About 40,000 pounds of laundry from hospitals and nursing homes—bed sheets, towels, surgical scrubs, bibs, and lab coats—arrive by truck daily at a massive building just east of Cleveland. Literal blood, sweat, and tears must be removed, and the items must be sent back, fresh and clean and folded, by the next day.
The interior of the laundry facility is about the size of a football field. Laundry is processed in 220-pound bags. The dirty clothes and linens spend 90 seconds in one washer, then 90 seconds in another; bleach and purifying chemicals are added in a third. Items go through two drying machines before they're pressed and folded, sealed in plastic, and shipped out, writes Daniel McGraw.