For any business that processes laundry as a professional service, whether you have a hotel with an in-house laundry service or are a commercial launderer, the cost of running your equipment can be one of your largest business expenses in a month. With a traditional laundry machine, even a so-called “high-efficiency” unit, 3 to 4 gallons of hot water are consumed with each pound of laundry washed. Because of this fact, high utility costs are often considered a given for commercial laundry services.
The problem is that it is often difficult to be sure exactly how much your commercial laundry service is actually costing you. For many commercial laundry services, the utility bill does not give a complete picture of what the laundry operation is actually costing your business.
So, how can you determine what your laundry operation is really costing you? Well, it is important to start by examining…
Commercial laundry machines are often in constant operation throughout the day, only going offline for a few minutes at a time as laundry workers unload and reload them. Even though commercial machines are built to meet the demands of a commercial-level service, constant operation day in and day out does take its toll after a while.
In order to keep any machine running at peak efficiency, it is important to perform regular maintenance, such as replacing worn or damaged parts. Without proper maintenance, these machines will fall apart and your business will be left without a way to process laundry. This is one reason why many businesses choose to enter into maintenance contracts with either the OEM or a third-party repair service.
However, even with a maintenance service, accurately predicting your maintenance costs can be difficult. Why? Because, emergency service calls to fix damaged equipment usually have extra costs attached to them, and even more costs for parts and labor.
Speaking of labor, that’s another expense of running a commercial laundry service that many often forget to factor in. After all, fabrics won’t load, unload, and fold themselves.
It takes people to move items from one phase of the laundry process to the next. Even with specialized mechanical equipment for ironing and pressing linens, there still needs to be a human element. Payroll for laundry workers, however, is usually fairly predictable, even with wages based on an hourly rate.
Another major cost of operating a commercial laundry is in the chemicals used to sanitize fabrics. From basic detergent, to spot-stain removers and bleach, a commercial laundry can go through an enormous amount of chemical each day.
The amount of money spent on chemical will vary based on the nature of your cleaning process, total laundry output, and on the soil level of the fabrics being processed on any given day. For the most part, this cost will be fairly consistent from month to month.
One of the primary principles behind getting fabrics clean is to use copious amounts of hot water to break up stains and get them out of fabrics. This means using another utility, such as electricity or gas, to heat that water.
For many commercial laundries, it can be hard to sort out the cost of heating water from other energy utility use. The power or gas company will not itemize their bills to read “Laundry Machine A” or “Central Heating,” so the utilities consumed by your laundry machines is hidden inside of the bill for services. This can make it difficult to sort out exactly how much your laundry operation is costing you in energy utilities each month.
With a traditional laundry machine, water is one of the most obvious expenses attached to the laundry process. Much like energy utilities, the exact water usage of your laundry operation is partially hidden because it is listed as a part of your total water use.
As with other costs, your water expenses will change based on your specific laundry processes and how much laundry you process in a given month.
However, you can attach a water monitoring system to your laundry machines to see exactly how much water (and chemical) each machine consumes. This makes it easier to project your total utility consumption and establish a budget.
Saving Money and Making Costs More Predictable
A common thread for many of the above items is that their cost can change from month to month. However, not all of these costs have to be hard to predict, or so high.
By switching to Hydrofinity, commercial laundry services have reported:
- 80% reductions in water utility use.
- 50% reductions in heating utility use.
- 50% less chemical use.