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How To Choose The Best Machines For Your Laundry Business

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

When it comes to being a business owner, equipment is a large portion of your formula for success. Much like how a painter needs to have the right brush, a business owner needs to invest in the best laundry machine for business purposes—if their business focuses at least partly on cleaning clothes.

So, how do you choose the best machines for your laundry business? It’s not always that easy. There are tons of different options out there and not all of them are as good as they are touted to be. This guide will help business owners pair up with the right laundry equipment for their companies.

Before we begin, you need to consider what type of laundry business you have.

There are different types of businesses that require the use of laundry machines. Each one will have its own needs. To start, write down your business type and the general needs for space, load size, reliability, and energy efficiency.

We’ll use a couple of examples below to give you an idea of what the format should look like below:

  • Apartment laundry room. Needs small spaces with lots of accessibility for multiple families. Requires easy use, high reliability, smaller loads.

  • Individual apartment laundry facilities. Should be able to fit inside a closet. Ideally will have small loads, high energy efficiency, and be easy to use.

  • Dorm laundry room. It needs to be large and durable enough to withstand all the mishaps that can happen with clueless college students.

  • Turnkey laundromat managed by a third party laundry management company. If you have a turnkey laundromat, large loads and reliability are going to be your top focuses. You want to get a washer and dryer that will need low maintenance costs and are easy to repair.

  • Hotel laundry service. If your hotel has a laundry room meant for bedding and sheet sets, extra-large loads are a must. Energy efficiency would be a perk. You have a larger room, so you are not worried about having to get space-saving orders.

  • Hospital laundry service. Though rare, there still are hospitals that have in-house linen sanitizing rooms. These require laundry that is washed at a very high temperature. They also need to be reliable and not prone to mildew.

It’s also best to take notes on approximately how many washers and dryers you want to have installed. It’ll help on our next step.

Put together a budget per unit of washer and dryer.

You will need to do a little bit of math for this part. Here’s what you will need to do in order to get a better ballpark of what you can afford:

  1. Check out your accounts and estimated business budget for the sum of your washer and dryer purchases. A good accountant can help you figure this out, if you haven’t already set aside a good budget for it.

  2. Measure the room (or rooms) where the washer/dryer units will be stored. It’s best to assume you’ll need at least 3 feet by 3 feet (or 9 square feet) for a washer or dryer. If you’re getting a stackable unit, then you will need the same area for both of them. Give at least three feet of space for people to walk through aisles that contain the washers.

  3. Determine how many washers you can feasibly fit. This is the maximum number of units you can buy. You don’t have to buy this many units, but you will need to know how many you can fit.

  4. Then figure out how many washers you want. You can go for the maximum, if you want to. However, most companies only need around three to six units in a typical shared laundry room. You may need more or less, depending on the size of your company. If you just need them for sheet washing, stick to two or three washer/dryer pairs.

  5. Once you figured out how many washers you want, divide your budget by the total number of units you have. This is how much you can spend for each unit. If you want to splurge on the washer but skimp on the dryer, then you have to add more to your washer budget and subtract the same amount from your dryer.

Next, figure out if you want a front loader or a top loader washer.

Don’t worry about dryers, as all of those tend to be front-loading. Worry about washers. There are perks to both, but there are a couple of quick rules of thumb that you need to be aware of when choosing the right one.

Front loading washers tend to be more energy-efficient, smaller, and easy to stack. If you are outfitting a tenant’s apartment with a washing machine, then it’s best to go for a front loader since it will be easy to stack and capable of staying in a closet. However, front loaders are more liable to break and build up mold.

Top-loading washers are ideal for people who want reliability, larger loads, and are okay with larger machines. They can work well for large-scale cleaning operations as well as larger shared laundry facility rooms in apartment buildings. They can waste quite a bit of water, so if you get one, make sure that it works with your local building ordinances.

By now, you’ve narrowed down what you can afford and the type of unit you want to get. We’ll narrow it down a little further, though. So, don’t worry.

Figure out if you should get a high-efficiency/energy-efficient washer and dryer.

In most cases, a high-efficiency washer and dryer set will be a smart move. There’s no reason why you should not save money on electricity and water. Prices of both utilities are starting to increase dramatically, so you may as well make the investment if you have the budget for it.

PRO TIP - Mention that your units require high-efficiency detergent on a sign in your room. It helps prevent mishaps.

Determine if you need to have a stacked washer-dryer combination.

This is a great way to make sure that you save space and also get all your needs met. In most commercial settings related to living quarters, having stackable units make sense. This includes situations such as in-unit washer/dryer setups, community laundry rooms, and even dorm room laundry facilities.

If you are in need of bulk laundry work done by staff members, such as sheet cleaning services in a boutique hotel, then stacked facilities may not be a good choice. Simply put, the units may be too small to handle the workload that you need done efficiently.

Ask if you need coin operation mechanisms to make your commercial laundromat machines work.

If you were expecting to have coin-operated machinery, you will need to have a model that’s compatible with that concept. You may need to talk to a salesperson to find out if the model and brand you want is coin-operable. Most are, but some simply won’t allow for it.

This is why we strongly suggest having a special list of brands that you prefer. If you can’t get Brand A to work with you, you can always use Brand B to make it work.

Choose your preferred brand of washer and dryer, if you have one.

If you have a brand preference, now would be a good time to look into the models that fit your needs and specifications. Make sure to adjust your measurements to account for space around the washers, since not all washers and dryers are the same size.

It’s important to remember that you may have to drop the number of units you buy depending on the actual size of your preferred unit. If this is the case, you may have to revisit your budget and your order before you make a decision.

PRO TIP - You can actually find out which models and brands are the best through specific sites like Consumer Reports. This gives you a better idea of what commercial laundry equipment will work best for your company.

Shop around for the right laundry management and installation company.

Yes, you can always do a B2C installation from a company that exclusively does nothing but sell washer and dryer units. However, this leaves a lot of management work on your hands—including repairs, upgrades, and regular maintenance of the laundry area.

It’s important to remember that companies don’t all work the same way. You want to take these tips into mind before you sign on the dotted line:

  • Talk to at least three companies and ask for a general quote. Not all companies are going to have a good price quote. These types of companies bank on you not shopping around for your units. You deserve to get good service and units at a great price. Throw out any quotes that are egregiously high.

  • Do not entertain any companies that give you a bad gut feeling. If you feel that uneasy when you talk to them, then things will probably only get worse when you actually try to work with them. You deserve a company that makes you feel good about what you do.

  • Consider going to a company that does maintenance and laundry management too. Installations are usually the first thing on your mind, but it shouldn’t be the only thing. Maintenance, repairs, and management can be a huge burden on your bottom line. Outsourcing that work can make your company run smoother and also keep clients happier. At the very least, ask what they offer in that department.

  • Explain what you need from the company before you sit down with them. If the company doesn’t offer the type of washer setups you need, then you shouldn’t really bother with them. Some only offer top loaders, while others basically act as installation crews without any real knowledge on what commercial buyerDeters need. How can they find the right commercial laundry equipment for you if they don’t know anything about the industry? They can’t!

  • See if their installation services are insured, licensed, and bonded in your state. Much like with any other form of contracting, you need to make sure that whoever does the installation will be licensed, bonded, and insured under your state laws. Should something go awry, those features will be a major saving grace.

  • If you ever feel lost when it comes to buying your commercial laundry equipment, talk to the pros. They are typically schooled on all the different perks and pitfalls of different types of laundry equipment. If you find yourself at a loss on what to do, don’t be afraid to ask the people in the sales room. They are there to make sure that you get the solution you need—or to help you figure out which specific model you want to have.

  • Be specific about your needs, but be open to different brands if necessary. This makes it easier for commercial laundry machine retailers to pair you with the best device. Sometimes, the brand you think is best really isn’t ideal.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help finding the right unit or layout for your company.

Contrary to what others may believe, it’s not always easy to find the best laundry machines for commercial purposes. What you use them for matters, as does the basic installation you need them for. There are tons of different units that you could use in a commercial setting, many of which are technically made for residential use only.

This is one of those moments where talking to the right company can make all the difference in the world. That’s why Smartomat is here to make it possible. If you feel lost or just want to get a quote on installation costs, we’re here to make it easier for you to do it. However, we can’t just offer you a quote without your help. Call us or reach out to us today to learn how we can help you.

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