If You Haven’t Thought About Adding Ozone Injection to Your Laundry Operation, Now Is the Time to Start Considering It
I was in my office at my store recently when one of my attendants came in and told me there was someone there who wanted to speak with me. As it turned out, she was a salesperson for a local industrial supply company.
The product she was selling was a water-cleaning solution, mainly designed for residential laundry facilities.
Although I happened to have already heard of this product, I was more interested in the fact that salespeople are now actually going door to door, selling products like this to businesses like mine. Effectively, what she was selling was a residential version of what we are seeing in this industry as ozone injection.
Her product was not quite as sophisticated or as industrial, and it certainly didn’t have the capabilities a full-service laundry would require. The small unit was designed, in essence, for home washers. And, from what I’ve been able to learn about them, they’re designed strictly for frontloaders because they can’t process a lot of water. Basically, you attach your water supply to this system, and it very slowly processes water through it. Again, it can’t handle the demands of a commercial washer.
However, the larger point of the whole matter is the popularity of “ozonating” or sanitizing water and the evolution toward a “greener” way of cleaning, which is becoming more readily available, even for residential laundry.
The underlying message is that this technology is becoming acceptable in the marketplace, and consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about green, cold-water cleaning. So, if you haven’t thought about ozone, now might be the right time to consider how this growing trend is going to impact your business, as well as what your customers are going to expect in the next five to 10 years from your laundry operation.
In the past, self-service laundries have been on the cutting edge of technology – bringing larger capacities and greater efficiencies to the marketplace. And we’ve certainly had the opportunity to do the same with ozone during the last five years, but we’ve collectively been a slow adopter of this particular technology.
On the commercial laundry side, we’ve been offering ozone in fire-restoration cleaning for the last decade, because it’s the best way to remove fire and smoke odors. Ozone also is common in hospital laundry sanitization.
From a residential laundry standpoint, ozone is a win-win for wash-dry-fold operators. It enables you to wash multiple loads together, because you can wash everything in cold water, especially with all of the newer engineered fabrics, such as spandex. Washing in cold water and drying garments on low heat or even air-drying them can greatly increase your efficiency, along with the quality you can deliver. All around, it’s a winner for your full-service, wash-dry-fold product.
What’s more, being able to bring your own brand of a sanitized wash-dry-fold laundry service to your particular marketplace would be a huge benefit to your overall business.
Along those same lines, here’s another interesting trend I’ve noticed – I recently received a card from my energy company, offering a rebate to install ozone injection; even the utility providers, which are mandated to encourage businesses to conserve energy, are jumping on the ozone bandwagon.
Although many may consider ozone injection to be a “futuristic” technology, the adoption rate in the marketplace for many types of new tech is a lot faster these days, and the curve is shorter than it was even 10 years ago.
In fact, if you’re not offering an ozone solution in your store today, you may be behind the curve a year from now. Think about credit card acceptance on washers; it was something we just “discovered” six years ago, yet at the last two Clean Shows it’s been the biggest trend in the industry.
Clearly, like anything, if you’re going to bring technology like this to the marketplace ahead of time, great marketing and customer education are necessary strategies. Then again, in a few years, you may not have to market it as aggressively because, more than likely, your customers are going to be seeking out “ozonated” stores.
Within the next five years, consumers will be making buying decisions based on whether or not a laundry is a “sanitized store” or not. And, in turn, there probably won’t be any stores in tomorrow’s marketplace that don’t pre-treat their water with ozone.