Originally posted – Mar 07, 2013
I’m trying to establish a pickup and delivery business, in addition to my drop-off laundry service. I recently picked up the business of a retirement home, which has about 60 residents. How do I segregate the laundry loads? In other words, how do I track each resident’s individual laundry – from pickup to delivery?
The best way to control this process is to purchase cloth laundry bags for pickups and deliveries. These bags should feature a white line across the front – about 12 to 14 inches long by two or three inches deep. Then, on the white line with a marker, print the individual names or room numbers to identify the separate laundry loads.
If you have toploaders or 18-pound frontload washers, use them to wash the individual loads; this way you won’t mix up the loads. However, if you don’t have smaller machines, the next best option is to buy some net laundry bags, along with about 20 or 30 numbered net pins. This way you can track which loads of laundry are in which bags, based upon the numbers you have assigned to the customers or the attendants doing the wash.
If you’re using net bags in your 50-pound frontloaders, be sure to not overload the bags or your washers. If you do, you will restrict the mechanical action of the washers, thus producing a less-than-satisfactory wash for your clients.
I recently washed some comforters for a long-time wash-dry-fold customer of ours, and the colors bled. Of course, I paid him for the damage, because it was our error. So, my main question is: how can we know which garments to wash and which not to – and which items will bleed their colors and which won’t?
Above all, read the care label. It should tell you if a garment is washable or not, and many of them also will tell you how to wash that particular item.
There is another way to see if the colors will bleed; however it’s not foolproof. Simply dampen a white cotton handkerchief with hot water, rub it on a small inconspicuous piece of the garment, and if you see any color on that handkerchief, you know not to wash that specific garment.
I’m looking to increase the capacity of the store, 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 having to add much more equipment, due to the speed and efficiency of the type of machines you’ll be installing.