improve routine equipment cleans. Bacteria tend to lurk in detergent drawers, rubber seals and washing drums.5 These areas should be regularly cleaned with hot clothes and appropriate sanitising and disinfectant solutions, along with cleaning areas such as the dryer lint filter on a daily basis. It is also a good idea to be mindful of the environment the washing machines are kept in as some laundry rooms can be humid, which allows bacteria to thrive. That is where appropriate planning and expert installation within a laundry room comes into play, ensuring full ventilation is considered to avoid inadvertently creating an environment that is a haven for bacteria.

The road ahead

In the times we find ourselves in, it would be foolish of all businesses not to plan for the future and every possible eventuality. Unfortunately, machine breakdowns can happen, and often at the worse possible times, so it is important to know how to keep your laundry room operational if you were to experience any breakdowns. If a care home’s laundry equipment was out of action for a number of days this would have a serious impact on the business, along with the health of staff and residents if dirty laundry was not being promptly and effectively washed and dried. In light of this, it is worth considering the common spare parts that could break and those that would need to be replaced promptly to keep a laundry room operational.

Once they have been identified it is wise to order ahead if possible, to ensure stock is available during busy periods. Items such as drain valves, hoses and boards can be ordered in advance and kept as emergency stock, so small repairs

It is also a good idea to be mindful of the environment the washing machines are kept in as some laundry rooms can be humid

can be made with ease to ensure the smooth and effective running of laundry equipment when the throughput of washing is at its highest.

Although commercial laundry equipment and products used within the laundry process are designed to eliminate virus control, I could never have predicted that the industry would find itself responding to a pandemic such as this. The challenge is felt by everyone across the globe, as we all need to do our bit to alter our behaviour to ensure we are protecting the people this virus could harm the most.

Yet as we all rightly keep our distance and stay indoors, it is important to consider the people who are working on behalf of us all, in care homes, the NHS and assisted living spaces. People who continue to provide the care that our most vulnerable members of society rely on. Throughout all of this, I am committed to sharing any industry advice I can, to help tailor the laundry process of any assisted living setting, to ensure it is operating to the best possible standards with regards to minimising virus spread. The only way to get through such times is to all come together, share our knowledge and help one another to navigate through what is an unprecedented situation, and to hopefully look forward to enjoying brighter times, which, if we all work together, almost certainly lie ahead. TCHE


1 Staying at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, GOV.UK 2020

( ns/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay- at-home-guidance-for-households-with- possible-coronavirus-covid-19- infection#laundry)

2 Dealing with the new coronavirus, Laundry and Cleaning News International 2020 ( news/newsdealing-with-the-new-corona- virus-7760743)

3 Health and toxins: does washing my clothes kill all the germs? 2017 ( machine-germs/)

4 Ozone can be used to destroy the new coronavirus and disinfect areas, Thailand Medical News 2020

( zone-can-be-used-to-destroy-the-new- coronavirus-and-disinfect-areas)

5 Your washing machine can be a home for bacteria, 2019 ( news/are-bacteria-hiding-in-your-washing- machine#Whats-in-your-washer?)

Mark Dennis

Mark Dennis is the managing director of MAG Laundry Equipment. Specialising in the supply of energy efficient machinery to a range of industries, including the care sector, MAG Laundry Equipment’s product range comprises washing machines, tumble dryers, roller irons, drying irons and finishing equipment, supported by a dedicated after- sales service.

20 • May 2020

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