By Wally Makowsky | Apr 27, 2009
I have been in the coin laundry business for seven years and have never increased my vend prices. My expenses have almost doubled. I want to raise my prices, but my competitors are all still priced the same. What should I do?
Increase your vend prices. If you’re in a business in which you cannot raise the price, it’s only a matter of time before you’re out of that business. You can only cut costs for so long – and most of the time it’s negligible in respect to your total overhead.
In many ways, coin laundries are in the energy business. They sell gas, water and electricity, and these three commodities have experienced some huge cost hikes in recent years. It’s time to evaluate your business and do what’s best for your bottom line.
I recently had a customer drop off a quilt with mold on it. The mold is in the form of black spots with a few red spots. The quilt is machine-stitched. It's white on one side and multi-colored the other. I tried soaking it in color-safe bleach for two days with no luck. Is there anything else I can try?
Ask your local distributor if he carries a product called mildicide. If anything will remove mold, it’s mildicide. Of course, if that doesn’t work, the spots might not be mold or mildew. They might be some other type of stain.
Twice now, my customers have alerted me to the fact that yellow marks have appeared on their laundry after washing in my large-capacity washers. The stains look like bleach marks, but they are bright yellow. I have tried to remove them with various stain removers – but with no luck. Do you have any idea how they may have gotten there and how to remove them?
Yellow marks can indicate any of a variety of stains. A lot of things can create yellow stains. One of the more common reasons are tannins, which might be coffee, tea or beverage stains that turn yellow after being washed. In such cases, you would need a tannin remover, which you can purchase from your local distributor.
In addition, oil or grease stains can sometimes come out looking yellow after being washed, so you can try a grease remover as well.
However, I would first try soaking the stained item in a non-chlorine bleach compound for about two to three hours, and then process it through a normal wash cycle.
Again, yellow stains can be almost anything. But, more than likely, they are one of those two – tannin or grease stains.
I recently washed a white, queen-sized down comforter. I read the attached washing instruction label, which warned against using bleach. Are these labels always accurate?
Also, I know there are certain questions I should ask a drop-off laundry customer before setting my price, such as pet hair removal, urine stains and so on. Is there some type of a wash-dry-fold manual or guidebook I can purchase?
First of all, it doesn’t sound like that particular care label was specific enough. Most of the time, when the labels give an instruction regarding the use of bleach, they qualify it by saying, “Do not use chlorine bleach.”
The only bleach I know that could be harmful is chlorine bleach. You can try using non-chlorine bleach. Put a little in a glass, mix it with water, and then take a cotton swab and go over the stained area to see if there is any fabric damage. If you don’t notice any fabric damage, you can feel safe washing the comforter with non-chlorine bleach.
My recommendation: If you’ve got cotton items, wash them in hot water with a quality detergent and non-chlorine bleach.
As for your second question, the Coin Laundry Association recently released a new instructional Drop-Off Laundry DVD for store owners. To purchase this product, visit coinlaundry.org.