Whether you operate a gym, a restaurant, a medical facility, a salon, a paint-party operation, or any other business that generates dirty laundry, cleaning dirty towels, soiled napkins, tablecloths, aprons, and uniforms is necessary but probably far from your forte. Unless your business happens to be a commercial laundry service, you should definitely look into hiring one. Why? It simply makes great business sense!
Save Money on Equipment, Utilities, and Products
Your first instinct may be to say, “I don’t want to spend the money to hire a commercial laundry service. Why outsource when we can do it ourselves in house?” You may be capable of doing your own laundry. But, once you really consider the pros and cons of this arrangement, you’ll realize that you are not saving as much money as you assumed you were. In fact, you may not be saving money at all.
When your business does its own laundry in house, you must have the following basic supplies on-hand:
- One or more washing machines
- One or more clothes dryers
- Ironing Boards
- Stain remover
- Fabric softener
- Dedicated square footage to use for laundry service
- Bins to collect and transport dirty laundry
- Tables to fold the laundry on
Additionally, when your business does its laundry in house, you have to pay one or more employees to collect the dirty laundry, transport it to the laundry room, operate the machines, fold the laundry, and distribute it. You also incur the added expenses to your water bill and electrical or gas bill. And, when your machines malfunction, you must hire a repair professional to service them.
When you add up the actual costs of “saving money by doing it yourself in house,” you will probably realize that if you are saving money at all, it’s minimal. And, it takes valuable employees away from other tasks that can add value and actually make money for your business.
Increase Productivity, Efficiency, and Customer Service
When you or your employees have to gather, sort, clean, dry, fold, and distribute laundry for your business, that takes time. Think of what you and your employees could be doing instead. You could be on the sales floor chatting with customers or simply being there in case they have any questions.
Think about how frustrated you become when you’ve traveled to a business to make a purchase or receive a service and there is no one immediately available to assist you. The time you and your team spend in the laundry room could be the time that makes your potential customers throw up their hands and walk out the door in frustration.
Leave the Compliance Issues (and Healthcare Risks) to Someone Else
In certain industries, laundry must meet local, state, union, or federal cleanliness requirements. How do these regulatory bodies determine if you do? They require you to keep detailed records — and they stop in for random checks. Why does OSHA insist upon these best practices for washing laundry in some settings? If contaminated laundry is not subject to the right detergents and temperatures, germs could remain and infect others who touch the “clean” laundry.
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Guidelines for Laundry in Health Care Facilities, laundry should be cleaned in water that is at least 160 degrees F, for at least 25 minutes of agitation. Chlorine bleach is also recommended. The reason for these guidelines is to reduce the risks of blood-borne pathogens surviving the laundry process and possibly infecting others. Do you want to be responsible for ensuring that harmful viruses and germs are killed during the laundering process? Or would you rather outsource it to a business that specializes in commercial laundry?
Avoid Damaging or Ruining Your Valuable Washables
You may be an expert in exercise physiology, a master chef, a wonderful veterinarian, or an experienced healthcare administrator. What are your laundry qualifications?
Do you know when to use hot and when to use cold? Do you know how to sort laundry correctly to avoid damage? Do you know which fabrics can withstand the heat of a clothing dryer and which should air dry? If you can’t confidently answer yes to these questions, there’s a good chance that doing your own laundry in-house will lead to the need to replace items because they’ve been damaged.
Often, “doing it yourself” and eliminating the middleman makes good business sense. Sometimes, though, outsourcing makes better business sense. Commercial laundry is an example of the latter.