Let’s talk tumble dryers 

Published On: December 1, 2022

Here’s a classic question: what’s more important to your on-premises laundry – washer-extractors or tumble dryers? OK, it’s really a trick question. They are both important to accomplishing your goals. 

So, how come many managers answer washer-extractors? True, you can make a case that clean results are the foundation to any on-premises laundry. It’s easy to look at tumblers as an afterthought. But while clean results are your main focus, the dry side can make or break the operation in terms of efficiency, throughput, labor, and quality. 

Let’s talk tumblers and how to ensure that on-premises laundries get the most of their equipment investment – and yes, equipment should be viewed not as a purchase, but an investment that should pay dividends. 

Fast/efficient – Your laundry’s goal is to process daily volumes quickly, efficiently, and get a high-quality finished product back to service. That’s why if you are using old, inefficient units, you’re handicapping your business. It may be time to upgrade. If you’ve already invested in fast, efficient equipment, make sure you have a maintenance plan to keep them running at peak efficiency. Bottom line, the prevailing idea that “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” can be costly if you’re operating with dated tumblers. Managers often see savings out of the gate that almost pay for the equipment upgrade. 

Proper sizing – Due to their inherent longevity, tumblers often have longer useful lives than their washer-extractor counterparts. Sometimes operations will upgrade on the wash side and upsize in capacity. This obviously impacts throughput. Connecting with your distributor to perform a laundry operating cost analysis can be beneficial to ensure your wash and dry capacities mesh, particularly if you are seeing a bottleneck on the dry side. 

Focus on controls – One of the quickest ways to poor quality is staff selecting the wrong cycle for the load type. Ensuring the correct cycle is selected is equal parts employee training and intuitive controls. Control continuity – the same control on both wash and dry sides can help, so can controls that remove ambiguity and use real-word descriptions. Bottom line: make it easy on staff to select the correct cycle and stress the importance of doing so. Quality doesn’t just begin and end on the wash side. 

Technology – Over-drying loads is expensive…and an all-too-frequent occurrence in on-premises laundries. The inefficiency in terms of utilities and labor aren’t the only costs. Consider that over-drying linens degrades them faster – all that lint you remove at the end of the cycle is coming from somewhere. Linen replacement is no small cost. So, maximum lifespan of linens is paramount. Tumblers that enable you to dry loads to specific moisture levels often can produce savings that offset the purchase price, not to mention contribute to better finished quality. 

Maintenance matters – Setting a regular schedule for cleaning lint compartments and ductwork will ensure you get all the efficiency benefits possible. Don’t forget to check your outside vents for any obstructions. In addition, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s preventative maintenance schedule. 

Washer-extractors and tumble dryers are partners in quality. Work with your distributor to ensure you have a full solution that delivers efficiency and the highest finished quality.