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Do higher extract washers make sense in my laundromat?

By: TRistaino, 5/07/12

The answer to that question is ” It depends”. The theory behind high extraction in the commercial laundry business is that it is cheaper to remove water in a washer than it is in a dryer. The lower the moisture content of the goods leaving the washer the faster they will dry in the dryer. Faster drying equates to lower gas consumption and quicker through put. Makes sense. Lets see how this theory plays out in a hotel laundry as compared to a laundromat.

A hotel laundry will sort goods to be laundered by the types of goods to be laundered e.g  terry ( towels, washclothes, bath mats) or flat goods ( sheets and pillowcases. These items constitute the majority of hotel laundry through put. Once laundered the terry will be dried together in about 40 minutes and the flat goods will be dried together in about 30 to 35 minutes. ( We assume a 60# washer and a 75# dryer is in operation ).Higher extraction can result in energy savings if the drying process is properly managed by the correct program being used for the items being dried.

A laundromat customer separates his or her laundry based on color i.e light or dark. Each load will contain items that are very absorbant ( terry, blue jeans, etc ) and less absorbant ( poly/cotton shirts, underwear, tee shirts). One washed the customer then determines how long and at what temperature their items will be  dried. Within these mixed loads the polyester or poly cotton items will dry faster than the 100% cotton. Who determines when full dry is attained ? The customer. So will faster throughput result? Maybe . Maybe not. Will energy consumption be less? Maybe. Maybe not. If  faster throughput and and lower gas consumption is achieved then lower dryer revenue may result as well.

So does high extract make sense for a laundromat? It depends. What are you hoping to accomplish by adding high extract machines to your store? If you let us know the answer to that question we can let you know if high extract makes sense for you .