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Domestic washing machines come in fairly standard sizes, ranging from 5kg capacity to around 12kg capacity. In a home environment, 8-10kg is usually more than enough for a busy family’s laundry needs, but in a hotel, care home or hospital, a higher capacity drum will allow you to get through more laundry in less time, reducing your energy bills and your environmental impact, helping you to run your business more productively.
A small capacity washing machine will be adequate for many businesses with lighter laundry requirements. For example, a 5.5kg washing machine would be recommended for a small café with a few tablecloths and tea towels to wash, as it would be more energy efficient for light, daily loads.
Commercial properties, such as care homes and B&Bs that wash bedding, towels and clothing regularly, will need a washing machine with a much higher capacity. However, two or more medium-sized capacity machines may be more practical, if you have the space, to limit the possibility of cross-contamination.
The highest capacity washing machines range from 20kg to an impressive 32kg. While this size would be excessive for most commercial properties, large hotels, hospitals and specialist facilities such as equestrian centres, would benefit from the reduced energy use for larger loads or bulky items.
For commercial premises, choosing a washing machine that limits water usage is essential to reduce environmental impact and running costs.
The Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) carry out mechanical and water quality testing of products, such as washing machines and dishwashers, to ensure full compliance with regulations and laws.
Checking that the commercial washing machine you’re buying, or renting, has WRAS Approval is the best way to ensure compliance, as the approval is given by water suppliers, so you can rest assured that the WRAS certification is recognised by all the water suppliers in the UK.
It is essential that you opt for a specialist commercial washing machine or dishwasher in any business setting as domestic appliances do not have WRAS rating and are therefore not approved for commercial use.
Top of the range commercial washing machines should be available with a range of different wash programmes to suit the various requirements of different sectors - from hotels to equestrian centres.
Any sector that demands frequent and efficient use of their laundry equipment will benefit from a washing machine that offers eco wash cycles. These cycles use less water and energy, but still offer a high standard of cleaning, ideal for hotels and residential halls. Eco programmes are designed to reduce running costs and improving overall efficiency.
Depending on the sector you’re in, a washing machine with customisable programmes will allow you to modify programmes and wash cycles to suit changing requirements. This is ideal for premises that handle many different types of laundry, such as hospitals and launderettes.
Opting for a washing machine with a sluicing programme is essential for sectors where heavily soiled laundry could present a health or contamination risk, such as in care homes. A sluice programme allows for soiled linens to be washed without the need for solid removal, reducing the chance of infection spread and upholding high standards of hygiene where it is required the most.
Depending or your sector and requirements, renting a commercial washing machine may make more financial sense.
Once you buy a washing machine, you own it outright. Having no prolonged payment plans is hugely appealing to many businesses. If your washing machine experiences a normal amount of use, 5 wash cycles a week for example, your washer is likely to suffer minimal wear and tear, so buying could be the most economical option.
Included in many rental plans is installation, repair and maintenance costs. If your washing machine is in high demand, for example in a hotel where linen and towels are being washed daily, downtime is not an option but the chance of a problem occurring is high. Knowing that repair costs are included in your rental plan will mean no surprise bills and you will have an engineer on hand to assist with urgent issues.
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