Well, it’s finally happened. There are now robots to fold and sort your laundry, but it comes at a cost—$16,000, or £12,284 per machine to be exact. Seven Dreamers Laundroid uses a combination of multiple robotic arms, artificial intelligence, and a neural network to determine how to hold your laundry and fold it, but washing it remains a human task that needs to be endured.
The good news? It shows that there is forward-thinking progress in the commercial laundry industry, but the price point for something like the Laundroid is probably out of reach for most hotels or other laundering businesses.
And what about the washing machine side of the equation? Unfortunately, laundry machine technology isn't always front-page news, so it can be easy to miss the changes that are coming to the industry and the opportunities that are available for commercial launderers.
So, here's what you need to know:
Your Traditional Commercial Washers Are Costing You Money
Your old, traditional washing machine is bleeding money. It's costing you in energy, it's costing you in water, and it's costing you in linen recovery.
For a long time commercial launderers have just dealt with the inefficiencies of their equipment, because there wasn’t much of an alternative. Traditional commercial laundry machines, even the so-called high-efficiency models, still consume bathfuls of water with every wash cycle—nevermind the energy it takes to heat that much water and the wear-and-tear traditional agitation washers inflict on linens.
All of this is why the most important thing you should know about commercial laundry machines is that there is an alternative to this old, inefficient technology.
Commercial Laundry Can Be More Efficient Than Ever Before
Hydrofinity low-water washing machines can reduce water use by up to 80% when compared to these traditional models.
Using gallons or litres of water to clean your clothes is a thing of the past. With a Hydrofinity machine, revolutionary XOrbs are added from inside the machine's storage area to mix with the fabrics and just a small amount of water to gently clean fabrics before returning to their storage area for reuse.
By replacing most of the water in the wash cycle with XOrbs, you’re able to limit both water and energy use—since much of the energy used in traditional washing machines goes toward heating the water.
Plus, this type of system is gentler, reducing the need for both re-washes and linen replacement and leaves fabrics feeling softer and more luxurious for a longer period of time.
Every industry needs to evolve to stay relevant and meet the market demand. Innovation drives industries forward, and professional laundry is no exception.
Hot Water Does Not Equal a Better Clean
We hope this is the year we finally set aside this pervasive laundry myth, since it's incredibly costly to both the commercial laundry industry and our environment.
According to Energy Star, about 90% of the energy used by washing machines during laundry goes towards heating the water. Most of today's detergents can be activated by water temperatures that are much lower than what was previously required, so there's little reason to continue using so much hot water in our laundry.
Hot water is also a major cause of high linen replacement costs in commercial laundry businesses. The simply truth is that hot water causes more wear on fabrics, limiting the number of times they can go through the wash before they begin to feel thin, scratchy, and undesirable.
Ambient temperature washing has been shown to sterilize fabrics just as well as hot water, without the expensive energy output and wear-and-tear on linens. So what’s stopping the industry from changing?
Unexpected Ways Laundry Equipment Choices Impact Your Business
Besides everything we mentioned above, there are other things to consider when it comes to choosing commercial laundry equipment: cost, effectiveness, size, and even appearance, if your operation is open enough to be seen by customers. The quality of cleaning your machines provide will obviously have an impact on your business, but what about other equipment characteristics? How will those factors impact your business, if they impact it at all?
When you're wading through reviews and case studies and considering the cost of installing or upgrading laundry equipment, other factors can seem minor or less important. Unfortunately, those factors can often be the things that have the biggest impact later on.
A fundamental change in the way we do laundry is on the horizon. The industry is following new rules, striving for efficiency and eco-friendliness. While we can't predict for certain what the world of laundry will look like in the future, on the whole, things are looking pretty good.