Too Much Laundry? Consider Commercial Laundry Equipment!

Buried under laundry

Every now and then we’ll get a call from someone (hair salons, animal shelters, schools, and the like) asking us about the differences between home style washers and commercial laundry equipment. There is definitely a difference and fortunately it only takes a few simple questions to determine which one is the smarter buy for your particular need.

Do you have large loads to run?

work-993353_960_720If yes, commercial laundry equipment is the way to go. There are some larger capacity residential washers available (up to 30 pounds or so) but the commercial washers can handle even larger loads.  Plus, they’ll keep running those larger loads for years to come giving you quite a bit of extra productivity.

Do you run your washer all day, every day?

Worm_GearResidential washers are designed to handle the demands of family laundry. Even if the the laundry is done all in one day that usually averages out to a load or two a day per week. Commercial washers are designed for the rigors of washing all day, every day.  They are also are designed to be serviced, which is much more cost effective than replacement.

How often can you afford to replace the washer?

wealth-69525_960_720Commercial washers are designed for continuous use. They are more expensive than home style washers, but you shouldn’t have to replace the washer as frequently plus commercial laundry equipment is designed to be serviced quickly and easily. We had one customer that was purchasing a new home washer every year because it couldn’t stand up the rigors of constant use. They put in a commercial washer and have been happily laundering goods worry free.

Save Drying Time

17727683450_844577ec22_bCommercial dryers have larger drying cylinder sizes, higher airflow, and higher BTU ratings all of which help to reduce drying time and increase the efficiency of the laundry process. A typical home dryer can take an hour to dry a load of terry towels even after a high speed extract. The same load can be dried in half the time in a commercial dryer.

Programmable

5230369983_7879a2909f_bCommercial laundry equipment is usually equipped with controls that allow customized programs giving greater efficiency and flexibility. I actually have a commercial washer in my home and this came in super handy when our youngest left a crayon in his pocket that didn’t get caught during the pocket checking portion. We set a long wash program, added commercial grade laundry chemicals and viola!

Additional Considerations

Before heading down the commercial laundry road, make sure you check the following potential gotchas:

  1. Do you have an adequate water supply?  Larger commercial washers will need more than a small 3/4″ fill line.  Small water lines makes for longer fill times and longer wash cycles.
  2. Do you have an adequate drain?  Commercial washers do not typically have a pump drain like a home washer, but a gravity drain.  A small drain system will slow down the wash cycles due to extended drain times.
  3. Do you have adequate power?  Most small commercial washers and dryers will operate with single phase power but will typically require 208-230V instead of the standard 120V that a home washer uses.
  4. Do you have natural gas?  A natural gas dryer will dry much more effectively and efficiently than an electrically heated dryer (most home dryers are electric heat).  You’ll also need a larger exhaust for the commercial dryer as well as make up air since a commercial dryer moves quite a bit more air than a home dryer (and dries faster, too!).
  5. Finally, make sure the machines will physically fit into the area that you will place them and that there is adequate room for service. Typically, your dealer will make sure and measure to ensure a proper fit.

There is, of course, a downside. The initial cost of a commercial washer is greater but savings through the life of the machine make it more economical. Don’t forget the costs associated with downtime during replacement as well as the stress! If you plan on continuing to do your own laundry on premise and can afford to make the investment it will pay off in the long run.

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Comments

  1. I am looking for a price on an electric dryer

  2. onajobiadebajo@gmail.com'

    Adebajo Onajobi
    March 13, 2017 - 11:12 am

    Hello,

    I love the way you broke down the details, simple and straight to the point. Hence, this mail. I have being planning to start a mini laundromat using residential washers and dryers owing to the cost of commercial ones. But from the info you provided, that most likely will be a grave mistake.

    Thanks for the wonderful piece and would appreciate it if you can lend me your expertise by advising me on the way to go about this in Africa, precisely Nigeria. I have looked at population and Universities are my target audience, to start with 4 washers and 2 dryers.

    Presently working, looking to resign sometimes next year once I meet my financial goal (Capital). Considering cost, Electric dryers is my option for use but what is the average time for drying using electric against gas dryers.

    Not to make this mail longer than it is already, What piece of advice to you have for me.

    Thanks and looking forward a positive response.

  3. We are looking to add a large commercial front load washer in our garage for a couple purposes:
    1) It’s the only way I feel a large king-sized comforter will truly get clean.
    2) We go through a lot of laundry and I can’t fit in doing a load or two each day during the week…am tired of spending my entire weekend washing clothes.
    We were hoping you could advise on two issues we’re pondering:
    1) Where is the best place to buy a used, possibly 30-40lb front load washer? &
    2) What are the considerations for installing one?
    My husband is a contractor so we are pretty comfortable we can make the modifications but want to be sure we’re not missing any details before we start down this road.
    Any info would be much appreciated!

    • Hi Denise,

      Thanks for the questions! I’m sending you over an email with more information.

  4. Hello, I’m in need of a commercial washer and dryer, I’ve a 26 bed vacation rental house could you please price these for me abs delivery time?

    • Hi Kate,

      I’m sending you an email with more information. Thanks for the comment!

  5. I own 6 hair salons and I am considering getting commercial grade equipment for all of them. What is the pricing on these?

    • Hi Selina,

      I’m sending you an email with more information.

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. Hello,
    I would like to purchase a commercial washing machine, because of the amount of usage in my home. We are a family of 9 and we wash a lot. Also, I would like to teach the adults some kind of accountability, they are all working, but are back home after college. Right now it’s free and they sometimes just wash a small load and that can be costly for us. I’m trying to have them wash less and with some responsibility and that the reason for the coin slot. Please, I need some advice on which washing machine is best. Thanks

  7. I am looking to install a commercial washer and dryer in my home to do all our restaurant linens. What is the ball park figure for these machines and do you have a place you could recommend we purchase these from in the SF Bay Area?

  8. Greyscale314@gmail.com'

    Carolyn waterson
    September 9, 2017 - 6:22 pm

    We need a large capacity commercial grade top load washer for our humane society. What would be the best kind, what sort of $ $ are we looking at, and where do we buy one?

  9. Looking for a large capacity washing machine for our family of mess makers! Your recommendations are appreciated.

  10. Al, can you please send me some recommendations and pricing? We are a large family, burning through a residential style washer about once a year. Need something more robust.

    • Hi Clint,

      Thanks for the comment. Man you guys must do some serious laundry! I’ll shoot you an email over with some more details.

  11. Mcnultykk@gmail.com'

    Kristen McNulty
    January 3, 2018 - 7:43 pm

    Can i get info on an electric industrial dryer for our home? I have to run ours 3x each load an they keep burning out!!

  12. hello,
    I own a hair salon and we are expanding and putting in a washer and dryer. Which commercial units do you recommend? I’m guessing we will only do about 3-4 loads per day.

  13. Looking for recommendations on HE commercial washing machine. Family of 6,
    thankyou for any info

  14. Hi ,
    Thank you for helping all of us.
    Where is the best place to physically shop to look at a commercial dryer?
    If I have a kitchen gas cooktop does this mean it would be easy to get and switch to a gas dryer?

    • Hi Brandy, thanks for your comment. I’ve sent you some information on our distributor so you can take a look at a commercial dryer in person. You may already have gas in your laundry room if you have it in your kitchen. I emailed you a picture of what that might look like in your laundry room. In many homes with gas, you’ll find the laundry room prepared for both a gas dryer and an electric dryer.

  15. Hi, a very good write up above. I’m also like Adebajo Onajobi above, planning on starting with residential washers and dryers then upgrade in near future when i’m able to afford commercial washers and dryers. What do you advice, can you forward me your advice to Adebajo Onajobi, so that i learn from it also?

    • Hi Eugene, I’ve sent you an email with some more specific recommendations. The downside of trying to start a business with residential type laundry equipment is overall durability. A home machine is designed to run a few hours a week. If you run them all day every day they simply won’t last very long. Something more durable with readily available parts will serve your needs much better.

  16. We’re a large family that does 5 loads a day. Cam I install commercial in my home? I can make the drain modification to 3 inch, and can upsize the water pipe, but what other information would I need to consider? Best used brands? Is residential gas pressure sufficient?

    • Hi Andres,

      Thanks for commenting on the blog – I’ve sent you an email with some details and recommendations.

  17. Hi there,

    We need a 2-3 commercial washing machines and 2-3 dryers. Can you please contact me with a quote? Thank you!

  18. Hi Al,

    Could you send recommendations with specs for what you think are great commercial washer and dryers?…I have New Orleans Airbnbs and I am considering making the switch. Thanks for the rundown of how it works too. I didn’t even think about the logistics of gas, piping and waterlines, etc. If you could recommend that too, it would be extremely helpful too.

    Thank you!!!! This was great info!

    • Thanks, Mandisa! I’ve sent you an email to get some more information so I can help you. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  19. Hello,
    I also have a large Airbnb and am looking for a commercial washer/dryer. Would love some information!

  20. DEBASISH.GT@GMAIL.COM'

    Debasish Guha Thakurta
    September 15, 2018 - 12:55 pm

    Very nice explanation!

    Hello Al,

    My experience of living in old and new apartment homes over the last 2 decades has exposed me to use old and new residential washers as well as the commercial washers at the local laundry facility. One thing I have noticed is that the quality of the wash in the commercial washers is far superior to that of any high end fancy residential washer.

    Could you please send me some recommendations for a standard size commercial grade washer. I do not have a large family so I am not focused on the load size but I would definitely want to get a quality wash. I’ll be installing this in a new construction home. Is there anything specific regarding the installation that I should be aware of?

    Thanks you so much!!!

    • Al Adcock
      11:26 AM (0 minutes ago)
      to DEBASISH.GT

      Hi Debasish,

      Thanks for commenting on the blog!

      You are correct in that commercial washers provide a better result than a typical home style unit. There are a few reasons for this:

      1. Topload washers provide almost no mechanical action, that is, the goods do not have the detergent/water mixture forced through the fibers of the goods (think of the old way of washing – pounding the clothes on a rock).

      2. Home washers typically have a much shorter wash time and fewer final rinses. Even home style front load washers suffer from this. Shorter wash times and fewer rinses save time, water, and electricity and typically are acceptable since most home goods are fairly lightly soiled.

      If you are planning on purchasing a home washer/dryer, I would recommend a machine that can add extra rinses and a prewash cycle. This will definitely improve wash results.

  21. Aloha,

    We run a humane society and need to wash blankets and towels all day long. Obviously money is a consideration but we are going thru the small washers like there is no tomorrow. Any recommendations? Mahalo!

    Elizabeth

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      In your case, I would definitely recommend purchasing a commercial washer and dryer. Doing laundry all day, every day is exactly what commercial machines are designed to do. I am not at all surprised that your are going through home style machines frequently as they are not designed for that kind of use. Since you have a tight budget, I would suggest you ask about used equipment to start with. Thanks for commenting on the blog!

  22. I’m looking for a quote for a commercial washer and dryer for both new and used. Where are you located? What would shipping to Rochester, NY be?

  23. Hi..im wanting to look into getting a not to large commercial washer and dryer that doesnt cost to much..even good 2nd hand ones…could u tell me roughly of the cost and also if im able to put them on my verandah..powerpoints are available. ..and if they are very noisy.Thankyou

    • Hi Susan,

      I definitely wouldn’t recommend putting washers and dryers outside where they are exposed to the elements. They need to be indoors and protected. Cost will vary widely depending on the size of the machines you’re looking for. In Australia, I would recommend contacting:

      Aqualogic Laundry Systems
      2 Hudson Ave
      Castle Hill NSW 2154
      +61 1300 222 119

      My friend Lisa Horne and her crew will definitely take care of you. Good Luck!

  24. HI,

    I need a large capacity washer and dryer for a vacation unit. Can you send me prices and information?

  25. 1where can i buy a residential washer ? for a family of 4

    • Hi Nadia,

      Any of the big box stores will have an excellent selection of washers and dryers for home use. Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, Fryes, etc. are all good choices. Good luck!

  26. Please contact me with brand and contact info for family of 8 we need more than residential units can offer.

    Thanks

  27. Tracey.galligan@avisonyoung.com'

    Tracey Galligan
    April 8, 2019 - 8:31 pm

    Hello!
    I’m hoping you can assist me with purchasing the right washer and dryer. I’ve tried a front loader and recently purchased a large capacity Maytag top loader with an agitator and neither can handle a larger comforter. Thinking a commercial unit might be best, can you help? Thanks!

    • Hi Tracey,

      Thanks for commenting on the blog. I’ve sent you an email with some additional information.

  28. vince@on-site24.com'

    vince mastronardi
    April 17, 2019 - 11:02 am

    Hi Al!
    Great article! We are a contents restoration company and need to wash a lot of rags and moving blankets. Which are some of the brands of washer and dryers that you recommend for us? Thanks for your help.

    Vince

    • Hi Vince,

      Thanks for commenting on the blog!

      Washing moving blankets definitely moves you into the realm of commercial laundry equipment! A home washer will not last very long washing such heavy items regularly, plus you can’t load very many into a smaller machine. Depending on the volume of laundry you are washing, our HE Series will likely fit the bill. If a home washer seems just a bit too small, our 35 pound or 45 pound machine will suit you well. If you’re looking to wash multiple blankets at a time, I would suggest the HE-65, which is our most popular and best selling model.

      Feel free to give me a call if you have any more questions!

      Al Adcock
      850-249-2222

  29. Hello,

    Need your advice, would like to have a commercial washer install in my home, what are the requirements and where is the best place to get one if we decide to go that route?

    • Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for commenting on the blog! The blog post covers general requirements, but there may be more stringent requirements in California that I am unaware of. I would recommend contacting our distributor in Southern California for more information:

      Washex Machinery Of California, Inc
      Mark Sanders
      Burbank, CA 91502-0310
      1-818-840-8900
      washexcasales@aol.com

  30. Hi
    We are a family of 9
    We currently have a front loader home grade washer and dryer
    We run this machine at least 4-5 hours a day load after load
    The drain pump went bad this week
    I’m a little handy and will repair it by myself
    While we were waiting for the part to come in we went to the laundromat to clean our clothes there
    I was amazed how fast they cleaned our clothes
    Literally 1/3rd of the time
    That’s when I found your very informative article
    We’re building a house and would love to fit commercial equipment in the plans
    Can you guide me the best route

    • Hi Kobie,

      Commercial laundry equipment doesn’t typically use pump drains, but instead a gravity drain. You may be able to adopt your plumbing to handle this by putting a tee in the drain line near the floor (I’ve done this in every house I’ve owned). You’ll also typically need to let the washer share your dryer plug or alternatively add another 230V single phase outlet behind your washer. Most commercial units don’t run on standard 120VAC. All of that being said, you might want to explore a used machine in the 20-25 pound range which should still work fine with your homestyle dryer. Any larger and you’d need to either add a dryer or buy a commercial dryer and they don’t typically fit well in a residential situation (they are much larger than a standard home dryer). I’d definitely recommend you get in touch with our distributor:

      MCH Equipment
      421A Philmont Avenue
      Feasterville, PA 19053
      215-355-3778
      800-399-5237

      Good luck!

  31. Hello Al!
    My wife owns a cloth diaper service. She currently outsources the laundry, however we are interested in buying a home and modifying the garage to accommodate commercial/industrial machines. We’d love to pick your brain about this and get some recommendations from you!

    • Greetings!

      I’m happy to assist you with sizing your laundry equipment. The good news is that you’re not likely to need 3 phase power which is generally not available in a residential area. It should be relatively straightforward to determine your needs since you are currently outsourcing and being billed by the pound. That will give you the critical piece of information you need to size the laundry. You then need to know:

      1. The average pounds per day
      2. How many hours you wish to dedicate to doing laundry
      3. Your equipment budget

      For instance, if you’re averaging 150 pounds per day and want to complete the laundry in 4 hours, you’d need a 30 pound washer and dryer. This assumes you’ll process about 1.2 loads per hour. For your home business, you’ll also need a dedicated commercial water heater as dirty diapers will require some good old fashioned hot water to get them clean. I would also highly recommend that you contact a commercial laundry chemical company that will sell you the appropriate commercial grade chemicals that will make getting the diapers clean much easier.

      Great question and if you need more assistance, feel free to contact me. The office phone number is 850-249-2222.

  32. Residential environment; commercial requirements. Have an abundance of cats and dogs and do 25 to 30 loads of laundry each week. Critters are spoiled so lots of sleeping pads, fleece blankets, comforters, and towels – lots of shedding. All pee / training pads we might use for animals are disposable so sanitation not an issue in that regard Have always had regular residential washers. Are you able to recommend a commercial washer that might fit our needs? Will likely stick with residential grade dryer as I do like to hang laundry to dry when conditions allow.

    Secondly, we will need to switch to a commercial detergent to be compatible with commercial washer?

    Are you able to suggest a source for such a detergent, if necessary, in the Houston Texas area?

    Thanks for the concise and informative discussion on commercial laundry equipment for novices.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      If you’re looking for a commercial grade washer in Houston (and it really sounds like you need one!), contact:

      Skyline Equip Inc
      Nichol Weaver
      16502 Northchase Drive Suite A
      Houston, TX 77060-3375
      281-445-9907

      Good Luck!

  33. Al,

    We built a new pool and I will ne building a pool house inclusive of electric dryer for towel drying. It is wired up for the voltage and hoping you can recommend a commercial dryer for high volumes of bath towels.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      An electric heat commercial dryer typically requires 3 phase power, so that will likely present a problem in a residential situation. If gas is a possibility, you would have a chance.

      Good luck!

  34. kkennedy9194@gmail.com'

    Kristin Kennedy
    January 5, 2020 - 1:31 pm

    I am interested a commercial washer and dryer but haven’t been able to find a way to buy one. I love the fact that the washing machines at the laundry mat only take 30 minutes to wash versus residential washers that take between 75-120 minutes. We own an auto shop and do a lot of heavy dirty loads. Waiting that long for a wash means I have to be available to get the laundry out ASAP or the machine will smell. I fought the smell of a front loader for years and finally broke down and bought a regular agitator type model from speed queen. It had metal gears on the settings which I liked because I planned to never buy another washer again. Here I am four years later and it’s making oil spots on my whites! I’ve been taking all my whites to the laundromat while I do research but I am frustrated that front loaders take so long to wash. I have finally decided that if I find one that I can live with I will just have to learn to leave the door open and never leave a load in there.

    • Hi Kristin,

      The reason front loaders take a bit longer to wash is due to the extra rinses you get, which removes excess detergent and soils from the goods. A top loader has 1 wash cycle and 1 rinse cycle, then extract and finished. This leaves a tremendous amount of detergent and soils still in the goods.

      A front loader has a wash cycle, followed by 2 or 3 rinses and can also optionally have a prewash cycle which really helps on heavily soiled goods. Also, a front loader gives you mechanical action – the goods are lifted against gravity and pound back down on the inside of the wash cylinder, forcing the detergent and water through the fibers of the goods, carrying away soils and stains. You do not get any mechanical action like this in a top loader.

      Further, a front loader extracts at a much higher speed, saving time in the dryer and reducing wear and tear on the goods.

      Finally, don’t forget that a washer and dryer work as a team. It doesn’t really save you any time if the washer finishes in 30 minutes but drying takes over an hour. With the front loader, the washer and dryer will work together and finish their work at approximately the same time.

      For any front loader, it is best practice to leave the door open after a wash cycle so that it can dry (just like a top loader). Otherwise, you may experience mildewing.

      Good luck!

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