If you are reading this there is a good chance that you are a coach or administrator at a small college or university. There are many things that go into successfully running a sports program at all size schools, some things are different, some things that are the same and may just be different in scale. One of the things that fits into this category is athletic laundry.
Athletic Laundry needs to be done at all levels of competition. At most D1 schools, athletic departments employ multiple equipment managers that are professionally certified by the AEMA (Athletic Equipment Managers Association) in proper fitting and best practice. They may oversee millions of dollars in spend on a yearly basis for goods needed for an athletic department. They arrange the moving of equipment to games all over the country. Unfortunately, very few small colleges have budgets that allow for staffing this professional position, which leads us to coaches, interns, and student managers to fill this void. Since Texon works with hundreds of schools at all levels, we thought that we would share some of the most important best practice and supplies that are needed for all small colleges.
One of the most important and often overlooked areas is that of proper laundry equipment. Proper laundry equipment for sports teams includes items such as properly sized commercial washers and dryers. There are several great companies that we see all over the country that work heavily in sports. When looking for your partner, look for one that knows sports stains, not hospital and healthcare. Getting Penn State’s blue paint out your whites, is different than the stains found in healthcare. Companies like UNX, Integrated Sports Solutions (ISS), Sweat-X, and Proctor and Gamble are likely the most used is sports and know the stain-game well.
Recently, we were working with a state school in California that was attempting to do laundry in a small residential washer and dryer! The bad part of this story is that the installed laundry equipment is and was not designed to take the workload of the needs of the athletic department. The employee in charge of this in still in a bad position. Having this undersized equipment leads him to run load after load all day long. He continues to fight stains that will not come out. Since they are using the wrong equipment and stains will not break out, their chemical company recommended they use hot water on their whites. Well, it is a big “no-no” sending hot water from the boiler at nearly 130 degrees into the white’s cycle. Since they use mesh bags, they bled all over their white uniforms turning them from white to light blue! The color set of most articles is about 112 degrees, so the high temp washed the color set out of the bags and onto the uniforms. Stains are not coming out of soccer and baseball laundry for several reasons, the lack of agitation, too much packed into a small washer, and the chemicals inability to clean uniforms placed in mash bags (in a small washer.) Moral of this if you cannot afford the proper washer and dryer you might reconsider having sports at all. Proper equipment is a must have!
Part of doing laundry goes back to choosing the proper partner for your chemical needs. While we do not sell chemicals, we know that for equipment staffs, coaches and student help laundry is a big part of the needs of college athletes. Most companies will set up you machines on chemical pump system with multiple cycles for different types of laundry such as gym towels, laundry straps, whites, colors and soak and sour cycles. This avoids damage to expensive goods and makes it somewhat fool proof. They will have different chemicals in barrels, that have different properties for different needs.
Another must have for at