a wash and fold service is cost.
Do any of you all have experience with a wash and fold? Looking for any feedback with ideas on how laundry might best be handled.
However, the cleaner recently complained, saying that this procedure is inefficient because her cleaning is constantly interrupted by the washing/drying. So we’re testing out a procedure where she takes the laundry home and cleans it there for an extra $X, which is about half of what a clean and fold service would do.
We did try this out and the wash and fold did an excellent job [‘Happy Nest’, which is nationwide in U.S. including Dayton, OH (just saying; I see that now as your name not your location]; it was convenient (they pick up and drop off). They charge by the weight, and for three beds (K, Q and full) it was about $55, not counting anything else like duvets and mattress covers.
So, we can do this either way – with a wash and fold at twice the cost the cleaner charges, or having the cleaner take it home and bring it back on the next turnover. [Or living downstairs, we can do the cleaning/drying ourselves separate from the day of cleaning; we also have duplicate (or more) sets of linens.]. The Host senses that the housecleaner might not be happy with the task of cleaning the sheets at home and returning, but it was the housecleaner’s idea.
By the way, we have two washers and dryers, which makes the process easier but still it is an interruption to the housecleaning that this cleaner didn’t think efficient. I talked with our standby cleaner (also gardener/deep cleaner) and he said that he thought it far preferable to just do the house cleaning, and to do the linens washing as a separate task whether wash and fold or whether the cleaner does it separately.
So now the only laundry that the house cleaner does at the same time of house cleaning is the towels.
ASIDE: You didn’t ask but . . . We have our regular turnover cleaner, AND we also have another cleaner that does deep cleaning tasks when the schedule permits, plus in the low season does other cleaning/maintenance projects and repairs (e.g., waxing doors). We’ve found this approach to work very well for us because the regular cleaner is very good (and fast) but not excellent/outstanding as our deep cleaner who is more expensive per hour but very thorough and has a good eye for things. As he is also the gardener, we often have him look over the regular cleaner’s work on turnovers (if he’s here) for about a half hour or so of work. He always finds something but often not much (he showed me a few eyelashes that he found in the upper bathroom sink overflow holes – so, he’s detail oriented (no, he wasn’t joking)).
I do my own cleaning and bring everything home to wash.
I have heard of others in my area that buy cheap sets of sheets and use new cheap sets for each bed. When their cleaners strip the beds, they toss the used ones in the trash. I personally feel that’s so wasteful but they claim it saves them money when the cleaning team is charging them $75 an hour.
Others at the Jersey Shore simply don’t provide sheets. Guests have to bring their own linens and towels. Check other listings in your area to see if many don’t provide linens. If so, your best solution is to have guests bring their own.
That is disgraceful. Apart from the appalling waste, sheets (or anything) should be washed before use anyway.
I’m pretty sure that the story of the bloke who died as a result of the rat-piss-in-the-coca-cola-warehouse was an urban myth but as my mum used to say (about just about anything) "you don’t know where they’ve been.
From my personal experience running multiple STRs, laundry is not scalable for cleaners to handle. What ever increase in pay you agree to with them, may seem like a good deal for them initially, but law of diminshing returns will set in if they continue to get cleaning accounts in addition to yours. They will then be forced to make the same decision you are currently tasked with: Do they continue doing the job or can they outsouce it to someone else?
Between those two choices, I would opt for the wash and fold.
However, if you don’t mind I would like to offer a third option. Find a cleaning company that offers laundry service and replacement of replishables, such as toiletries. This is what I use.
Yes! This is something that our standby cleaner/gardener does, fills up the liquid soaps, put GreenGobbler enzymes in the drains, checks the lights, replaces the batteries per our schedule, things like that.
I have my cleaners do the laundry. They are paid by the hour and I have two washer/dryer sets. I don’t really get the complaining about inefficiency if they are being paid at market hourly rate. I guess in my case I presented the job that way so there was never an expectation for it to be different. Given how much laundry you have though, it may not be possible to have them get it all done on time.
I don’t want to get too philosophical, but you did mention your concern was cost. You might try objectively assigning a dollar value to your time. Because if it is greater that the additional cost you would accrue from using specialized services, then IMHO you should take the an important step in running a business and fire yourself.
When I put together a projected P/L for an STR to determine if it is viable. I assign 4 hours initially for turn downs, with the goal in mind to optimize the process and get it to 3 hours after 3 months.
I do my own cleaning. This is a two bedroom apartment with 3 beds (1 queen and 2 singles), What I do is wash all the linen in the apartment (two loads, one sheets and the second towels and pillow slips) and then take the wet items to a laundromat for drying and then home for folding/ironing. But I recently picked up a heat pump drier at home so I now do the drying at home since it’s way cheaper than a laundromat and the now the drier captures all the water into a tank that I can dump down the sink. Previously my home drier was a heater type and warmed up the house too much as well as using a lot of power so didn’t want to use it.
I have 4 sets of everything and since my STR is on the second floor it’s easy for me to do the wash at my leisure. I also have solar hot water and heating so that I time my white loads (all linens and towels are white) are done when the hot water is free. I do however, spot treat any stains as soon as the guests leave. I also time the drying of the sheets so that I can put it right onto the bed and not have to worry too much about wrinkles.
I also line dry everything except the towels and sheets. (I feel the dryer is needed to keep them soft.)
I realize that this is not ideal for hosts that have to travel to the STR but It’s just become part of my weekly routine and doesn’t seem so much of a hassle since there’s never a rush to complete.
I have a one bed 220 sf ensuite. I wash everything and put it back on the bed. I almost never have a stain that necessitates using my backup set of sheets. Washing everything takes 2-3 hours but actually cleaning the room only takes 30-40 mins on average. Periodically things like touch up paint, washing baseboards and windows, cleaning ceiling fan blades, get rotated in. The room can literally be cleaned to hotel standards in 20 minutes if the rotating tasks aren’t averaged in.
It used to be just a 110 sf room and guests used the bathroom across the hall. Doubling the square footage changed the calculation so much that I can’t do a 1:1 comparison but it seems the bigger the place gets, the cleaning grows exponentially. LOL