As the owner or manager of a laundromat, you can’t control what sort of laundry your customers choose to wash. Sure, you can forbid customers from washing certain items – like sneakers or memory foam pillows – but you don’t really have a say in whether your customers’ laundry baskets are filled with lightly soiled clothing or grimy blankets, sweaters covered in dog fur, and the bedsheets of a child with the stomach flu. You get the idea! Although the purpose of a washing machine is obviously to clean the items inside the drum, that doesn’t mean that the machine’s interior remains clean load after load. It’s important that you learn how to clean your washing machines so that you can keep them free of germs, bacteria, mildew, odors, and lingering residue. Plus, cleaning your washing machines regularly will keep them in good shape, help them live a longer life, and please your customers.
How to Clean Your Washing Machines
Wipe the Exterior
First, wipe the exterior of each washing machine with your favorite disinfectant or a cloth that you’ve wetted with vinegar. Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth so that you don’t scratch the surface of the washer. Be sure that you wash the handle and the buttons as well.
Clean and Sanitize the Drum
Over time, deposits will collect in the drum and give customers’ freshly washed laundry an unpleasant odor. To protect your equipment and ensure an optimal performance, use the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner to remove dirt and soap buildup from inside the drum.
Many experts recommend using vinegar to clean a washing machine’s drum, including the equipment manufacturers at Speed Queen, who advise that you clean your commercial washing machines with vinegar once a month. Vinegar can break down water deposits and soap scum and disinfect surfaces, leaving the washer’s drum clean and refreshed. Simply pour one or two cups of white vinegar into the drum and run the machine on the longest cycle possible to clean, deodorize, and sanitize the interior. Next, add one cup of baking soda to the washer and run another cycle. The baking soda will neutralize the vinegar and clean away any residue loosened during the first cycle. Afterward, leave the machine door open so that the drum can fully air dry.
Speaking of which, it’s best to leave the door open whenever possible to allow air to circulate. This will keep the machine dry between loads and prevent moisture problems. If you always close the washer’s door, the seal will prevent moisture from escaping and allow mold and mildew to flourish.
Complete the Cleaning and Inspection
Now that the drum is clean, finish up your cleaning session by tackling all the smaller components of the washer:
- Clean the detergent dispenser and lint trap (if there is one). If possible, remove these items, soak them with vinegar, rinse them with water, and replace. You could also scrub them with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar, removing any soap buildup.
- Clean or replace the water inlet filters, which can become blocked by small particles in the water over time, preventing water flow.
- Check the inlet and outlet hoses as well as their connections and joints for leaks or sediment buildup. Replace them if necessary.
- Check the belts from the motor to the drum for signs of damage, such as fraying or splitting. Replace them if necessary.
- Wipe down the gasket between the door and drum to remove deposits.
- Remove lint and debris from the exhaust duct.
Your washing machines confront all sorts of dirt and bacteria each day. Now that you know how to clean washing machines, do them a favor and give them a good washing every month or so. Not only will they appreciate the bathe, but also your customers will appreciate that your machines are clean and smell fresh.
And if you own or manage a laundromat, be sure to check out Laundry Solutions Company, a full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. Our leasing program provides no mileage fees, no service fees, and no parts fees. You will be able to use high-quality Speed Queen equipment while enjoying a flexible lease and predictable payments. To learn more about our products and services, please give us a call at 800-383-9274 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!