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Tackling Dirty Laundry, Kansas City Chiefs Style

KANSAS CITY, MO -- At Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., the process of doing laundry is almost as important to game-day preparation as team practices and workouts, according to Equipment Manger Mike Davidson, who runs the Kansas City Chiefs' on-premise laundry.

The Chiefs' 61 players and staff of 50 produce more than 500 pounds of dirty uniforms, towels and sweats each day.

Davidson and three other employees hustle to do laundry after each practice, workout and game. Everything but game-day uniforms are cleaned in-house. For 13 years, the Chiefs have sent those out for special care. "A really nice lady treats the pants and jerseys for stains and washes and irons them so they look perfect for Sunday," says Davidson.

Nevertheless, Davidson wanted to reduce the time his staff spent in the laundry room. So recently, he added two soft-mount washer extractors and one drying tumbler to his equipment line-up. The result, says Davidson, is a laundry operation that saves valuable labor time and utilities.

"They had a guy in there doing laundry all day," says Bruce Kusgen of All-Pro Laundry Products, a Continental Girbau distributor in Lee's Summit, Mo. Kusgen recommended the Chiefs replace two 55-pound hard-mount washers with one 55-pound and one 90-pound Continental Pro-Series(tm) soft-mount washer-extractor. The two new Continental soft-mount washer-extractors were added to the existing line-up that included an 80-pound Wascomat and a 50-pound Milnor - both hard mount machines.

To compliment the efficiency of the new washers, Kusgen also added a 125-pound Continental Pro-Series(tm) Drying Tumbler to the 120 pound Cissell and two 50-pound Huebsch dryers already in place.

The new equipment mix has cut several hours off their day. Because Continental soft-mount washer-extractors are free standing, they can reach extraction speeds up 380 G-force. This means clothes and towels come out drier, and as a result, Davidson's crew spends less time dealing with dirty laundry.

It's a good thing, according to Davidson. As equipment manager for the Chiefs, he handles the cleaning, ordering and repairing of everything from jock straps and jerseys to helmets and shoulder pads. Wherever the Chiefs practice or play, his staff follows. During away games, Davidson and his staff transport 11,000 pounds of gear to and from planes and trucks for the Chiefs. After games, Davidson gathers the gear and dirty uniforms, towels and sweats, packs them up and gets them home to Kansas City.

Grass, mud, sweat and coffee stains are plentiful both on the players' uniforms and coaching staff's collared shirts, says Davidson. Because the machines are properly programmed, "they normally take care of the stains and get everything very clean."

Saving time is Davidson's primary concern since his staff has so many responsibilities outside of doing laundry. Now, his crew is freed up to take on other projects. Davidson estimates that the washer-extractors have cut the laundry's dry time in half because the soft-mount machines remove so much water from each load. In turn, he says, his dryers run half as often and cost significantly less to operate. "Now a load of towels are dry after 20 minutes," he says, "where it used to take 45 minutes to an hour." All told, the process only takes 50-55 minutes to wash and dry each load, Davidson maintains. With less time in the dryer, fabric also undergoes less abuse, which helps keep uniforms looking good, according to Davidson. Each set of Chiefs' jerseys and pants cost around $230, and with only two, it's important to handle them gently.

"Football is a tough sport and things happen to both clothing and equipment," says Davidson. "We have to be sure everything is clean and maintained. So anytime you reduce wear and tear, it's a plus." For all who are a part of the Kansas City Chiefs' line-up – including Davidson and his staff - life and work revolve around game day, even when it comes to doing the laundry. That's why Davidson is thankful for his more efficient laundry equipment mix - a set of machines that get his team out of the laundry faster, so they can get on with tackling other jobs!

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Fire At Prison; No Injuries

CARLISLE, Ind. — Firefighters from several fire departments battled a laundry building fire for two-hours at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility before extinguishing the flames. No deaths or injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze is unknown.