powder detergent

Originally posted – Sep 23, 2014

We have a fairly large drop-off service at our laundry. Our customers have been happy with our consistency. For detergent, we use powdered Gain. Recently, Gain has come out with a pod-type product. We have contemplated switching to the pod. Have you heard any comments about this product?

I wouldn’t switch to the pod. It’s more of a consumer product. If you’re offering a professional drop-off service, your chemical usage should vary with the type of load you’re being asked to wash. Sometimes you may need a bit more bleach, sometimes you will need a little less bleach; sometimes you will require a little bit more detergent, and sometimes less.

These amounts should be controlled by you and driven by the type of load you’re washing. That’s why the customer is coming to you – for that expertise. There is no all-purpose product that will accommodate all stain qualifications.

The pod is just an easy-to-use gimmick. It’s not something for your thriving professional drop-off service.

I own a successful coin laundry in a small town in the Midwest. One of my promotions is giving my customers free detergent – all they need Monday through Friday. The problem I have is that some of the customers use too much of the detergent and over-suds the washers.

I was thinking of mixing the detergent with water, cutting it by 50 percent. Will this work? Should I do it?

It depends on the detergent. Some detergents contain solids that emulsify only when heated at a certain temperature and given a certain amount of time. Some less-expensive detergents emulsify in warm water only.

You could try mixing your detergent with warm water and then let the solution sit for a couple of days to see if there is a separation. Generally, if there is separation, the solids will sink to the bottom.

Other the other hand, why go through all of this? Perhaps just give your customers less detergent. Buy some cups that will hold only the proper amount of detergent for a certain size of washer. For example, you could have a four-ounce cup for your toploaders, a six-ounce cup for your 50-pound washers and so on.

I need to replace my equipment. My washers and dryers are 30 years old, and I’m tired of repairing them. Should I buy used equipment or new machines?

Currently, there are a lot of deals on used washers and dryers out there, and I could save some money. What do you think?


If you’re looking to buy used equipment, be sure that you’re buying from a reputable dealer. You should know the age and condition of what you’re buying. How busy was the store from which the equipment came? After all, some machines that are only six years old but were in very busy laundries can have 10 years’ worth of use or more on them.

Also, and above all, you must remember the today’s new, modern machines are extremely energy-efficient. And, in our current economy, energy savings is crucial to a strong bottom line. Therefore, in my opinion, if you plan to remain in the self-service laundry business for years to come, I would strongly suggest that you purchase new equipment for your laundromat.

I have stains inside of my gas dryers on the backs of the drums. Is there anything that can be used to remove these stains without scratching the finish?

There are a number of synthetic cleaning pads available at the retail level that can do the job. You likely can purchase these pads at your local supermarket. They should remove the stains without scratching your stainless steel dryer drums.

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