Whether you are doing laundry for yourself, a small family or a commercial enterprise there will be several common features that will determine how effectively you get through your workload.
Not having effective drying capabilities will severely impact on your turnaround time and create serious blockages in the flow of the laundry. Whether you use a clothesline or the latest industrial tumble dryer, you need to have an effective drying solution in place to keep up the momentum.
Tumble dryers are clearly the best option here because they dry clothes very fast, are easy to operate and are also convenient. They come in several types, from mini-tumble dryers for domestic flats to giant tumble dryers for industrial use. The latter would be most suitable for a care home or hospital, or a medium to large size hotel, where the workload is considerable and time cannot be wasted on slower solutions.
What sort of tumble dryer you opt for will depend on your budget, the features you need and the space you have at your disposal.
The most convenient type of tumble dryer is the condenser variety, because this collects condensation and steam internally and stores the moisture in a tray, so the machine can be located anywhere on the premises. The vented type needs to be positioned near a window or vent to the outside because the steam goes out through a flexible tube.
Getting a good drying solution in place will greatly enhance the efficiency of your laundry processing, domestic or commercial.
Whether a firm is just starting up or has been operating for many years, renting a commercial laundry solution and processing laundry in-house may be a very attractive option. The cost of buying a really good, energy-efficient industrial washing machine or tumble dryer can be prohibitive if you are just starting out, or if you are running a small hostel or hotel, and unfortunately you cannot always be sure of the quality of service you will get from locally run laundry services.
Leasing or renting your industrial laundry equipment allows you to use the operating budget of the business, as well as allowing you to avoid what could be a potentially unmanageable cash outlay. Additionally, if equipment is rented for use in an in-house laundry solution, the lease/rental fees can be put against tax and the money can be recouped in that way.
There are plenty of makes and models of industrial washing machines, commercial tumble dryers and industrial laundry equipment of all types on the market, and great deals for leasing them are available. In addition to the machines themselves, a commercial laundry equipment supplier will be able to offer you the fixtures and fittings that are needed to set up an efficient in-house laundry, and will probably be willing to aid in the set-up process.
By leasing laundry equipment you will have fully-insured, up-to-date machines at your disposal and can offset the rent against tax; this is becoming an increasingly popular option, especially for smaller businesses with ongoing laundry needs.
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Tagged best washing machines, commercial laundry equipment, commercial laundry machines, commercial washers, commercial washing machines, eco-friendly laundry machines, energy saving laundry equipment, great savings washing machines, industrial laundry equipment, laundry equipment
One of the prime reasons many people are attracted to the launderette business is that they don’t need to be there all the time; the business basically revolves around coin-operated laundry equipment, and is not labour intensive. There is also no perishable inventory and you don’t personally have to sell anything, so even if you have the worst communication skills in the world this is not a barrier to opening a successful launderette.
A launderette handles dirty clothes and linens. Cleaning these is a basic necessity in modern society, so this business has built-in recession resistance; even in a dire financial climate spending cash on cleaning their clothes will still be on the list of most people’s priorities.
A launderette is also a self-service business, with customers themselves supplying the labour. As they feed money into the machines prior to their becoming operational, the customer is paying in advance; there are no invoices to issue or individual transactions to track.
Yet another advantage of running a business based on coin-operated industrial laundry equipment is that the income is non-seasonal, and the weather causes only slight fluctuations in average profits. The business also normally doesn’t require you to hire any employees.
The coin-operated laundry business is ideal for anyone who wants a hands-off business that doesn’t interfere with their lifestyle. Buy the equipment once from a commercial laundry equipment supplier and that is it as far as effort is concerned.
Coin-operated laundry equipment can also be used by other established businesses such as motels and B&Bs, as well as apartment houses, as a way to generate extra revenue with a minimum of effort.
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Tagged best washing machines, Coin operated, commercial laundry equipment, commercial washing machines, eco-friendly laundry machines, energy saving laundry equipment, laundry machines
It is sometimes the case that a business, whether an established player or a start-up, finds it preferable to outsource their laundry solution rather than have one in-house. The main advantage of outsourcing is, of course, that you do not have to go to the trouble and expense of getting hold of the equipment.
Industrial washing machines – and industrial laundry equipment in general – can be very expensive and eat into the capital of the company. If all the laundry work is outsourced, on the other hand, a business can incorporate the costs into the operational budget and not affect capital at all.
Another major advantage of outsourcing laundry work is that you are assured – if you pick the right company – that your laundry is going to be processed using the latest, most efficient and environmentally friendly machines available. In the normal daily run of business concerns it may be difficult to find the time to take such matters into consideration, and outsourcing takes these considerations off your hands. Also, laundry solution suppliers have structured programmes in place that can be adapted to the needs of almost any business.
Organisations such as hospitals and care homes, on the other hand, will want full control over their own laundry solutions; they will want to keep them in-house so that patients are fully protected by measures that can be taken to deal with the spread of infection and kill superbugs at lower temperatures, for which specialist equipment will be needed.
The laundry service needed by the crew of a ship is usually controlled by a supply officer. Clean clothing is an important necessity on board a vessel, and this is the aim of the laundry process. Sanitary working conditions are needed, and the laundry produced is usually inspected on a regular basis by a senior Hospital Corpsman or the ship’s medical officer to ensure that standards are being consistently maintained as laid out in the Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine.
Sanitation requirements are prepared by the senior medical officer and posted up in the laundry so that all workers there can read and follow them. Each day the laundry should be inspected by the ship’s store officer to ensure that the sanitation standards are being rigidly met.
On most ships the laundry service is free, with ship’s store profits covering the cost of materials in many cases, although sometimes the captain may have to impose a small charge on those who use the facilities.
Safety precautions in the laundry are paramount and laid out in legislation, including the Navy Safety Precautions Afloat. Safe working practices are checked on by the laundry supervisor, and technical manuals should be available for all the industrial laundry machines being used.
Laundry on a ship is usually processed through a workflow, passing between a series of workstations until completed. This ensures optimally efficient production, and those working in the laundry need to be familiar with all aspects of the workflow process.
Please see our full list of marine laundry solutions
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The main thing to be aware of when using laundry detergents is that if you use too much, you could be causing serious harm to your domestic or industrial laundry equipment. This will result in expensive repairs having to be carried out, and if you are a commercial operator you may find that using too much detergent will be a get-out clause as far as the service agreement is concerned; the resultant extended downtime could seriously affect your laundry workflow.
It is estimated that we use, on average, between eight and ten times too much detergent in both commercial and domestic machines, operating under the false impression that the more detergent we use the cleaner the clothes will become, and without considering the corrosive side-effects on the machine itself.
In a commercial laundry business or where the laundry department is frequently overworked, as is often the case in a hospital or care home, the cost of detergents can be greatly reduced and even halved by using less than the recommended levels, topped up with tap water.
Many, though by no means all, items of clothing can be effectively washed without needing as much detergent and using environmentally friendly products. These days there is an increased drive towards environmental friendliness, and laundry services in particular are feeling the pressure to cut down on their notorious contribution of harmful chemicals to the environment. Using less detergent is therefore good for the planet as well as for the business.
The worldwide commercial laundry sector is undergoing a great transformation as there is a drive towards greener technology and greater environmental awareness. Also, the raw materials and energy which the laundry sector used to take for granted are now seen as non-renewable and finite resources, and the prices for these continue to go up.
It is in the interests of the commercial laundry sector as well as in the interests of the planet that they find new solutions that will help the environment and at the same time increase their profits, and there are several ways in which the sector is approaching these issues.
The practice of letting chemical suppliers set their own dosage amounts is being addressed with some urgency as effluents in water sources are being increasingly condemned by environmental groups and governments alike. Inefficient, usually older, industrial washing machines are being replaced by environmentally friendly and more efficient ones. Modern front-loaders frequently use half the water of the older machines found launderettes, motels and dry cleaners.
Industry seminars and trade shows are better attended than ever before as managers seek new and innovative ways to help rather than damage the environment and keep the consumer on-side. The commercial laundry sector has traditionally been one of the globe’s biggest pollutants, and this clearly has to change if the sector is to continue thriving.
Continuous Batch Washers (CBWs) are the world’s most efficient industrial washing machines in terms of water usage, and this innovatory equipment is being increasingly used in the sector; they are seen by many as a prime example of the way forward for the industry as a whole.
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Tagged best washing machines, commercial laundry equipment, commercial laundry machines, commercial washing machines, eco-friendly laundry machines, energy saving laundry equipment, industrial laundry equipment, laundry equipment
One of the major considerations when buying industrial washing machines, whether you are using them in your own business or leasing them out, is the price tag. However, there are running, maintenance and efficiency costs to consider also, and these are not necessarily reflected in the price.
When you purchase a commercial washing machine, you need to make certain that you are getting a reliable piece of equipment that will perform well over a long period, as buying and leasing these machines can be a costly business.
The best of the modern commercial washing machines can be worth their weight in gold and save you a small fortune in the longer term through their high efficiency. They need less water and this saves you on detergents. Heat efficiency will make savings on electricity bills, and drying costs will be lowered due to more efficient spin cycles as well. You have to take all these into consideration when you look at the price.
The lowest energy-consuming machines will have the standardised ‘AAA’ rating, indicating the most optimal wash, best extraction of water and the lowest consumption of energy. High-spin washers are the most popular on the market, especially with places like schools, hospitals and care homes; their water-extraction is the best available and the running costs are therefore lower.
Some of the top washing machines for commercial purposes in the current market are the Electrolux Professional in a range of models, the Whirlpool LSQ8033, the Panasonic NA-140VG3WGB, the Speed Queen SWT911 and the Hoover DTS10146P.
In ancient times people used to wash their clothing by using abrasive materials like sand or bashing them on rocks in rivers, and in some places they still do this. Surprisingly, the first washing soap dates back to Roman times, and used sacrificial animal fat as the cleaning element.
The scrub board, invented in 1797, was the original ‘washing machine’, but it was an American named James King who patented the first real washing machine in 1851. It used a drum like modern machines but was still powered by hand.
The first rotary washing machine hit the market in 1858, patented by Hamilton Smith, but the full-fledged domestic washing machine had an origin that was not commercial at all. It was built by William Blackstone in Indiana in 1874 for his wife, and was the first to do what we expect of a modern washing machine in that it removed dirt from soiled clothes and then washed it away in one mechanical cycle.
In 1908 the ‘Thor’ was the prototype electrically powered washing machine, and was produced by the Hurley Machine Company of Chicago. It had an electric motor, drum and galvanised tub. The first wringer-washer was introduced in 1911, using wringer-washers that were driven by a motor.
Industrially-produced automatic washers and dryers came onto the European market in 1951, followed by machines controlled by micro-chips in 1978. Hundreds of companies are now producing washing machines and dryers for the home as well as industrial laundry equipment.
There are several definite steps to take when implementing a new, or replacing an outdated, laundry solution for your business.
The first step is to thoroughly review the current programme that you have in place. If you have a professional industrial laundry company currently managing the laundry, you will need to consider the ways in which both you and they are operating. Current costs need to be clearly defined as benchmarks so that the relative merit or otherwise of any new process can be understood and pinned down.
Finding opportunities for improvement should be the main goal of any new plan, and businesses that have given this aspect due consideration have often saved up to 50 per cent on their old costs by becoming more efficient. For instance, the types of industrial laundry equipment being used should be reviewed and updated with more efficient equipment if necessary.
This needs to be a team effort, with an open book for sensible recommendations from all the staff in a smaller company, and those most involved with the laundry in a larger one. The most cost-effective improvements that are currently available should be considered and weighed against one another within the context of your own business and its specific needs.
Analyse the expected savings made by the new programme to ensure that they aren’t going to be lost elsewhere under the new system.
Finally, the plan needs to be effectively implemented, with a seamless takeover from the old programme so that laundry functions are in no way interrupted. Monthly reports should then be made at least for the first quarter so that money that has been saved can clearly be seen.