Spa operations such as laundering towels and linens can escalate water usage significantly. Water shortages have motivated researchers to develop new fabrics that absorb more liquid, are biodegradable or quickly recyclable, and are more resistant to bacteria, virus and yeast. Stusser recommends using laundry soaps that don’t contain phosphates, which he says can ultimately pollute water supplies.
Trisha Rice, director of business development for Malibu C and owner of one of the first day spas in the U.S., in Gig Harbor, Washington, suggests that staff work together to accumulate a full load before doing laundry, and urges owners to use a water-conserving washer. Adds Stusser, “Today’s available technology for laundering linens is truly amazing; machines can recycle more than 90% of water used, cleaning the water to use it over and over.” He also reminds owners to install low-flow plumbing for showerheads and toilets.