Diagnosis made easy…Waste not…

Diagnosis made easy…Problem identified

Sometimes we’re chasing the wrong problem. Take that persistent glassware haze that a good customer seems to always complain about. You’ve stripped all their glassware with little lasting effect, bumped the detergent concentration and even swapped rinse aids all to no avail. But perhaps the thing you needed to do initially was to diagnose exactly what problem you were facing.

The diagnostic approach is pretty straightforward. First you need a gallon or so of distilled water, your delimer, three bus pans or tubs and of course some machine warewashing detergent.  Then lay a hazy glass in each tub resting on its’ side. To the first tub add enough water to half immerse the glass. To tub number two add enough warm tap water to again half submerge its’ glass and a pour in a good slug of delimer. To tub number three again add warm water, and enough detergent to give you at least a 2% or higher concentration.

After they’ve soaked for at least an hour remove them to compare the immersed halves versus the other side. After looking at all three determine which approach had the most positive effect.

If it’s that first tub, you probably have a high TDS issue consisting of a lot of dissolved solids (like salt) that aren’t being read as water hardness. If it’s number two it’s almost certainly lime scale indicating the need for better a water softening approach, a higher detergent concentration – or one that can better control that water hardness. If it’s the third, the haze is likely unremoved food soil, again indicating the need for a better detergent, or just more of it.

Next up: Dealing with that TDS issue.

Waste not…Want not

Aside from finding guests and residents who don’t clean their shoes with the towels, use washcloths for mascara removal, or hop in the bed dirty when they should have jumped in the shower, there are ways to reduce that rewash percentage. And that may mean increasing chemical usage but the best one doesn’t. It can actually reduce both labor and supply costs.

That more effective approach is to create a sorting process that categorizes the fabrics’ soil classification before they make their way into the wash wheel. And importantly that doesn’t have to be a separate task that reduces labor efficiency, because it happens as the wheel is loaded.

If the formula being run is for overnight sheets – that are essentially clean, but wrinkled, all that needs to be done is to not load those sheets. They’re simply put into the machine next to the one running those, but which is set up to run sheets that are dirty – but not seriously stained. And those stained with mascara, shoe polish, or ones that are just seriously dirty, go into a hamper destined for a stain treatment or very heavy soiled wash formula.

By addressing the degree of soiling before fabrics are inadequately washed, two benefits arise. First, that load of overnight sheets has zero rejects. Second, the actual dirty fabrics are run only once because likewise they’re treated accordingly in that heavier soil load wash formula. And finally the small percentage of deeply soiled and stained fabrics are set aside to be run through a serious reclaim formula or are perhaps discarded outright if there’s no hope of saving them.