An American Coin-Op Wire survey asked laundromat operators to name the first quality that came to their mind when asked to describe a great laundry. Some 55 percent cited cleanliness, and it seems that their instincts are incredibly accurate. According to the American Coin Laundry Association, more than 80 percent of customers say that cleanliness is a major factor when they are selecting a laundromat to patronize. Clearly, if you plan to run a successful operation, determining how to keep your laundromat clean has to be a top priority.
How to Keep Your Laundromat Clean
Merely walking into a grungy place can leave people feeling grubby. If you want your customers to feel confident that the laundry that they are bringing to your facility will be truly clean when they carry it back out the door, then you’ll need to create a space that feels clean and fresh. This is much easier to accomplish if you have people who can supervise the facility and tackle some basic chores throughout the day. Having friendly, helpful associates on hand can discourage misbehavior and reassures customers that the facility is properly cleaned and maintained, especially if they can see these associates tidying up. While you’ll want to keep the entire facility neat and tidy, there are certain areas that deserve special attention:
While your customers may not be able to see it, a foul smell can still make a strong impression – and it isn’t a good one. Customers who are struck by the dank smell of standing water, strong chemical smells, or other unpleasant odors will likely assume that the stench indicates a lack of cleanliness or maintenance. Inside your laundromat, fresh and clean aromas like the scent of laundry detergent and fabric softener should be prevalent.
In a busy laundromat, floors see lots of traffic. If they look grungy, show signs of debris, insects, or vermin scattered about, or are marred by puddles of gray standing water, your floors won’t inspire confidence in your customers. All floors should be swept, vacuumed, or mopped regularly to ensure that they are neat and clean. If they aren’t already in place, you may also want to consider putting door mats at the entrances and exits to reduce the amount of dirt tracked into the facility from the parking lot.
The Folding Tables
It’s said that nature abhors a vacuum, so perhaps it’s only natural that empty flat surfaces tend to accumulate clutter. Unfortunately, items discarded or left behind by a customer who has finished sorting and folding laundry can look like trash to the next user. Attendants should police the folding tables regularly and clear away any rubbish or spilled detergent promptly.
If you want to learn how to keep your laundromat clean, don’t forget about your equipment. No one who wants clean clothes will use a dirty washer. To create welcoming washing machines, remove any debris that has accumulated in or on the machines, and wipe them down inside and out regularly. Dust or vacuum the control panels, and watch out for any signs of loose hoses or other leaks. You’ll also want to clean up any excess or spilled detergent. This will do more than keep your laundromat clean; bleach and other chemicals used to do laundry can be corrosive. Allowing them to linger on your machines can shorten their lifespans.
What should you do to keep your driers tidy? With each dryer, verify that the lint trap has been emptied, check that nothing is lingering in the drum, and wipe down all surfaces both inside and outside of the machine.
No matter how clean the rest of the facility is, a dirty bathroom makes a laundromat seem filthy. If you want to convince customers that you understand the importance of cleanliness, make sure that the restrooms receive the attention that they need to stay neat, clean, and appropriately stocked.
Life is messy, and for laundromat owners, that’s a good thing. After all, the need to clean dirty laundry is what drives your business. Providing a neat, welcoming environment is vital, so developing an effective plan for how to keep your laundromat clean will be an important part of your effort to lure in and retain customers.
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