Routine Maintenance Tips for Commercial Laundry Equipment
Just like with lawn mowers, cars, and other machinery, the best way to prolong the life of your commercial laundry equipment and prevent major issues is consistent preventative maintenance. The following are a few pro-tips that can help you get the most out of your investment and avoid costly repairs and replacements down the line.
- Read the manual. While this may seem basic, this is a crucial first step that many laundromat owners skip over. Your owner’s manual will have important information about utility requirements, specific cleaning products you should be using, and how often maintenance tasks need to be done. Taking the time to read through the guide and really understand your laundry equipment will be worth it in the long run.
- Keep the exterior of laundry equipment clean. No matter what type of commercial laundry equipment you use, keeping the outside of it clean is always an easy first step. Not only will the clean equipment improve the overall look of your laundry facility, regular cleanings can help prevent lint and other debris from getting inside the machines and causing damage. Regular cleaning can also prevent leftover soaps and detergents from corroding and damaging the machines.
- Clean soap dispensers. Soaps, powdered detergent, and boosters can quickly gum up dispensers. Regularly cleaning out these dispensers or soaking them in water can help prevent major clogs or corrosive damage that might require you to completely replace them.
- Clean or replace the water filter inlet screens regularly. These screens can become blocked by small particles over time, which may prevent proper water flow into the machine.
- Check inlet and outlet hoses regularly. These hoses can get sediment buildup and tiny leaks. Inspecting and changing these as needed can help prevent loss of water and high water bills.
- Check the belts from the motor to the drum on machines. Look for things like fraying or splitting and replace these belts as needed. Generally, these have to be replaced about twice each year.
- Check seals around washer doors. Regularly checking for and removing buildup around the seals on your washers can help make sure your equipment always has a water-tight seal to prevent leaking.
- Leave washer doors open when possible. Leaving the washer doors open when they are not in use, can help ensure air circulates to the interior and the machines dry properly.
- Check lint filters after each load. Customers may forget to clean out the lint filter on dryers between loads. You should consistently be monitoring this in your laundromat equipment to help prevent potential fires and overheating.
Keeping these few routine maintenance tasks in mind can help keep your machines in working order for as long as possible. You can also read more about preventative maintenance for bill changers, a common piece of equipment found in most laundromats.
Bill Changer Maintenance
A standard piece of equipment found in most laundromats, bill changers are an essential component to running an effective laundry business. Customer satisfaction should be every owner’s number one priority and keeping all your equipment, not just your commercial laundry machines, operating smoothly is vital to maintaining happy customers base and steady profits. Bill changers are electromechanical devices that require preventative maintenance to reduce the risk of down times. Martin-Ray Laundry Systems wants to share a preventative maintenance guide so you can keep an integral piece of your business working at top performance.
Money Quality Matters
Unlike coin dispensers, bill changers are sensitive to dispensing. Paying attention to the quality of your paper money matters when loading your bill changers. A quality bill includes these characteristics:
- No deep creases within the paper
- The bill has not been folded over to create “dog ears”
- The bills have some stiffness to them
- The edges are uniform and straight, free from any irregularities
Once you have identified a stack of bills in good condition, make sure that you or your staff are taking proper care when loading the machines. The paper money should be stacked neatly, with all edges lined up and straight.
Keep an Eye on Customer Interactions with Your Bill Changers
When you or your employees are present at your laundromat, make sure that everyone is keeping a close eye on customers’ interactions with your bill changers. Doing so will allow a machine that may need service attention to quickly be identified. An easy indicator to watch for is if patrons reinsert their paper bills multiple times before they get the proper change.
Clean Your Hoppers Weekly
Better acceptance of bills comes from weekly cleaning of your machines. Cleaning hoppers weekly ensures that all of the mechanisms are functioning properly and customers are able to use them. It’s important that you are using the correct cleaning agents on your bill changers to effectively clean them, which include:
- Compressed air cans to blow out dust, lint, and dirt
- Damp, soft cloths to wipe down the outside of the changer
- Rubbing alcohol to take off ink buildup
- Cleaning cards to remove dirt, oil, and other contaminants from magnetic heads, photo, and optic sensors
After your dispensers are thoroughly cleaned, make sure to test the bill acceptance and payout to ensure that there are no further issues with the machine.
Pay Attention to Error Codes
As a laundromat owner, it’s important that you stay attentive to all your equipment. Routinely check bill changers for error codes and out-of-service messages. By frequently checking and keeping a log of any error messages you see, it will be easier to diagnose and service the bill dispensers to restore them to normal working condition. Make sure to check in consistently with the bill changer’s service department to see if there are any available software updates that will keep the dispenser running more efficiently.
Keep Service Parts Available in Your Backroom
Keep spare service parts or even an extra bill dispenser in your washateria’s backroom to ensure that there is little to no downtime if a machine needs service. Ask your laundry distributor, like Martin-Ray, for a recommendation on a reliable and efficient service technician that you can contact in the case of an emergency.
When you partner with Martin-Ray Laundry Systems, you are gaining more than a commercial laundry distributor. Our experienced team of laundry professionals provides clientele with the business services they need to run a successful coin laundry operation. If you are located in Martin-Ray’s sales & service area, contact us today to learn more.
When to Call a Professional
While you may be able to do many routine maintenance tasks yourself, some equipment requires more specialized training and expertise. We’d recommend calling in a professional if there seems to be an electrical problem, issue with the control panel, or a major piece or part needs to be replaced. Of course, all maintenance and repairs should be based on your comfort level with the equipment and tools.
At Martin-Ray Laundry Systems, we offer our customers a variety of installation and post-sales support. Our team of experts is always on-hand to offer technical assistance and equipment service to get your machines up and running. We also provide specialized training in servicing your commercial laundry equipment for you and your employees. If you’re in our service area (CO, NM, WY, west TX, western NE), contact us today to discuss your service and maintenance needs. If you're in another area of the country, we can refer you to one of our EVI Industries affiliates with similar expertise and services.