In-House vs Commercial Laundry Services: Which is Right for Your Business?

In-House vs Commercial Laundry Services: Which is Right for Your Business?

There is one big question that lots of business owners have. That question is - is it best to use an in-house team when taking care of your linen, or is it better to outsource and use a professional laundry service? In short, it really depends on your specific needs and if you are a smaller business which doesn’t have a huge workforce, perhaps you’ll have no problems using one of your employees. In one sense, if you run a larger business, particularly in the catering industry, using an in-house team can be expensive. It is crucial to weigh up all the possible benefits and figure out what you may need to consider in terms of drawbacks to using an in-house team or commercial laundry business. In this blog, we will outline the benefits of each of these options to hopefully give you a greater understanding of what may work best for you.

Outsourcing Commercial Laundry Services


So firstly, we are going to look at using commercial laundry services. No matter what industry you’re working in, you need to have a cost-effective and practical way to deal with linen and uniforms. Outsourcing is becoming more widely used because it benefits companies in many ways, the task of running an in-house team can be very challenging, not to mention the long list of associated costs.


Cost-Effective & Eco-Friendly

By opting to outsource your linen, you save costs on numerous things such as staff, cleaning products and electricity fees. Commercial laundry businesses can provide much better rates because of economies of scale. They deal with huge amounts of linen, indicating they don’t waste energy on smaller tasks and labour or water for example. In-house laundry teams only often focus on their own items, it isn’t always feasible to wait for a high-volume to arrive before loading the washing machine, sometimes small loads have to be cleaned, even though it doesn’t save on energy.


Create More Room

Having your own laundry facilities essentially means you need additional room to store equipment, you need to have a dedicated space fully stocked with steaming equipment, industrial washing machines, cleaning supplies and other items necessary for running a launderette. You can use this space instead to focus on factors which are important for your business.


Create More Time To Run Your Business

Using a commercial laundry business permits you to focus on your business, allowing you to create time for your employees to focus on more important things that require your attention. Essentially, it is one less thing to worry about when running your business. Unless you’re running a specific laundry service, it is more beneficial to outsource your laundry and permit staff to focus on more essential tasks.


In-house Laundry Services


So now let’s look at the alternative. This is the route lots of companies take to deal with their linen and uniforms, but since more specialised commercial services began being used, things have started to alter. In-house laundry permits management to easily monitor their linen. This means you have complete control over what quality of the linen in your facility, so if something isn’t finished to a high standard, it won’t make it out into the restaurant or hotel.


As we have established, opting for an on-site laundry service means you have total control of your linen, but it comes with a substantial initial investment. Buying all the equipment needed to run your own service costs money, not only in terms of equipment but also the labour fees incurred. As a business owner, you need to also consider the fee of electricity bills and cleaning products. As well as this, items such as industrial washing machines can be costly to run and maintain, they also use a lot of energy which adds to your monthly outgoing costs. You may find that you have more flexibility operating an in-house team, and it comes with the benefit of added security.



Having an in-house laundry department means you won’t be stuck for clean linen or uniforms if you require them last minute or there is a demand for them, they’ll be available at your request whenever you require them. Any large catering firm, hotel or restaurant knows that having fresh, accessible linen is a huge bonus. In addition to this, you may be able to cut costs on deliveries if the company you were dealing with charged

for collection and delivery services.


Quality Monitoring


Buying your own equipment and employing a qualified team of cleaners allows you to control the quality of linen and uniforms which makes it out of your premises. It makes it much easier to inspect your items to ensure your team is constantly cleaning your company’s linen to the best possible standard. Your management staff won’t have to tend with external contractors if they are happy with the standard of their laundry.


No Contracts


One of the main reasons to consider in-house laundry services is that there is no need to sign any contracts or commit to any long-term agreements. If your laundry department isn’t operating as effectively as you wish, you can easily change personnel and employ more suitable candidates. A high majority of commercial linen services will provide great services, but most will request that you sign a contract, but there are some who now offer non-contractual services.


Often, laundry services were run by an in-house department who looked after all the organisation’s linen and uniforms, but times have changed, and business owners are starting to see the many benefits of hiring a commercial laundry service. They offer attention to detail, low-cost services and affordable costs. Running an in-house laundry team can be very trialling, and costly. You have to consider the cost of items such as detergent, industrial washing machines, steaming devices, irons and other factors. As well as this, you must hire a team of experienced cleaners who can guarantee spotlessly clean, stain-free linen and uniforms every time they process items. It really depends on your requirements, but it seems like most business owners are opting to outsource because of the many advantages it offers.


South West Laundry - UK Commercial Laundry Services


South West Laundry is Cornwall’s leading Specialist for laundry and linen hire solutions. We began as an independent Cornish family business founded in 1996 by Tony Retallack and son Wayne. In 2003 daughter Julie Perkin joined the business to make it a real family operation. Our committed team of people, many of whom have been with the company since day one have a wealth of expertise and specialist knowledge, collectively we use these skills to consistently exceed our customer’s expectations on service, quality and price.


In August 2018 South West Laundry was acquired by the highly respected Johnson Service Group PLC, one of the largest textile rental companies in the UK with a view to extending the geographical reach of their prestigious hotel linen services across the South West of England. If you are interested in using our services or finding out more about commercial laundry services, please get in touch with us today to find out more about what we can do for you - we would be happy to help!



Published on: November 30, 2020

Quote Enquiry

Contact us to make an enquiry about your linen needs today.

Phone 01736 759 174 Email Get a quote

Change today. Change the future.


learn more