Coronavirus & Laundromats - How Laundromat Owners Should Respond
Like everyone across the world, we’ve been paying close attention to the news and health recommendations regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19. This pandemic has impacted almost every area of our everyday lives, including operating our laundromats.
While laundromats, and the basic public health services they provide, are a necessity in our communities, there are some good practices for business owners to keep in mind. After reading Coronavirus recommendations from the Coin Laundry Association, we have compiled some tips for laundry business owners to help keep their customers, employees, and themselves safe during this time.
Tips for Laundromats
- Clean and sanitize your laundromat facility regularly. This includes wiping down all washers, dryers, door handles, laundry carts, folding tables, coin changers, etc. multiple times per day. Be sure you’re using disinfecting products, gloves, and wiping in one direction to reduce the risk of surface recontamination
- Consider postponing or canceling special events, such as a laundromat grand opening or free laundry day, and limiting or suspending non-essential services, such as wash-dry-fold, that require extensive person-to-person contact. As of this posting, it is recommended that events of 10+ people are limited. Follow official guidelines from the CDC and your local government officials regarding events and closures.
- Require laundromat employees who are sick to stay home. Now is a good time to reevaluate your sick-leave and health policies to make sure they are flexible and align with current recommendations from the CDC and other health organizations.
- Limit the number of patrons in your laundromat and provide adequate space of at least 6 feet between laundry folding tables and seating to promote social distancing. Encourage guests who are ill to stay home.
- Provide plenty of soap and hand sanitizer for proper handwashing and post signs encouraging employees and patrons to wash hands often. Per CDC guidelines, sanitizer should contain at least 60% to 95% alcohol and hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Providing gloves, disinfecting wipes, and other sanitary items are also helpful.
- Provide and promote advanced features — like hot water washes, pre-washes, extra rinse cycles, and extended dry cycles — that kills germs and helps customers achieve the best, most sanitary clean.
- Share best laundry practices with your laundromat customers, including:
- Avoid shaking dirty laundry
- Use hot water and wash settings (as recommended for specific fabrics)
- Use the dryer rather than air-drying (as recommended for specific fabrics)
- Clean and sanitize hampers, clothes baskets, drying racks, etc.
- As more and more businesses are required to close, the CLA is recommending that laundromat owners and investors contact government officials and urge them to designate laundromats as “essential service” providers during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can read more and download the CLA template here.
Additional Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources
Hopefully, these recommendations help you navigate this unprecedented pandemic. Keep the below resources in mind for additional up-to-date information and resources for laundromat owners and patrons regarding Coronavirus and COVID-19: