Making the most of an in-house laundry

Jean Anderson reports

An OPL – or on premise laundry – may not be for every business but for many it is the perfect solution for keeping full and flexible control of laundry needs.

Many hospitality sector businesses find the best solution for them is a commercial laundry but others, particularly small and mediumsized independent, often ‘bijou’ operations, want to look after their own linen, uniforms and guests’ garments. For them an in-house laundry is a great solution. Then there are care homes, veterinary and equine practices, holiday or educational centres and even prisons, all seeking a bespoke answer to their laundry needs. ‘One size’ certainly doesn’t fit all here, and it could well be that some are simply – and mistakenly – put off by apparent space restrictions or the time needed to install an OPL. Others might do best with a ‘mix and match’ approach, having a small OPL while sending much of their linen to an external laundry. Our experts could surprise you with just how extensive the possibilities can be. Jean Anderson reports.


Whilst many businesses enjoy the benefits of laundering their linen using an external specialist company, there are also a large number that prefer to launder in-house. OPL laundries suit many people due to a variety of reasons.

ILE managing director Richard Brown explains: “Care and nursing homes have always predominantly preferred the OPL route in the main as it allows for quick and efficient washing of soiled linen, gives the control so you know there has been a thermal disinfection where required and also gives the flexibility to wash delicate items according to requirements. “Some hotels and holiday parks also like the ability to launder onsite and have the same control measures in place as mentioned within the care sector.

Washing in-house means that should you suddenly require five extra bed sets or a number of towels, you can simply put the washer on, dry and iron to suit.” Brown continues: “At Industrial Laundry Equipment Ltd, the majority of our customers are commercial and industrial laundries and we specialise in helping with growth but this means we are also the perfect partner for anyone looking to open an OPL as we use our laundry knowledge to help you make the correct decisions. “We also have a full range of equipment from small washers and dryers up to full automated tunnel and ironing lines, meaning we don’t need to push you in any direction other than the right one.”

ILE washers have fully flexible programmability to ensure you have the most efficient wash options available, dryers come with radiant burners to lower gas usage and ironers have the most efficiency in the sector, due to combining thermal oil to the system and therefore being able to utilise smaller burners. Ragdale Hall is one of the premier health spas in Europe and as part of their laundry upgrades, have now installed five dryers from the ILE range: three 35kg and two 50kg smart gas dryers. “These dryers have a higher efficiency than the previous machines and have resulted in immediate cost savings whilst helping to process the very high towelling and robe requirements of a spa,” said Brown.

Having been impressed with ILE equipment and service, Ragdale Hall has also awarded ILE the contract to upgrade their ironer from a 2.5m x 510 diameter machine to a 3.3m x 800 diameter machine that has 80 litres of thermal oil inside and actually uses less gas per hour than the current smaller ironer.

Nicola Handsard from Ragdale Hall said: “We have worked with ILE for a couple of years now and have been very impressed with all of the equipment, the savings and the service response times! We look forward to continuing this relationship in the future.”

Ragdale Hall health spa has chosen five dryers from ILE as part of their laundry upgrade

AGS client Citadines Holborn hotel installed three Electrolux Professional WH6-6 washers and three TD6-6 dryers in their OPL


Quite a few businesses operate an OPL within their site and find the addition of laundry machinery such a benefit rather than waiting for one of the large laundry collection companies to arrive.

“Flexibility is the thing all businesses crave for and having a minimum of a washer and dryer installation gives any company leeway to take care of some, if not all their laundry needs,” says AGS director Mary Simons. “At AGS we are involved with a range of hotels who acknowledge, appreciate and have the space to offer small launderettes for their clients. “It would appear that one apartment/ hotel chain we deal with has taken a decision to ensure that a small laundry/ launderette is within all their sites which it would appear appeals not only to their clientele but to their staff too. “Many clients are quite transient and travel lightly and therefore need to launder garments regularly which they can do without leaving the site and hunting for the local launderette. This particular hotel chain favours 6kg washers and 6kg dryer.

“We also install AGS dosing units and AGS detergents, so our customers have the whole package. The only thing hotel clients need to do is to either put their money in the coin slot, purchase a token or use the contactless payment system so hopefully the expense of setting up an OPL is paid for, in the end by the customer.”

Simons continues: “We have found that the above projects work extremely well and have gone on to install and set up more of these sites throughout London. It is commonplace for us to offer a fast response should our client need onsite assistance. “Our client base also includes schools, synagogues, hairdressers, drycleaners, boarding schools, day schools, colleges, sports clubs, garment manufacturers, golf clubs, caravan sites and vets to name but a few. Machinery sold into these sites vary in size from the smallest to the largest range but like everything, once you have had and used it, it is very hard to do without it.” AGS prefer to be involved in new build projects from the beginning, which enables us to ensure that the site gets the correct laundry equipment for their site. “From a client’s perspective if an OPL is an afterthought it is usually too late to accommodate their total requirements,” said Simons.

The equipment that works well in an OPL environment ranges from an Electrolux 6kg washer up to a 28kg, with tumble dryers complimenting the washers to complete the process, says Simons. “If you can add automatic dosing and AGS detergents, then you are all set and ready to go. AGS sell new Electrolux Professional machinery which ensure utility savings especially as the equipment is available from our large stock of Electrolux Professional goods.”

Want to read more?

There are lots of ways to view articles from Laundry & Cleaning Today

Prefer to subscribe and receive a printed copy of Laundry & Cleaning Today? Click here

If you have a story to share or a general enquiry, call 0118 901 4471 or email