What do college students, hotels, restaurants, salons and laundromats all have in common? They all need a way to wash and dry clothing and linens quickly and easily. If laundry is part of your business, you need commercial-size washers and dryers that can stand up to frequent use and, in some cases, abuse.
When choosing laundry machines for business, consider the machines themselves and the attention you get from the service provider. You want to select enough laundry equipment to meet demand while having the reassurance of a support team that has your back if there’s an issue with the washers or dryers.
Commercial laundry equipment will generally see more use and wear-and-tear than equipment for home use. When choosing washers and dryers for your business, the most important thing is picking machines designed for commercial rather than residential use. Beyond that, several other considerations will help you select the machines that best meet your needs.
Size matters when choosing laundry equipment and one way to determine the most appropriate machine size is to consider the people who will use the washers and dryers.
If you’re installing the machines in the laundry room of a college dorm, you can typically choose smaller-capacity machines than if you were installing the washers and dryers in a hotel. Hotels often have large loads or need to launder bulky items, such as sheets and comforters. College students are most likely going to wash clothing or twin-bed-sized sheets.
Speaking of college students, another thing to consider is the experience level of the people using the machines. Laundry equipment in a college dorm might get misused more often than equipment in a professional setting. If you suspect that your appliances will see a lot of wear and tear, look for models with a reputation for durability.
Commercial laundry machines can be vended or unvended, depending on their purpose. In college dorms, washers and dryers are usually vended, meaning students need to pay to use them. At a hotel, the laundry equipment might be both vended and unvended. The hotel’s housekeeping staff will use the unvended machines to launder guests’ sheets and towels, and you can install vended machines in a laundry room for guests to use.
There are a few options for collecting payment on vended machines. Traditionally, vended machines were coin-operated and accepted quarters as payment. The machine’s price relates to its capacity or how many minutes of dry time a user gets.
A more modern option is to use smart card-operated washers and dryers. Machines that accept smart cards can be easier for people to use, as they don’t have to dig around for quarters or get change for paper bills. Card-operated machines are handy at college campuses, as the cards can be linked to students’ school identification cards or a campus dollars program.
Another benefit of using machines that accept smart cards is a safer laundry area. Smart card-operated machines are cash-free, so you don’t have to worry about people trying to break into the machines to get the coins within.
Ideally, the laundry equipment will be fully operational close to 100% of the time. Some brands have better reputations for quality and durability than others, such as Speed Queen and Maytag. These brands are likely to continue to work even in a high-demand environment.
Another thing to consider is whether preventative maintenance is available. Preventative maintenance aims to keep issues, such as machine breakdowns, from occurring. Having a service person periodically inspect the machines will save your company the cost and inconvenience of a breakdown.
In many situations, it makes more sense to lease laundry equipment than purchase it outright. If your business decides to buy washers and dryers, it needs to pay the full price upfront or get financing to cover the cost. When you lease, you pay over time, which can be a better use of your cash flow or help you balance your budget more efficiently.
It can also be easier to update or replace leased equipment as your laundry needs evolve or laundry technology becomes more advanced.
As you review your equipment options, there are several key considerations to keep at the top of your mind:
Caldwell & Gregory is committed to providing superior customer care and service and the most advanced laundry technology. Whether you need a single commercial washer and dryer set or several hundred, we’ll help you choose the equipment you need for your laundry business.
Once you’ve chosen your laundry equipment, our service program keeps it up and running, so the machines are always ready to go. Contact us today to learn more about leasing commercial laundry equipment.