Some small and mid-size businesses see themselves as having two options for laundering work uniforms: a professional service or the take-home method.
But while letting your employees wash their own uniforms might seem simpler or less expensive, it's usually neither. And when you factor in the risks to health, safety and your company's image, the real price is no bargain. It takes professional knowledge and care to properly cleanse, sanitize, and repair work uniforms. And it actually can cost your business up to four times more to have your employees launder their uniforms at home.
Putting Safety First
From exposure to harsh work environments as well as increasing the risk of product contamination in the food processing workplace, most home washing machines and soaps are not equipped to properly or safely sanitize a work uniform.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 32 million workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals in more than 3.5 million workplaces. A NIOSH study that looked into contamination in workers' homes by hazardous substances transported from the workplace, identified work as an exposure route that caused health effects among worker families. In some cases, home washing machines and dryers contained dangerous levels of hazardous substances. In brief, NIOSH recommends that employees who work outside of the home leave soiled work uniforms on the job in order to reduce the risk of contamination.
Key industries affected by safety issues around cleaning work garments at home also include agriculture, beauty salons, food manufacturing, heavy manufacturing, construction, as well as office and retail workers. Additionally, in the food manufacturing industry, employees washing their work clothes at home are not likely to properly cleanse and sanitize their garments. In the event their work clothes are not processed properly the risk of contaminating the food products they manufacture rises dramatically.
Brand Alignment, from the Uniform Up
Would you expect your employees to draw your company logo on official documents? Probably not. So why would you expect them to be able to keep their uniforms up to company standards at home? Keeping your brand image consistent starts with the appearance of your employees. Professional laundering lets your employees focus on doing their jobs, and ensures that your brand won't suffer from the sloppy image created by wrinkles, stains and uniforms in poor repair.
The Value of a Laundry Service
At a glance, sending uniforms home with employees may seem like a cost-effective option. The cost to your business, at first, may be nothing. But it can cost your employees from $1-$20 a week to keep their uniforms clean. And when you factor in health and contamination risks to your employees and their families, in addition to the risks of a workforce that does not convey a consistently professional appearance, the weekly price for at-home laundering skews higher on the scale.
The right work uniform provider can do a better job that can usually cost less than you'd pay for a cup of coffee and a muffin. The right work uniform provider can tackle heavy soil, repairs, replacements, and minimize contamination risks while also ensuring that your employees consistently project your company's professionalism.
At Budget Uniform, we are a family-owned business with six decades of expertise and a standard for customer service that means treating the employees of our customers like our own.
To learn more about how professional work uniform laundering with the highest level of customer service can protect your employees and your brand, call us or click on the link below.