Getting your Commercial Laundry Ready for the Season

Remember that end-of-season inspection report we talked about at the end of last season?  Time to break it out and go through each item so that your commercial laundry is ready to tackle the season ahead with a minimum amount of fuss.

Now that you’re months down the road, hopefully you took notes about that noise you wanted to check out before next season. Since you were proactive (right?), you have a big head start on maintenance that will leave your equipment in top condition and ready for another productive season.  Good machine care, with proper maintenance and repair not only helps ensure proper operation and long life, it helps maintain resale value.

A clean machine simplifies maintenance and inspection. It also helps minimize rust which can start where dirt and moisture collect on a machine.  Although some maintenance tasks can be deferred, at a minimum grease machines and give them a thorough cleaning prior to beginning the season, especially if you haven’t done so recently.

If you laundry demand is still a bit slow, now is the time to inspect items that are normally difficult to inspect while the machines are in full operation and perform commercial laundry maintenance.  In addition to a thorough cleaning:

washing-machineCommercial Washers

  • Check water inlet hoses for cracks, swelling, or other signs of impending failure.  If it has been 5 years since you’ve replaced your hoses do so now.  It is much cheaper than a huge cleanup and water bill to match.
  • Check the internal hoses on the machine, especially those that come into contact with the washing chemicals as these are apt to be damaged by raw chemicals.  The 5 year rule is effective here as well and replacing them now can save a huge headache this 4th of July!
  • Check the drive belts for signs of wear.
  • Check the machine for leaks.
  • Check the door gasket and door lock operation and repair now while it is quiet.
  • Clean or replace cooling fan filters.
  • Lubricate the bearings if required.

dryerCommercial Dryers

  • Check drive belts for wear and replace if needed.
  • Check fire suppression system, if so equipped, for leaks.
  • Clean burner tubes on gas models.
  • Tighten electrical connections on electric heat models.
  • Clean the steam trap on steam heated models.
  • Clean exhaust system and remove as much lint as possible.
  • Lubricate bearings if required.

manglerCommercial Ironers

  • Inspect drive chains and lubricate.
  • Replace worn sprockets and chain.
  • Lubricate bearings.
  • Inspect feeding and ironing belts and guide tapes.  Replace if needed.
  • Clean exhaust system and remove as much lint as possible.

towelCommercial Flatwork Feeders and Folders

  • Inspect all mechanical drives (flat belts, round belts, etc.) for wear.  Replace if necessary.
  • Lubricate bearings
  • Inspect feeding and folding belts.  Replace missing or damaged belts.
  • Check pneumatic lines for contaminates like water or other debris.  Clean or replace these lines.
  • Drain air filter/accumulator and replace the filter with a new element if it hasn’t been done recently.

air_comp_2Other Commercial Laundry Items

  • Clean and dry all laundry carts
  • Perform routine maintenance on air compressor and air dryer
  • Thoroughly clean the laundry facility
  • Clean the drain system – use a snake to remove lint from the drain at the clean out location
  • Replace or upgrade laundry lighting.
  • Inspect breaker panel and tighten any loose breakers
  • Inspect and clean lint filtering system
  • Inspect and clean make up air louvers or screens
  • Inspect and clean any booster fans in the exhaust system of the dryers or ironer

By following these tips and performing as much maintenance before peak season arrives, you’ll find the laundry in much better shape for the upcoming year.  This will keep your commercial laundry operating efficiently and saving valuable operating time as well as money.  If you have any valuable tips, please share your knowledge in the comments!

Lead photo courtesy of Theodore Scott

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