Check out these tips and advices from NLE on your cleaning and laundry needs.

tree trunk forest

Eco-Friendly Laundry Products A Strategic Choice For Laundromats

There are so many products that are now described as being eco-friendly that these important words are being lost among all the advertising hype. For those of us who make a conscious decision to cause the least harm to the planet, it becomes a case of hoping that claims made about a product are actually genuine. Most consumers are not scientific specialists and rely on product labelling to guide us.

Going Eco-Friendly a Strategic Decision

Imagine, then, that you own several laundromats and you want to establish a point of difference from your competitors that makes you stand out from the crowd. Would promoting your business as using only eco-friendly products attract more customers and what type of products would they be?

What Type of Laundry Detergent?

Starting with laundry detergent, you would need to choose a brand that did not contain phosphates. While phosphates help soften the water they also end up in our waterways and cause excessive growth of blue green algae which damages the eco-system. Using only low phosphate laundry detergent is a great start to an eco-friendly laundromat.

How About Laundry Liquids?

If you decide to offer your customers both powder and liquid laundry detergent, the good news is that liquids have a reduced negative affect on the environment, so much so that they are favoured where water is recycled.

Other Eco-Friendly Laundry Products in Production

Other laundry products such as pre-wash soakers, water softeners, stain removers and specialty products like wool washers are nowadays all offered to the commercial laundry market as being eco-friendly. There are several companies in Australia and others overseas that specialise in this area which is a growing part of the cleaning market.

Check Eco-Credentials Carefully

The process of choosing the best brands for your laundry business should include examining how genuine the advertised eco-credentials are and ensuring that you are purchasing the real thing. This is essential for your credibility as a business owner, as customers who care about the environment and choose your laundromat over others are trusting your integrity.

This is just how we feel about our business here at NLE Commercial. We provide well-known and reliable brands of laundry equipment and we also offer our clients a 24-hour service including spare parts. Our clients rely on us to provide trained technicians for urgent repairs, so our integrity is essential to the success of our business.

We all want a world where exposure to harmful chemicals is kept at an absolute minimum and our waterways are clean and free of pollutants. Using eco-friendly laundry products is an important choice that can make a difference.

Hand turning on a laundry equipment

Well-Maintained Laundry Equipment Keeps The Dollars Rolling In

A laundromat is one of those unique businesses that, if set up correctly at the start, is almost self-managing. The customers use the washers and dryers with the help of some carefully placed instructions, so apart from having a regular cleaner on staff, there is little work for the owner on a day-to-day basis.

No Equipment Lasts Forever Without Attention

That does not mean, however, that everything keeps working on its own forever. Any equipment with moving parts will eventually break down and parts will need replacing. The key to running a successful laundromat is to make breakdowns less frequent, and the best way to do this is through regular equipment maintenance.

At NLE Commercial, we offer laundry maintenance, servicing and emergency breakdown as part of our customer service model. We also stock spare parts for the leading brands of commercial and industrial laundry equipment. When we look after your laundry equipment, you will have a 24-hour backup to keep your business operating and ready for customers.

Do the Simple Tasks Yourself

At the same time, there are many routine tasks that owners or their staff can do to keep equipment in good condition. For example, keeping the exterior of the machines clean not only makes a laundromat more inviting for a customer, but also keeps lint and other debris from getting into the machines and causing damage.

Clean Soap Dispensers and Filter Inlet Screens – It’s Not Hard

Two other cleaning tasks that will make a difference are the soap dispensers and the water filter inlet screens. Cleaning or soaking the soap dispensers regularly may prevent them from becoming clogged or corroded, requiring them to be replaced. Over time, the inlet screens become blocked by small particles, which can restrict water flow into the machine.

Keep Checking Hoses and Belts

Hoses and belts are essential for keeping the machines operating. Hoses get sediment build up and tiny cracks leading to leaks and consequently higher water bills, while belts need to be checked regularly for signs of wear like splitting or fraying. Regular inspection and installing replacements keep the machines running and earning.

Leaking Door Seals and Lint Left in Dryers are a No-No

Seals around the washer doors need to be checked and any build up removed to ensure that the machines are watertight. If they are not, and water leaks onto the floor, a customer could slip on the wet floor, sustain an injury and seek compensation. The lint filters in the dryers should also be checked very regularly, as some customers don’t do that after they use the machines.

By combining these simple tasks with our maintenance, servicing and round the clock call-outs, your laundry will always be open and ready for business.

Washing Machines - NLE Laundry Equipment

Get The Legal Stuff Sorted Before You Open Your Laundromat

Have you decided to take the leap into business ownership by setting up your first laundromat but need more information about the legal documents you will most likely need to complete and sign? Running a business can be exciting and challenging at the same time, so getting all the legal issues sorted out at the beginning will allow you to concentrate on your laundromat without other issues surfacing at inconvenient times.

Check Lease Agreement Terms Before You Sign

Most first-time business owners start out by leasing their equipment and premises, so the first documents you will sign will be the lease agreement on the premises, and a similar type of leasing arrangement for the laundry equipment. The terms of these leases could make or break your business, so use a legal representative to assist you.

Signage Requires a Local Council Licence

To advertise the location of your laundromat you will need signage, preferably visible from the road, to attract new customers. This is a local authority matter and you will need to apply for a licence from your local council before any signage is erected. Signage is regulated by council to prevent visual clutter and to ensure public safety.

Both Business Name and Company Name Must be Registered

Your business name must be registered on the national Business Names Register. This registration gives you a licence to trade under the business name you have chosen. If you intend to operate as a company, you will also need to register with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Is the Equipment in Your Laundromat Registrable Plant?

Workplace Health and Safety regulations require many items of plant to be registered, and the washers, dryers and other equipment in a typical coin-operated laundry could be considered plant under this legislation. Check this with the state government authorities, and if required, you will need a licence for a worker to use any registrable plant.

Hiring Staff is a Completely Different Ballgame

If you will be hiring staff, there is a whole new set of legal processes you must have in place under the Fair Work Act. This is national legislation to protect the rights of workers at work, and all business owners should make themselves familiar with its requirements. You will need to register as a PAYG Withholder with the Australian Taxation Office, who will also require you to pay superannuation contributions on behalf of your employees.

We Are Ready to Help

With all these legal documents and licences needed before you even open the doors, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. It is good to know then, that here at NLE Commercial we are ready to supply equipment and know-how to help you get started. Our 24-hour service, with spare parts and trained technicians will keep your laundromat operating at full capacity.

What Is The Best Cleaning Option For Your Laundry Floors?

Do you operate a commercial laundry that provides access to laundry equipment for public use? Perhaps you are responsible for the cleanliness of a large industrial laundry complex and the safety of the staff. If so, you will have faced the housekeeping issues that are inevitable when there is a high traffic of people, and large quantities of soiled clothing and linen on the premises.

How to Choose Between Hot or Cold High-Pressure Cleaners

At some point, you will have looked around at the floor surfaces and possibly even the walls and noticed the build-up of dirt and grime. The premises are now looking dirty and in urgent need of an overall clean. Your plan is to use a high-pressure cleaner to restore cleanliness; however, should you use a cold or a hot water process?

As a supplier of commercial and industrial laundry equipment, we know how important it is for the operation of a successful business that these premises are kept clean and tidy. At NLE Commercial, we also offer a wide range of electrical contracting and installation services, so our technicians spend a lot of time in such premises.

Cold Water Equipment Popular with Householders

Householders use cold water cleaners for washing down external walls, pool surrounds and driveways. These cleaners are inexpensive, and because they use cold water and detergent, they are safe to operate, provided safety warnings are heeded. High pressure alone can cause injuries, even with cold water.

Don’t Rely on Cold Water to Get Rid of Oil and Grease

The main disadvantage of cold water cleaners is that they are not very effective at removing all stains, especially those caused by oil and grease. This means that some areas must be continually cleaned with more expensive, high quality detergent to remove set-in stains, and in some cases, these stubborn stains just don’t respond.

Hot Water under Pressure – Fast and Effective

Hot water pressure cleaners, however, are far more efficient. The combination of hot water and detergent under pressure cuts through grease and oil, removing the most set-in grime and stains. In fact, only hot water pressure cleaners have the power to clean out every patch of oil and grease.

This makes them the most effective and efficient option for industrial and commercial situations. Large jobs like these would take much longer with cold water equipment, incurring extra expense in the cost of the work and the disruption to the running of the business.

Leave it to Professionals for Safety Reasons

There are safety issues, however, if hot water pressure cleaners are being operated by inexperienced people. Water temperature in these machines reaches 155°C and combined with the extreme water pressure, the risk of injury or even death when not operated with care is high. If your commercial or industrial laundry needs cleaning, we recommend you hire a professional.

Washing Glasses - NLE Dishwashers Brisbane

DIY Consumables Create Big Savings For Homes And Businesses

As our knowledge of environmental issues grows and matures, many people are turning their attention to the everyday products we use in our homes and workplaces, to find alternatives to manufactured products. There are still many battles to be fought on the wider environmental horizon, but we each can fight small skirmishes in our daily lives, hence the slogan, “Think Globally – Act Locally”.

 

Green Dishwashing Detergent Good for Everyone

Just imagine the effect on our waterways if hundreds of thousands of us started using ‘green’ products in our dishwashers, not just at home but in our workplaces. Making our own dishwashing detergent, for example, is not only environmentally responsible but also much cheaper than buying commercially manufactured detergent products.

 

For Homes and Businesses, DIY Detergent makes Economic Sense

A quick internet search will reveal dozens of websites dedicated to providing ways of making detergents. For someone operating a commercial enterprise like an industrial kitchen, a steady supply of clean dishes means lots of detergents. Every business needs to keep costs under control to remain competitive, and making dishwashing detergent instead of buying it makes commercial sense.

To give you an idea, here is just one simple recipe using borax, washing soda and sea salt. Mix together one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda and one cup of sea salt and store in an airtight container. If you like your detergent to have a pleasant smell, add a few drops of essential oil. Use one tablespoon per load as needed, and add white vinegar as a rinse agent for extra sparkle.

 

Commercial Operators Check Health and Safety Rules First

If you own or manage a commercial kitchen, you may want to try this at home first, and then experiment with quantities until you have the perfect formula for your particular machines. At NLE Commercial, we know our clients are having it tough with costs rising and eating into their margins. Consumables like detergents are a big part of their cost structure, so any suggestions that may reduce these costs are worth trying out. Just make sure you meet all the health and safety regulations that apply to your business first.

 

Use the Internet to Get the Perfect Formula

You may find it difficult to get the right balance between the ingredients. Also, consider other factors such as how hard or soft your water is, and the temperature at which you need to run your dishwashers to kill bacteria. Again, there is information on the internet you can access to avoid time-consuming trial and error scenarios before you get it right.

When you have the formula that suits your business, watch your costs reduce and know you are doing something positive for the environment in your neighbourhood.

No Simple Answers For Operators Of Large Commercial Laundries

In a domestic situation, the jury is no longer out on whether hot or cold washing is best. The consensus, backed up by laboratory testing of modern detergents, is that for general household washing, good results can be had using cold water and detergent. The only exceptions are for clothes that are work soiled, or clothes, linen or towels that have been exposed to bacteria.

Householders Choose Cold over Hot, Circumstances Permitting

Cold water washing has been made possible by advances in the composition of detergents, and improvements in the efficiency of both top load and front load washing machines. It is still important to separate badly soiled or stained items, and use stain-removal techniques and pre-wash soaking options to get the best results. Hot water is essential to kill bacteria, so any items exposed to germs should be washed separately at high temperatures.

Is it This Easy for Commercial and Industrial Laundries?

So, is this the same situation in a commercial or industrial laundry? There is no definitive answer to this question, simply because of the range of variables involved. For the local laundromat with a few coin-operated washing machines, whose customers fall mostly into the domestic category, the decision regarding washing temperature falls with the user.

In large laundries processing clothing and linen from hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, motels, manufacturing and industrial facilities, the range of items moving through the laundry process is very diverse. The product has also been exposed to many different contaminates including oil, grease, medical and dental waste, blood and food waste among others.

This is the area we work in as a supplier of commercial and industrial laundry equipment and associated products such as dryers, ironers and folders. NLE Commercial also offers our clients maintenance and breakdown services provided by our team of trained and certified electrical technicians.

Large Laundries Guided by Australian Standards

For this group of clients, leaving the decision to wash either in hot or cold water up to an individual staff member would not satisfy the requirements of the Australian/New Zealand standard in Laundry Practice. The standard consolidates the point we have already made about the diversity of the product that goes through any large laundry on any given day.

Assume the Worst

For this reason, all soiled articles must be assumed to be contaminated and a potential source of infection. The application of the processes described in the standard starts with correct transportation equipment, followed by collection, loading, storage and sorting, through the actual laundry operation to the storage and packaging of cleaned linen.

No Simple Answer

As you can see, this is not as simple as choosing between a hot or cold wash, with many other decisions to be made before the cleaned linen is returned to the client.

Change Your Habits And Save Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers are major labour-saving devices, both in the home and in other environments where they are in constant use. In hotels, restaurants, hospitals, care facilities and other industrial and commercial situations, dishwashers free up hundreds of hours of labour that can be used more productively elsewhere. They also wash at temperatures far higher than human hands can stand, killing most germs and leaving dishes and cutlery hygienically clean.

Common Mistakes and Bad Habits

While most people think they know how to keep their dishwashers in top condition, there are a few common mistakes that operators make that can compromise the performance of their machines. Mostly they are just bad habits, and are simple enough to correct once you know what they are.

Commercial and industrial dishwashers also need the same care you would give to your domestic machine. At NLE Commercial, we offer professional services to our clients who rely on us to keep their key equipment operating. Our technicians have seen it all when it comes to mistakes that cause operating problems.

Is the Detergent Cup Closed?

Topping the list is one mistake that is as surprising as it is common. When you start a load without closing the detergent cup, all the detergent goes down the drain and doesn’t touch any of the dirty dishes. Check that this is not the problem before you contact us for a service call.

Is the Detergent Cup Overfilled?

Still on the subject of detergent, if the detergent cup won’t click in securely, most likely it has been overfilled. Some people think that extra detergent means extra-clean dishes, but often, too much detergent leaves a streaky film that needs extra cleaning. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Is the Dishwasher Stacked Correctly?

This is the same advice we give our clients regarding the placement of items. Most machines come with instructions on how to stack the dishwasher for maximum efficiency and cleanliness. Cramming in extra pieces may obstruct the water jets, leaving food particles on items that then need to be hand washed.

Are You in a Hard Water Area?

If you live in a hard water area, this can cause problems with your dishwasher. Not only can it leave spots on the dishes, but it also can build up inside the mechanism, causing problems that lead to repairs. Avoid service calls to us by using a hard water spot remover or similar product regularly.

Only use Detergent Meant for Dishwashers

If you run out of dishwashing detergent, do not use ordinary liquids or powders in your dishwasher. They are not suitable and will froth up, possibly flood your kitchen and your dishes will still be dirty. Rectify these mistakes and you will have no problems with your dishwasher.

Due Diligence The Key To A Successful Laundry Business

Being a small business operator is never easy in any economic climate, so finding a business with high demand and low running costs is every entrepreneur’s dream. Businesses such a vending machines and laundromats are popular because they do not need large staff numbers to keep them operating.

Industry Knowledge Helps When Buying a Laundromat

Laundromats in high population areas are particularly desirable. However, like any business enterprise, having sufficient capital to get started and some knowledge of the industry is often the difference between success and failure.

As suppliers of laundry equipment, we have many clients who are successful in the laundry business. NLE Commercial has an industry leading range of washers, dryers and finishing equipment. We also have spare parts for all brands of laundry equipment and our trained technicians provide a 24-hour breakdown service.

First Survival Tip – Location, Location, Location

From our observations, there are a few things that someone coming into this business with little experience should know to reduce the risks involved. First is getting the right location. A highly populated area close to cheap parking is perfect. Most people using a public laundromat will wait for their washing rather than leave it and come back later.

Workable Lease Agreement to Recoup Initial Costs

The lease agreement needs to last long enough to recoup your investment. Many businesses can pick up and move locations if their lease is not working out, but for a laundromat, this would be very expensive and the absolute last resort. Before signing, have the lease checked by a legal professional familiar with this type of business.

Control Water and Power Costs

Keeping water and power costs under control will also be critical to long-term success. If you are buying an existing laundromat, check the water and power bills for the last couple of years. Unusually low costs may indicate that the business is not as lucrative as it seems, while very high costs may offer an opportunity for cost savings to increase profit.

Evaluate Existing Equipment

Evaluate any existing equipment for its age and reliability by recording the make and model numbers of the machines. Check these with an expert who may be able to estimate the expected life span, the probable cost of maintenance and the likelihood that some or all of them will need to be replaced very soon. Having to spend money on new machines will place a heavy burden on capital costs for a new owner.

Just like any other business venture, due diligence is essential to get the most out of your investment. Owning a laundromat can be very lucrative, but only under the right circumstances.

Risk Management Programs Support Business Health

Very few businesses operate without risks and anyone thinking about setting up a new business or buying an existing one should always measure the level of risk against the perceived benefits. Those with the desire to be their own boss will always take those risks, but there is no need to do it blindly. Risk management is almost considered to be a science these days, so there are processes that, when properly followed, can reduce risk.

What are Typical Risks for the Laundry Industry?

Let’s use the laundry business as an example. We must first realise that the risks associated with owning a commercial laundry may be different from those faced by owners of a public laundromat. Commercial laundries are large, industrial-type enterprises with many employees, large and complex machinery and corporate clients such as hotels, hospitals, care facilities and the like.

A Reputation Built on Quality

For these laundries, there are many risks but a couple of obvious ones immediately come to mind. From a commercial point of view, not being able to maintain a high standard of hygiene would be a significant risk. Their reputation would be built on the quality of their work, so any laundry returned to clients that was not scrupulously clean could result in the cancellation of contracts and loss of income.

Managing work health and safety risks needs constant attention as commercial laundries without safety procedures could be dangerous places in which to work. Continuing to operate with outdated and inefficient machines is a major cause of both poor product and dangerous practices, and to continue operating in these conditions is a major risk.

New Laundry Equipment Part of Risk Management

Installing new, modern, quality commercial laundry equipment would immediately reduce those risks to something manageable. At NLE Commercial, we supply and install an industry-leading range of the best quality washers, dryers, ironers and other equipment available.

Public Laundromats Need to be Inviting

Owners of public laundromats face different levels of risk, although many risk components are similar to those of the commercial laundries. Customer service is the key for public laundromats, so keeping the machines and the premises clean and inviting to users is important. Failure to do this will risk customers taking their business elsewhere, resulting in a loss of revenue.

Regular Maintenance Keeps Machines Operating

Making a healthy profit depends on keeping all the machines operating, so just like a commercial laundry, regular maintenance of existing equipment will reduce the risk of expensive breakdowns. Calling on us to replace ageing and inefficient equipment with new machines will reduce to zero the likelihood of these breakdowns.

All business is risky, but with the right attitude to risk management, owners can be confident of operating successful businesses that make healthy profits and survive into the future.

Being Energy Efficient Makes Financial Sense

Are you setting up a brand new commercial kitchen and in need of an energy-efficient dishwasher, or are you replacing an old model that has seen better days and that is now costing too much to run? Modern commercial dishwashers have an array of features, and choosing the right one for your purpose is the key to getting the best value and efficiency for your money.

Money Spent Upfront Brings Long-term Dividends

The first consideration is the cost and although some brands may be on offer at a low price, this is never a good way to buy equipment that your business depends on for survival. Select the best machine you can afford, as money spent on a superior product up front will bring dividends in terms of increased productivity and reduced running costs.

Measure for Machine Size and Location

Look at the capacity of the kitchen and calculate the number of dishes needed per hour, remembering to include peak season capacity and projected future business growth. Also measure the space where the machine will be located to ensure it fits, and assess the ease of access for staff members who will be packing and unpacking it.

Look for the Energy Star Certification

The Energy Star Certification is a trusted way to choose appliances based on their energy efficiency. Look for that certification label as machines that earn it are 40% more energy efficient and, for a bonus, use 40% less water. Many machines also have additional features that improve energy efficiency.

Will Relocating Improve Work Flow?

A commercial kitchen is a very busy place with staff members moving around doing various tasks. Any opportunity to improve the work flow will contribute to efficiency, so, in an existing kitchen, buying a commercial dishwasher could be the catalyst for relocating it to a more suitable area. Be sure to check the proximity to customers, however, as most machines are loud. The noise levels should also be checked for the protection of staff.

What about the Ventilation?

In a humid area like a commercial kitchen, proper ventilation is vital for the safety and comfort of staff. High humidity will also reduce the effectiveness of the drying cycle so it is important that all methods of extracting this humidity are working.

Let Us answer all Your Questions

Finally, contact a reputable supplier such as NLE Commercial if you are having difficulty making a choice. We can answer all your questions, and we back up our products with trained technicians who will respond quickly in the unlikely event of a breakdown. Their service vehicles are fully stocked with spare parts, so we will have your equipment up and running in no time.