University of Washington

Consolidated Laundry Operations


Standard Precautions




Torn Linen

Stain & Worn Linen

Wash Process

Bed Change Idea

Conserve/Linen Control

Fun Ideas




The Laundry is 

Going Green!

To take a tour of our laundry call Carol O'Hara at (206) 520-4722 or (206) 465-9982.


To assist our customers, to effectively and efficiently manage linen resources and costs, while maintaining quality patient care and comfort.


A cooperative hospital laundry.

University of Washington  

UW Medicine

Harborview Medical Center

Stevens Hospital

Veteran's Administration

To contact this laundry:


2901 27th Avenue S.          Seattle, WA   98144

Telephone:    206-520-4700

Fax:                  206-520-4720 206-520-4720

Campus Box: 358270



Going Green!

In an effort to help the environment, we began recycling plastic linen bags in 2003.

In 2005, we installed AquaRecycle, which is a water recycling program.  This new system saves not only water, but gas which is used to heat the water.  The U.W. Consolidated Laundry received the Water Conservation Award for Best Businesses for an environmentally sustainable tomorrow.

We are aggressively pursuing energy conservation programs with Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, and Seattle Public Utilities.

Standard Precautions

The Consolidated Laundry follows Standard Precautions, if you would like to view the standard Precautions, please open the following MS Word document.  precaution.doc


The following is the current standard daily order form available for download in an MS Excel format.  orderform.xls

Please fill in your information and fax to 206-520-4720.  If you have any questions please call Ciria Cabatic at 206-520-4700.

If you have questions regarding lab coats, scrubs, or embroidery call and ask for Carol O'Hara or call directly to 206-520-4722.  In the event I may not be reached, please call Agnes Tabasan at 206-520-4718.  The lab coat order form may be downloaded on the "orders" link at the bottom of the page.

Ambulance Linen

Due to ongoing and significant losses of hospital linen to patient transport providers, the following policy was implemented by 32 hospitals between Bellingham and Olympia on October 1, 1998.  Our cooperative laundry system loses substantial amounts in linen each year due to ambulance transfers.  This policy helps reduce our linen use replacement costs.

     I.  When you have a patient transfer via ambulance or cabulance, make sure our linen stays where it belongs - in the hospital.

     II.  Ambulance and cabulance companies must now provide all of their own linen.


  • Pillows are purchased by and belong to the hospital.

  • Pillows should be marked with the hospital name.

  • All soiled pillows should either be cleaned in the patients room and remain on the bed or go to the soiled utility room.

  • Please have housekeeping clean and place the extra pillows in the clean pillow storage area, NOT in the soiled laundry.

  • Please do not release to ambulance transport, they should be providing their own linen and pillows.

  • Keep only the number of pillows a patient needs in their room.

  • Do not send pillows home with patients.

  • All extra pillows should go to the linen room.

  • A pillow policy establishing acceptable inspection criteria should be established by each hospital.  This should include guidelines for inspecting and discarding soiled and worn pillows.

Stain, Worn, and Torn Linen

Consolidated Laundry cooperative members have agreed to use the following "Linen Inspection Criteria"  for minimum quality standards.  The following documents list each linen inventory item and the minimum standard for that item.

All damaged line should be returned to the laundry in a yellow bag to distinguish it to the laundry as rejected linen.  The yellow bags should then be added into the soiled linen carts.  The Consolidated Laundry will inspect the items to determine if it is possible to mend the item or if it is necessary to discard the item.

Wash Process

The soiled linen is picked up from each hospital and taken to Consolidated Laundry in the Rainier Valley.  We are willing to give tours, just call to set up a time.

Soiled and clean linen are kept on separate floors.

It is then sorted by article type in the Laundry's soil sorting room.  This is important because each item will then be washed in a special formula determined for the kind of fabric, weight, and use of that article.

All linen washing formulas are tested to provide the user with a perfect pH balance of human skin.  We monitor and test the washing formulas several times per day.

Soiled linen is loaded in "pockets" on a tunnel washer from the second floor, from there it is transported inside a tunnel, where the appropriate water, chemicals, and mechanical action take place.

The "load" of laundry is approximately 100 pounds, depending on the item, at the end of an extended wash cycle the material is extracted and compressed into a pancake the size of a a semi-truck tire and placed on a conveyor.  Then two pancakes are placed into a dryer for approximately 20 minutes.

The dry laundry is then dumped and loaded into carts and moved into the appropriate finishing area (rough dry, flat work, or the pack room).

When the laundry has been finished, it is then placed in carts ready for shipment.

Idea for Communicating a NEW Bed Change Policy

To Our Patients:

This hospital is working to conserve water, natural gas, and electricity.  As part of this effort, your bed linen will be changed every other day, unless it is necessary to be done more frequently.  However, patient care and comfort remains our highest priority.

If you wish to have your linen changed more frequently, please let your caregiver know.

Conservation & Effective Linen Control Measures

  1. Scrub suits are only to be worn in authorized areas of the hospital and are to remain on the hospital premises.

  2. Storage of clean linen in the patient rooms, is highly discouraged because when the patient leaves, these items are regarded as soiled linen and must be processed again by the Laundry.

  3. Torn, stain, or unacceptable linen should be placed in the yellow bags designated as rejected and returned to the laundry for inspection.

  4. Patient items, equipment, trash, or any other foreign objects are to be removed from the soiled linen prior to bagging.  This will minimize the amount of needle stick occurrences at the Laundry, and will also ensure adequate disposal of hazardous waste.

  5. Pillows should be used to position patients, instead of blankets.

  6. Borrowing linen from another unit is discouraged in order to track each units linen and maintain and accurate par level.

  7. Sleeves of patient gowns should not be cut in order to change an IV.

  8. Bath towels, washcloths, or any other piece of patient linen should not be used to clean up spills; rags are available for this use.

  9. Pillowcases used to cover props, should only be changed if visibly soiled.

  10. Linen items such as towels, blankets, etc., should not be used as props.

  11. Flat sheets should be placed on top of thermal blankets or spreads to provide optimal warmth for the patient.

  12. Linen should never be offered to the patient when they are being discharged.  If possible, the nurse should offer to help pack the patient's suitcase to ensure no linen is leaving with the patient.

  13. Housekeeping should use rags for clean up; washcloths should not be put on their carts.  The rags are dyed blue for proper identification.

  14. All linen, regardless of whether it's a rag or a piece of patient linen, must not be thrown away by hospital personnel.  All soiled linen must be returned to the Laundry.  If this procedure is followed, the potential for outgoing linen theft, will be minimized.  If a stain is unable to be removed, the Laundry will "rag out" the item to a rag vendor.

Creative or Fun Ideas for Spreading Knowledge

Linen Awareness Day-Contact Carol O'Hara at 206-520-4722 or cell phone 206-465-9982 to discuss possible dates and ideas.

Linen Challenges (Puzzles)-Print the following MS Word file and learn more about linen or contact Carol O'Hara to customize for your specific needs.  hmcawareness.doc

Laundry Tours-Contact the laundry at 206-520-4700 or Carol O'Hara to set up a time for a tour.


  • Scrub Amnesty Day/Week

  • Scrub Purchase Programs (we sell scrubs & do embroidery in a variety of colors  & styles)

Last Updated:  05/02/08

Home History Personnel Operations Education Inventory Safety Emergency Orders Jobs