Industrial maintenance


The clothing can be maintained at an industrial laundry from a network of qualified cleaning companies.

In France, the major actors on this market are:

  • ELIS
  • RLD

Laundries and rental companies offer their clients two options

1 - Rental/maintenance

The client does not buy the clothing. They sign a contract directly with the laundry which handles the supply and upkeep of their wardrobe. The rental company then buys the textile good from the manufacturer selected by the client.

2 - Management/maintenance

The client buys their wardrobe from a manufacturer. The laundry then maintains the clothing, a service that is billed monthly: collection, washing, drying and sometimes even ironing. Minor repairs may also be billed as an additional option.


Steps of industrial maintenance

1- Wash

On average, clothes are washed at 85°C

  1. chemical action : detergent
  2. thermal action : temperature
  3. mechanical action: the clothing's friction against the drum, but also the weight of the clothing which can deform the shoulders on the conveyor's hangers. Washing programmes are selected based on the soil level and the type of clothing being washed.

Washing usually takes place in dedicated tunnels where the textiles undergo a treatment cycle that is dependent on their position in the different sections of the tunnel: disinfection, pre-wash, rinse, soften, wash, and so on. Larger items and special ones (like parkas) are cleaned in separate washing machines.

2- Spin dry

Spin drying usually takes place under pressure of 17 bars (save for items with zips or plastic buttons).

3- Dry

The clothing is dried and steamed in a high temperature steam tunnel finisher (approximately 150°C), which gives the clothes their final appearance.


  • The clothing requires a material that uses a vat dye to be able to withstand industrial cleaning
  • The clothing must be at least 35% polyester for maximum steamability and durability
  • Industrial cleaning is governed by European standard EN 15 797


B - Special features of rental/maintenance services

To meet the criteria for industrial washing, you will need:

  • spiral zip fasteners with a larger plastic slider to prevent it from damaging the machine by passing through the holes in the drum if it should break;
  • metal press studs called "grippers";
  • reinforcing rows at pocket openings to prevent any deformation during drying;
  • tagging collars on the items (called "name tags") where the rental company can insert a bar code. The rental company can also request that an identification chip be sewn into a label.