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The Definitive Hotel Laundry Machine Guide for Businesses

The Definitive Hotel Laundry Machine Guide for Businesses

The hospitality industry has a high demand for laundry services. As a hotel owner or manager, choosing the right laundry setup is vital to please your guests and ensure you’re taking care of your bottom line.

With this comprehensive hotel laundry machine guide, you’ll get a clear, actionable picture of how to handle laundry, from which equipment best suits your needs and budget to the little details that will help you rake in five-star reviews online.

Table of Contents

Why Should Hotels Offer In-House Laundry Services?

The laundry room is the heartbeat of a hotel — it takes in the hotel’s linens, towels, uniforms and sheets and renews them, fresh and ready to impress guests time after time. A hotel that lets guests wash their clothes further sets itself apart from the competition, providing convenience, cleanliness and a holistic experience.

Do Hotels Have Laundry Machines On-Site?

Almost all hotels have laundry services on the premises. In-house washing machines help reduce theft, allow for better quality control and ensure you always have extra towels and linens on hand if guests need anything.

There are two types of laundry rooms that hotels can set up, and their usefulness depends on the capabilities of your hotel, the expectations of your guests and the kind of impression you want to give them. Each type has its own set of advantages:

Vended Laundry Rooms

Vended laundry rooms provide guests with washers and dryers to do their own laundry. You can install detergent vending machines for guests to use or sell detergent packs at reception. Self-service laundry rooms like these generally require little staff attention beyond maintenance, so it’s a cost-effective way to provide guests with clothes laundering services while keeping your employees free to complete other work.

On-Premises Laundry Facilities

Hotels use on-premises laundry facilities to wash all the sheets, pillowcases, hand towels and other linens that guests and staff use daily. Laundry equipment in on-premises facilities needs to be robust and staffed by at least one laundry attendant, depending on the size of the hotel.

Hotels may also provide guests with guest laundry services through these facilities. In this case, guests receive a laundry bag for their items and a laundry slip to indicate what they want washed. Staff then collect, launder, iron, fold and return guests’ clothes, providing a premium, luxury experience and value for the guests’ money.

What Equipment Do Hotel Laundry Rooms Need?

Vended and on-premises laundry facilities have different needs, so they should be furnished with different equipment. A standard laundry room, whether staff-run or guest-operated, will need the following:

1. Washing Machines

Washing machines clean linens using water, detergent and agitation. They also start the drying process with their spin cycles. Washing machines are available in both top-loader and front-loader designs:

Front loaders

For on-premises laundry, you’ll need industrial washing machines because they can handle very large loads of laundry multiple times per day. These industrial washers come in two varieties:

Vended laundry machines for guests typically wash fewer items at a time and are pay-as-you-go. You can also select stacked options for these machines. They are often coin-operated, although upgraded machines also offer payment options via mobile apps and debit/credit cards.

Choosing an app-run laundry system streamlines and secures payment, lets you monitor how guests use your laundry facilities, and alerts you when your equipment needs service or adjusting. Apps also make laundering clothes much easier and more efficient for guests.

2. Dryers

Choosing the right dryer for your hotel follows the same logic as washers — for on-premises laundry, pick heavy-duty, high-capacity machines, and for vended laundry rooms, select lower-capacity machines with payment capabilities. Dryers come in stacked designs like washers, which can be a game-changing space-saver for smaller hotels.

Linking your washers and dryers to the same payment app is also a great way to boost guest satisfaction and business efficiency.

3. Finishing Equipment

For smaller, mid-range hotels with vended laundry, an iron and ironing board in guests’ rooms or at reception is all you need. For premium on-premises laundry services in larger hotels, over and above irons and ironing boards, you may want to invest in more automated equipment to save staff time.

Are There Laundry Room Code Requirements for Hotels?

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that laundry rooms are accessible, with clear floor space and easily navigable routes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also has guidelines to protect laundry staff. Staff must be trained to use equipment and chemicals and have access to personal protection equipment. Equipment must also be regularly maintained for safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends similar laundry practices, including keeping clean and soiled laundry separate, regular disinfecting of the facility, good ventilation and rigorous staff training if applicable.

What Load Capacity Does Your Hotel Need?

Although no standard laundry room dimensions exist, a typical laundry space can measure between 100 and 500 square feet. For larger spaces, you can pick smaller-capacity machines and install more of them, while a handful of high-capacity machines is better for smaller spaces.

Washer and Dryer Capacity Chart

To determine load capacity, estimate how many pounds of laundry come from each room daily. Assuming the average load per room is 15 pounds daily, a cycle runs for one hour, and laundry is 30% heavier when wet, you can calculate how much capacity your hotel’s washers and dryers need at 100% occupancy.

Here are some estimations to consider based on how much laundry staff might process in an eight-hour shift:

Washer and dryer capacity according to hotel size
 pounds of DRY laundry per hourWASHEr capacity: large spaceWASHER Capacity: small spacepounds of wet laundry PER HOUR Dryer capacity: small spacedryer capacity: large space
50 rooms93.7Five 20-pound capacity washersTwo 50-pound capacity washers121.8Two stacked 30-pound capacity dryersFive 30-pound capacity dryers
80 rooms150Five 30-pound capacity washersThree 50-pound capacity washers195Two stacked 40-pound capacity dryersFour 50-pound capacity dryers
100 rooms187.5Five 40-pound capacity washersFour 50-pound capacity washers234.8Two 170-pound capacity dryersFour 75-pound capacity dryers

Note that this dryer and washing machine sizes chart is a hypothetical breakdown, and you should always consult with professional laundry equipment providers before committing to a purchase or designing your hotel’s laundry room.

How to Maintain Laundry Equipment

Regularly maintaining your laundry equipment is essential to providing guests with consistent, safe and high-quality service. By taking care of your equipment, you’ll be able to make minor repairs and replacements before they escalate into the full shutdown of any machine, preserving productivity and keeping guests happy.

The person inspecting and repairing your equipment must be expertly trained and experienced with the brand of machines you use. If you choose to lease your laundry equipment from a reputable company like Caldwell & Gregory, you’ll get complimentary maintenance and repairs from technicians who know your machines back to front, saving you time, money and effort.

Let Caldwell & Gregory Take Care of Your Hotel’s Laundry Room Needs

Let Caldwell & Gregory Take Care of Your Hotel's Laundry Room Needs

At Caldwell & Gregory, we can assist with all of your hotel’s laundry needs, from equipment advice to installation, maintenance and repairs. Our innovative vended laundry management app will make your and your guests’ lives easier, while our 24/7 customer support and team of experienced, highly trained technicians are committed to keeping your laundry room running smoothly.

We’d love you to get in touch with us and discuss upgrading your hotel’s laundry facilities to top-of-the-line quality and efficiency.