Business Laundry Service: Tips for Getting Started
It’s a question we get all the time: How do I save on my business laundry service?
We get it! Your particular about your business laundry needs but you’re also on a budget. From salons to breweries, gyms to restaurants, and coworking spaces to hotels – we’ve seen it all. So, we worked with some of our most frequent business laundry service customers to find out how they save money on their laundry and linen cleaning.
- Quality sheets and towels are worth the initial investment.
- Have enough inventory to only send laundry to be cleaned on a predictable, recurring schedule.
- Contact your business laundry service to create a folding and packaging template.
- Request bleach and stain treatment with every cleaning for preventative maintenance.
- Know the difference between a business laundry service, a third-party provider, and a local dry cleaner.
- Use a business laundry service to keep track of damaged linens so they’re removed from circulation.
Quality sheets and towels are worth the initial investment.
Ok – so you’re not a hotel – even though it may feel like it when you see your laundry piles growing on a daily basis. Hotel-style doesn’t necessarily mean hotel-price or hotel-quantity. After all, you likely aren’t working with the volume purchasing power or budget of a hotel.
Hotel-style means two things:
- Pure white in color – This makes stains easier to treat and remove than colored options that can’t be bleached. It will keep your laundry in circulation longer AND keep the cost of stain treatment down. For a business laundry service, stains on white sheets and towels are easier to remove than stains on colored sheets and towels.
- Standardized in size – Keeping your inventory standardized will prevent you from purchasing replacements more frequently. If you have large towels for one part of your business and smaller towels for others, when one is permanently damaged or lost by a guest, replacing it can be a headache. You’ll likely need to buy more than one – even if you only need one. Instead, consider standardizing your inventory to 2-3 items and stocking extra of these 2-3 linens.
- Know your towel and linen quality – We have found that brushed microfiber bedding is a perfect bedding solution for hotel-style business use. The quick-drying, easily stain treated sheets are the perfect balance between cost-efficiency, cleaning-efficiency, and guest comfort. Just like the sheets, there are many options for towels. Your clients want to get dry but don’t necessarily want the thickest towel on the market. Remember – hotel-style? We recommend medium thickness towels in either cotton or microfiber. The thinner the towel, the cheaper it is to replace and the easier it is to both treat for stain and dry properly.
Have enough inventory to only send laundry to be cleaned on a predictable, recurring schedule.
Miscommunication happens when things get complicated. If you’re operating your business with just enough linens to scrape by, you’re complicating the cleaning process by putting a strict timeline on yourself and your business laundry service.
Having a small number of sets of laundry and linens will mean you are constantly sending your linens for cleaning. And, with most business laundry services, your cleaning costs will be more expensive at lower volumes. Buying enough towels & linens to keep your business stocked with clean inventory for a couple of turns (usually at least a week or two) with the assumption that you will have high use, will help you save money with your cleaning service and make sure your clients never show up to a without proper inventory.
Trying to stay ahead of clients with a limited inventory can be incredibly stressful. And, having extra (standardized) inventory on hand is an easy solution.
Contact your business laundry service to create a folding and packaging template.
If you’re an experienced business laundry customer, you know that folding and packaging inconsistencies can create headaches. And, if you haven’t experienced this yet, you will! Imagine your clients getting the same towels folded in different ways. Or, what if your inventory storage space is set up for one size fold and won’t fit other sized folds? Are you going to refold the clean laundry every time?
Conventional laundromats and laundry services don’t have account standard operating procedures – they just wash & fold. A good business laundry service will offer to create a folding and packaging template to use and reconcile against every time your laundry is sent in.
Request bleach and stain treatment with every cleaning for preventative maintenance.
If indeed your laundry is white – as this is what we recommend, keep it white by making sure your business laundry service knows to add bleach, whitening agents, or Vanish in every wash. Most business laundry services give you the option to add treatment preferences to your account. And, if they don’t, be sure to contact them before ordering to make sure you can get whitening agents added to keep your whites white!
With this, set your laundry service preferences with some consideration for allergies. We always recommend business laundry accounts use free & clear detergent (detergent without perfumes or dyes) to help protect your clients from having a reaction to your sheets & towels.
Know the difference between a business laundry service, a third-party provider, and a local dry cleaner.
Whatever you need – there’s an app for that. But, is that always a good thing?
While you might not care who is delivering your pizza, you should care who is doing your laundry. With the rise of middle-man apps that pair you with the closest, cheapest, (insert any other superlative here) service provider, you have no idea who is picking up, cleaning, and delivering your clothes. And, this likely changes order-to-order based on however the middle man app chooses to schedules your service.
These providers even opt to send orders to individuals to wash at their home instead of a professional company operating in a professional laundry facility.
Here is the rundown:
- You’ll want to find a business laundry service that ACTUALLY does your laundry: It takes a simple Google search. You’ll find a couple of options of app-based middle man companies that shop your laundry out to the nearest provider. These almost always cost you twice as much as going directly to the source. When deciding on a business laundry service, be sure to research or ask who is actually doing your laundry.
- Dry Cleaners vs. Laundry Services: There is a difference. If you though the third-party middle man apps were expensive, dry cleaners typically cost 3-4x the price of a true laundry service. Dry cleaners specialize in high volumes of small garments. While your business laundry service focuses on small volumes of bigger garments – sheets, towels, comforters, etc. And, for the most part, dry cleaning your linens is a good way to expedite the wear and tear on them. Check both the linen care tags and your dry cleaning receipts before using a dry cleaner.
Use a business laundry service to keep track of damaged linens so they’re removed from circulation.
Stains must be removed from circulation! But all businesses have different tolerances for stains and damage.
A good business laundry service will offer stain treatment AND stain management. Stain treatment is obvious but stain management isn’t always as clear. By asking your business laundry service to pack damaged or stained inventory separately from the rest of your clean linens, you’ll have 1) an easy time making sure they don’t re-enter circulation and 2) you’ll know exactly how many items need replacing for a restocking order.