Why do hotels outsource laundry services instead of cleaning in-house?

Managing laundry is a time-consuming but essential task for hotels. Many choose to outsource this function for reasons such as cost reduction, lower staff expenses, increased efficiency, sustainability benefits, better control, and the ability to focus on core hospitality offerings. Outsourcing allows hotels to convert fixed expenses into variable costs, leverage economies of scale, and improve their environmental impact. Despite initial concerns about control, partnering with professional laundry services proves to be a strategic move for hotels, enabling them to prioritise guest experiences and drive profitability.

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Freya Gutteridge

Business & Insights

Doing laundry is an essential yet time-consuming task for hotels. With the constant turnover of guests, piles of dirty linens and towels quickly accumulate and need washing every day. While hotels could do this tedious work in-house, most find it makes better business sense to outsource laundry services. There are several key reasons why contracting laundry to an outside provider is advantageous.

Lower costs

One of the top reasons hotels use third-party laundry services is to reduce costs. Hotels focus on customer service and their core hospitality offerings, they prefer allocating resources to improving the guest experience rather than washing linens. Laundry facilities require a significant upfront investment in equipment, supplies and labour. Outsourcing removes this financial burden from the hotel. 

Professional laundry services achieve economies of scale and can provide cleaning at a lower per-kg price. This converts what was a fixed cost into a variable cost that scales with occupancy rates.

Reduce staff costs

In addition to equipment costs, keeping laundry in-house ties up valuable labour. Laundry staff must be scheduled, managed and supplemented during peak times, but outsourcing the function offloads these HR duties and headaches. It also reduces repetitive strain injuries that laundry workers are prone to. 

Third-party services can provide training and best practices that in-house staff may lack. This produces higher-quality results.

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Increased efficiency

Efficiency is another major reason hotels use offsite laundering. Professional services invest in the latest technology and automated processes, which speed up turnaround times compared to hands-on washing methods. Speed is critical to keeping rooms available for check-in and remaking beds quickly after checkout. 

Outsourcers can also handle speciality items like dry cleaning that properties aren't equipped for. Their scale gives them an advantage hotels can't match.


In addition to operational benefits, outsourcing to an eco-friendly laundry service allows hotels to improve their sustainability footprint. Washing linens internally generates significant water and energy waste, not to mention detergent runoff. Working with a service that utilises renewable energy sources, recycles water, and uses biodegradable detergents reduces a hotel's overall environmental impact. 

Many properties seek to achieve green certifications for their buildings and improve their ESG metrics. Partnering with a laundry provider focused on sustainability helps support this goal while appealing to environmentally-conscious guests. Taking steps to wash linens responsibly demonstrates a hotel's commitment to the planet and focus on green operations.

Learn more about what makes our processes sustainable.

Better control and accountability

Working with a dedicated laundry provider improves control and accountability since they allow hotels to closely track their processed and returned linens, which helps to guard against loss and theft. It also enables accurate cost management rather than estimating in-house expenses. 

Outsourcers provide full audits and reporting, and their staff are vetted, trained and subject to stringent quality assurance, which gives hotels confidence in the security and compliance of the laundry process.

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Focus on more important tasks

Freeing hotels from doing laundry means they can better focus on service, amenities and the guest experience, these elements are far more important to staying competitive and driving revenue. Allowing staff to spend more time on customer-facing interactions and less on non-core back-of-house functions directly improves satisfaction, that's a better use of human capital.

Outsourcing is a no-brainer

So, why do hotels outsource laundry service? Outsourcing laundry services makes strong business sense for hotels. It turns a fixed expense into a variable cost, provides labour savings, increases efficiency, improves accountability and enables hotels to focus on service and amenities. 

It also gives hotels the opportunity to improve their sustainability metrics by opting for an eco-friendly laundry service company, since laundry generates a huge amount of wastewater, and requires lots of heat. Sustainable laundry services use low-energy and low-water methods, such as ozone cleaning, or water recycling techniques.

While giving up control can be challenging, the benefits outweigh the costs for most properties, working with a professional laundry service is a smart strategy to reduce operational burdens. This allows hotels to focus on delighting guests and driving profits.

Looking to outsource your laundry?

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