Back in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, laundromats were declared an essential service by the majority of states, counties, and cities in the country. Most laundromat owners kept their stores open to continue serving their communities throughout the crisis. As we enter a new phase of the pandemic and reopening businesses to the public, the need to take proper steps towards safety has never been greater. Just as clean clothes are a necessity, providing a safe environment for your customers is too when the stakes are this high.

virus laundry
Andres Escobar, lleft, and Marleny Garcia dry clothes in a laundromat in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston, Friday, March, 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

As a laundromat owner, you can take steps above and beyond installing hand sanitizer stations and limiting the number of customers allowed on the premises. Follow these guidelines for a safer laundromat experience that keeps your customers and staff safe from spreading harmful germs.

Keeping your store clean and spotless

Cleaning your store is one of the easiest ways you can fight the spread of germs. Be sure to have plenty of disinfectant wipes or sprays on hand and have you or a staff member ready to wipe down any surfaces once a customer has come into contact with them. Don’t forget about high-contact surfaces like laundry equipment, doorknobs, seating, vending machines, laundry baskets, and laundry carts.

Equip your store with powerful, virus-killing washers

Think about what an investment in robust laundry systems with virus-killing settings can mean for your business, especially given the coronavirus outbreak. When you are choosing superior-quality machines, your customers will know they are in the best possible hands. When it comes to your customers’ health and safety and your bottom line, selecting state-of-the-art equipment can make all the difference.

Our Electrolux Professional and Wascomat commercial laundry equipment are America’s most trusted machines for quality and reliability. These Electrolux Professional and Wascomat laundry systems set the gold standard for laundromats and were the only coin washers in North America with HACCP certification. Using these machines means your customers can feel at ease knowing that they trust their family laundry with equipment that has been tested and regulated for infection control. Our washers and dryers are relied upon by hospitals, nursing homes, firehouses, and military bases. Why risk providing your community with anything less than the best?

If you’re thinking about retooling your store with powerful, virus-fighting equipment, now is an excellent time — we’re offering exclusive financing specials on our premier laundromat equipment bundles.

Choose for laundry equipment that with the ability to sanitize

Unlike most competitor models, Wascomat and Electrolux Professional laundry machines have a sanitizing rinse cycle. This feature came about almost a decade ago because engineers had received feedback from store owners concerned about the spread of germs from one load of laundry to the next. This exclusive wash program wound up being incredibly forward-thinking, given our current landscape and has since become one of our most in-demand features.

Your customers can activate the rinse cycle before loading their laundry into the drum. When the rinse is enabled, it will flush above-boiling water into the drum and run for a few minutes, killing up to 99.99% of any residual germs or bacteria from the previous load. This one simple step minimizes the risk of transferring bacteria onto the new wash.

Extremely hot temperatures can destroy viruses

Speaking of high temperatures, did you know that heat plays a significant role in keeping viruses and germs, like coronavirus, at bay? That’s why the CDC recommends washing your laundry, especially if it’s dirty or soiled, in the hottest possible temperatures to reduce or eliminate germs. For an extra layer of protection, encourage customers to follow their wash with a turn in the dryer for extra heat-fighting power.

Use contactless payment options

With payment by card and mobile apps, customers — and laundromat staff — don’t have to worry about touching high-contact surfaces like money and coin boxes. Our LaundryPay system is a fantastic option that virtually eliminates the need for cash exchange. Instead, customers can simply load payment onto their phones and pay for their wash and dry using a QR code. They can even check machine availability before leaving home and get real-time wash notifications! This app helps to simplify the process of doing laundry and eliminates the need for any germ-carrying coins.

Motivate your team to wear PPE

For many people working in business laundry rooms — especially people employed at nursing homes or hospitals — handling laundry can increase their potential exposure to germs. Your laundromat staff should all wear PPE (personal protective equipment) to mitigate contracting viruses. Wearing disposable rubber gloves and face masks is vital in reducing transmission, especially since your staff will be in contact with the public day in and day out. Infections spread through direct contact or respiratory droplets, so PPE can ensure the safety of both your staff and community. If you require your team to wear reusable masks while on the clock, be sure they are washed (or disposed of) at the end of every shift to kill bacteria.

Remove shared items from the laundromat

From children’s toys to books and magazines, most pre-pandemic laundromats had things to keep customers entertained while waiting for their laundry to finish. But in our new reality, these items should no longer be made available as viruses, like the coronavirus, can live on surfaces for extended periods.

Promote wash-and-fold laundry services

A truly effective way to keep your community safe is by offering your customers a wash-and-fold service that allows them to drop off their laundry. Doing so means your employees can take all the necessary precautions when handling laundry, and your customers can spend less time in public by picking up their laundry once it is all folded up and ready to go. It also allows your laundromat business to maximize wash revenue while still limiting crowds and keeping social distances in your store.

Protect people with extended store hours

Consider extended store hours to allow for more spaced-out traffic flow in your shop. You want to do what you can to avoid having your customers lingering in your laundromat for extended periods. Some businesses have even chosen to make designated store hours for their higher-risk customers, like senior citizens or those with weakened immune systems.

Display in-store signage with clear safety guidelines

An easy and effective way to communicate your laundromat’s safety guidelines with customers and staff is by displaying helpful, explanatory signage. Be straightforward and direct in the language you use on posters. Remind customers of physical distancing guidelines or share the value of using the sanitizing rinse cycle. Your customers will appreciate having this information on hand.

Last but not least — wash your hands often!

This last post may seem obvious, but in these trying times, it bears repeating: wash your hands! Remind your staff and customers to wash theirs, too. Soap and water is the most powerful (and accessible) tool we have against spreading germs.

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