FACT – buying a washing machine for your home is completely different to buying a washing machine for commercial use.
You see, while washing machines may look the same on the face of things, domestic and commercial washing machines don’t function in the same way. And they don’t produce the same end result either.
Yes, all washing machines are programmed to clean, but the degree to how well they clean very much depends on how suitable they are for the requirements at hand.
In our experience, while many people may have bought one or more domestic washing machines for their home over the years, not as many are that familiar with purchasing commercial washing machines. This means that it can be difficult for them to know which machines to choose and how to guarantee the ones they select are the right investment for them.
But choosing the right commercial washing machine really isn’t an overly complicated process, not if you’re armed with the right know-how, such as knowing which features to look out for (like the features we’ve listed below):
FEATURE 1: Drum size
Drum size is incredibly important. The larger the drum size, the larger the loads you can wash at one time and the less time you, or your staff, have to spend emptying and filling your washing machine with dirty and clean loads.
Drum capacity relates to the weight of dry laundry that can be safely washed in one go. It also tends to be slightly less than you can physically fit into the drum because over-filling machines can compromise cleaning results. Equally, under-loading machines can increase water and energy consumption.
FEATURE 2: Loading position
If you’ve already started to shop around, then you’ve most probably already noticed that some machines can be filled from the top, while others can be loaded from the front.
Generally speaking, top-loading appliances tend to use more energy and water and have a smaller drum. However, they’re particularly convenient if you’re tight on space. In comparison, front-loading machines are built for efficiency and use one third the amount of water, energy and detergent in comparison to top loaders. But they do tend to cost that little bit more though.
FEATURE 3: Programmes
This is one of the key areas that differentiates domestic washing machines from commercial washing machines. Most standard appliances feature cycles for cleaning common materials, such as cotton, and synthetic fabrics, like polyester and viscose.
But more advanced, commercial models incorporate programmes that are specifically designed to deal with larger loads and tackle the most stubborn dirt and debris. Some of today’s advanced models can even calculate the amount of water, heat and detergent each wash needs and record your wash data, using ‘smart’ functionality.
While we’re on the subject of programmes, it’s also worth noting here that more programmes doesn’t necessarily = the best either. What matters is that they meet your laundry requirements.
FEATURE 4: Temperature
Like domestic washing machines, commercial washing machines can be set to wash at different temperatures, depending on what you’re washing. Washing your laundry at the right temperature is incredibly important, even more so in the commercial world.
Higher temperatures kill germs, such as the H1N1 flu virus and MRSA. Usually a hot wash of 65°C for 10 minutes or 71°C for three minutes within the wash cycle, will sufficiently blitz through any bacteria, leaving your loads contamination-free zones.
It’s precisely why using domestic machines for commercial purposes is a total no-no. While bed sheets, blankets, tablecloths etc, may look clean, they aren’t being cleaned at a high enough temperature to leave them 100% germ-free.
FEATURE 5: Efficiency
Being energy efficient is a priority that’s shared by most organisations these days. And while they may be into the mindset of using energy efficient lighting and power-saving devices, they may not always realise that the same outlook can be applied to their washing machines too.
Many of the latest, industry-leading commercial washing machines are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Not only do they feature specific energy efficient programmes that are quicker to run and therefore reduce the cost per use, but they also incorporate new technology that reduces water and energy consumption.
And don’t forget, while you may think you’ll get more value for money by choosing a larger drum, it’s also worth bearing in mind that they aren’t always as energy efficient as their smaller counterparts…
There really is a lot to consider when you’re looking to buy a commercial washing machine, much more than the five features we’ve shared above. Choosing the right appliance involves being clear about your requirements, doing your research and, if necessary, calling on the expertise of commercial washing machine specialists, such as ourselves.
Need a hand with selecting the right commercial washing machine or want some more insider insight? Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 652 5692 for impartial advice.