Maintaining a laundry room on a Super Yacht is a significant task. Your responsibility includes taking care of the crew’s uniforms, personal belongings, linens, and towels.
Additionally, you have to ensure that the clothes of guests are maintained to the highest possible standards. This task can be daunting, so you must follow your guides and be meticulous to ensure you don’t shrink your boss’s $4000 Louis Vuitton dress.
Aside from personal laundry care, you also need to keep beach towels, tea towels, cleaning rags, guest linens, and napkins laundered and pressed when required.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about taking care of laundry on a super yacht, including the best practices and some essential tips. I recommend printing out checklists and detailed information in your laundry room so as to avoid any confusion or shrinkage.
Laundry Care Guide
- COLD – 30°C / 85°F
- WARM – 40°C / 105°F
- HOT – 50°C / 140°F
- HYGIENIC – 95°C / 200°F
ALWAYS CHECK POCKETS AND STAIN-CHECK ALL ITEMS ACCORDINGLY
Separate darks and lights
- Darks – Cotton Wash 50°C/140°F
- Whites – Cotton Wash 50°C/140°F
All uniforms can be tumble dried on a cotton LOW TEMP cycle
Crew Personal Clothing
Pin all personal clothing.
Check labels for any special washing information.
Separate the whites, darks and colours.
Quick Wash all PERSONAL ITEMS – 30°C / 85°F or COLD
UNDERWEAR can be added to the crew uniform cotton wash unless specifically stated otherwise. Delicate materials and bras must be cold-washed and hung dry. Refer to crew notes for specific preferences.
BOYS UNDERWEAR AND GYM CLOTHES – add these to the uniform hot wash so they get a proper clean.
ALL SWIMSUITS, COLOURS, AND SPECIAL CARE ITEMS WASH COLD WITH A COLOUR CATCHER
Hang dry personal clothing unless you know for sure it can be tumble dried. Some personals such as shorts and T-shirts can be dried on a minimum iron at low temp. Again, CHECK LABELS.
Sheets and Towels
HYGIENIC WASH – 200°F / 95°F.
Wash your sheets and towels separately from each other.
Tea Towels and Rags
HYGIENIC WASH – 200°F / 95°F.
Crew Laundry Care Procedures
First off I recommend getting yourself about 6 collapsible mesh laundry baskets. They fold away neatly and are really nifty for organizing laundry and keeping it tidy while you work throughout the day.
All crew onboard should have a labelled laundry bag with their allocated number, as well as a small delicates’ bag for underwear.
Work through each crew laundry bag one at a time. Open your laundry bins and separate your uniform and personal items. You will have one basket for white uniform, one for dark uniform, one for white/light personals, one for dark personals, and one for coloured items.
When separating items, be sure to check pockets for anything left behind as well as check for any stains that need to be treated. Treat stains and soak items where necessary.
The Pinning Method
All crew uniforms will be numbered with their allocated number. You will need to tag personal Items so at the end of the washing and drying process you know who to return the items to. For this, I recommend the pinning method. Get yourself a little bead tub and a bunch of safety pins. Each crew member gets allocated a colour bead and you pin their personal items with the safety pin, ensuring you pin through an inside label and not the actual garment.
Continue to work through all crew laundry bags until everything has been sorted. You will have additional laundry baskets for crew towels and sheets which will be washed separately.
Washing Crew Laundry
Read the labels for crew personal clothing and wash accordingly. Remember if you are unsure about how to wash something ASK your Chief Stew what to do. You should cold wash most of the time unless stated otherwise.
Ensure you wash whites, darks and colours separately. If items are colourful or have colour-and-white patterns, be sure to use a colour catcher. In fact, you should use them more often than not to be safe.
Drying and Ironing Crew Laundry
Never put anything in the dryer unless you are CERTAIN it will not be ruined by doing so, check all labels. Ideally, you want to be hanging all personal crew clothing. A great tip here is to set up a dehumidifier or fan where you hang dry your clothes to help speed up the process.
Iron crew personal clothing if needed.
For crew uniforms, you will be doing a cotton wash as those tend to get very dirty in a day. Most uniform can be tumble-dried on a low cotton dry, but check the labels of your vessel’s uniform to ensure you use the right temperatures.
Sheets, Linens and Tea Towels
Wash towels and sheets on a hygienic wash setting. Each crew member has a specific “sheet day” so if they don’t bring their sheets & towels, please remind them to do so.
Wash all cleaning rags, drying tea towels, and kitchen tea towels on a hygiene wash at 95 degrees, and wash ALL separately. If there aren’t many collected for one day wait until the following day to put a load on unless they are very dirty and smelly. We have plenty of tea towels so there is no need to do a wash with two items.
Extra Notes and Tips
Always use a small amount of washing detergent, and please try use eco-friendly detergents! Another great option for laundry detergent is washing detergent sheets. They are eco-friendly, come in recyclable boxes and save you LOADS of space in the laundry room.
Personally, I do not use Fabric softener, it really isn’t great for your clothes or skin. If you would like to use a softener, vinegar is an excellent natural alternative, and no, your clothes will not come out smelling like a fish and chips shop.
Be sure to always check the lint filters are empty before each load!
At The End Of The Day
Make sure all laundry is returned by the end of the day unless hanging to dry and still damp.
Wipe down dryers and washers at the end of the day, make sure there are no watermarks or droplets left behind or you will start to see rust marks over time.
Neaten all the hangers and push them to one side to leave the room looking organized.
Dust vac the laundry room, vacuum and clean out the lint filters again, mop the floor, wipe the counter and sink, and walk out leaving it looking organized and ready to start the next day.
Guest Laundry Care Guide
ALL GUEST LAUNDRY NEEDS TO BE COMPLETED TO THE HIGHEST STANDARD POSSIBLE.
- Use your coloured pins and log book appropriately, make sure the correct laundry bag goes back to the correct cabin. If you remove a laundry bag place the new one out in the guest cabin, there should be two for each cabin
- Separate your darks, lights and colours
- Check for loose buttons or repairs
- Check all washing labels every time. Do exactly as the label says and if in doubt check with the Chief Stew
- Check for any stains on the garment before washing it, and be sure the stain is out before drying
- Hang dry ALL guest laundry
- Fold items neatly and the same every time
- Transfer hanging items to the guest hangers in the cupboard
- Remember to remove the pin from the item before delivering it back to the guest
Eco-Friendly Laundry Care Tips and Tricks
Although we work on a Super Yacht that emits a significant amount of gas and pollution into the environment, we can still make eco-friendly changes to minimize our impact:
- We only use eco-friendly laundry detergent, and when available we use washing sheets or pods. Some great options are the Kind or TruEarth Laundry sheets, as well as Dropps detergent pods
- You do not need to use fabric softener. Distilled white vinegar is a much better alternative. It is much better for fabrics and our skin!
- Opt for eco-friendly stain removers. You can either purchase natural stain removers or prepare your own using ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice. These alternatives are effective in treating stains while being gentle on the environment
- To save water and energy, it’s best to run the washing machine only when you have a full load of laundry
- To avoid using chemical-laden dryer sheets, try using dryer balls instead. These balls can decrease drying time, make fabrics softer, and prevent static cling naturally without any chemical additives
Take Your Time And Do It Right
As a Stewardess or Steward, taking care of laundry is an important task onboard. Properly caring for everything that comes to the laundry room is crucial in maintaining their longevity and appearance, while also promoting an eco-friendly workspace.
By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this blog, you can ensure that your laundry routine is efficient, effective, and environmentally conscious.