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By Joel Jorgensen
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Spurred by the pandemic, vended laundries are looking to sanitize laundry loads in order to differentiate themselves from the competition, draw new customers, boost revenue and provide the cleanest, healthiest environment possible.
Practically speaking, there are two ways to add sanitization to laundry loads — either through the use of ozone or an EPA-registered chemical sanitizer additive. The only catch is that you must have compatible washers in your laundry. Ozone requires special washer seals, while chemical additives require washers with automatic chemical-injection capabilities. Check with your distributor to verify whether your machines can handle sanitization before proceeding.
Ozone (O3) is a powerful cleaning agent that works best in cold water. It’s the third oxygen atom of ozone that attaches to, and break downs, organic materials in the wash, including soil, viruses, bacteria and molds. Once broken down, these materials are removed from fabrics during the wash cycle. Ozone systems are easily installed via a connection to a compatible washer, an aisle of washers or an entire store.
If ozone isn’t an option, laundries can also sanitize wash loads using an EPA-registered chemical sanitizer that’s injected into the wash cycle. These work in combination with automatically injected detergents. A chemical sanitizer’s sole purpose is to kill close to 99% of pathogens and molds found in laundry. A programmable washer with automatic injection capabilities can be easily connected to a dispensing system.
There are washer control upgrades on the market that can help you charge customers for sanitization. Whether you’re just adding ozone or sanitizing chemistry for the first time, or if you’ve had it on your machines for some time, these controls allow you to monetize your sanitization amenity.
Talk to your equipment distributor about what’s needed to connect your ozone or chemical dispensing system to your machine’s control. There are multiple ways to monetize sanitization of an entire store, group of large-capacity washers, or a bulkhead of machines.
Once you’ve embraced the sanitization and monetization of self-service laundry loads, don’t forget to clearly market this unique aspect of your service and charge extra for sanitization in your wash/dry/fold, pickup and delivery, and commercial work.