I’m having trouble removing a musty odor from some of my drop-off customers’ garments. What’s the problem, and more importantly what’s the solution?

Most likely, the problem is with the materials that are being used by the garment manufacturers. Today, most cotton garments come from China, Pakistan and India. And these items are processed with resins that are different from those in the Unites States, and that’s partly where that odor may be coming from.

The other problem could be with the packaging process. Some of these imported garments are wrapped in polyethylene. This film can develop a strong stale odor as it ages, and that odor can permeate the fibers of the garments – and it can become extremely hard to remove.I would suggest washing the garments in hot water, with quality detergent and ammonia. Do not use a liquid softener; instead use dryer sheets. Also, you might have to repeat this process a few times to completely remove the odor.

I’m considering purchasing some used equipment for my self-service laundry. What should I consider before agreeing to any deal?

First of all, new laundry equipment is probably the way to go in almost every instance. However, if you decide to purchase used equipment, I would suggest the following guidelines:• Get the model and serial numbers of the machines. Next, call the manufacturers of the machines, give them those numbers, and they will be able to tell you the true age of the machines.• Find out where the machines came from. Was it a busy store? After all, some equipment in very busy stores can much older than its true age.

Above all, get a written guarantee that will cover parts and labor for a certain period of time. Sometimes the dealers are unaware of problems with the equipment they’re selling until after the machines are installed and running. When machines are held in storage for a while, the seals can sometimes shrink, which may result in the main bearings going bad. Also, moisture can affect some of the electronics, like you mentioned.So, it’s always a good idea to get some type of guarantee in writing.

I’m looking to increase the capacity of the laundromat, because it’s a rather small store, and I have a lot of bottlenecks, especially on the weekends. As a result, I’m going to buy some new stack dryers to replace my older single-pocket dryers. In addition, I’m in the market for some 45- and 60-pound-capacity frontload washers. Should I purchase some of those high-speed machines that I’ve been hearing about? What is your opinion on those types of washers?

My opinion is to go with the high-speed washers. More than ever, today’s society is interested in getting in and out of the laundromat as quickly as possible. That high-speed washer will help them achieve this. Also, you’ll be increasing your store’s ability to do more business, because the high-speed washers will extract more of the water from the clothes during the washing process, so those loads will spend less time drying.I think it’s a positive move for everyone. Your customers will be happier because they can get the laundry done more quickly. And you’ll no doubt be happier because you will increase your store’s volume without needing to add much more equipment, due to the speed and efficiency of the type of machines you’ll be installing.

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