By Wally Makowsky | Jun 01, 2009
I’m starting a new wash-dry-fold business and would like to get as much information on the subject as I can. In particular, I would like to know the best way to record customer information and keep track of their laundry throughout the wash-dry-fold process.
The best way to track your wash-dry-fold business is to create a ledger sheet. On this sheet, you should have six columns, to include:
1. The invoice number.
2. The date.
3. The person who took in the laundry.
4. The person who got paid for doing the laundry (if you pay a commission to the attendants who do your washing, drying and folding).
5. The person who returned the laundry to the customer.
6. A column for lost tickets, where you have the customer’s signature. This is to avoid liability.
Another you might want to include on the invoice is which washers and dryers were used to launder the garments. This way, if something is lost, you can backtrack through your paperwork and see who did the washing and drying and in what machines. That’s probably the best tracking system you can implement.
I offer a drop-off service. And I recently picked up a large restaurant account, which has been very profitable. Unfortunately, I’m having a difficult time with some of the oil and grease stains. What can I do?
The first thing on the list should be hot water. The hotter the better. Second, you need to use a “built” detergent; this means that it contains alkalie, which is required for proper grease removal.
You also need chlorine bleach. I’m assuming the items you’re washing are cotton. If they’re not cotton, use oxygen bleach.
Next, you need a sour. Sour is a neutralizing agent that’s to be used in the last rinse. If you don’t use a sour, the items will end up with a harsh, coarse finish.
In addition, you should be using a machine that has a pre-wash. If you don’t have a programmable machine, put a small amount of detergent in a pre-wash, following up with the insertion of the “built” detergent that contains alkalie and the bleach in the wash cycle, which is in turn followed by the sour in the rinse cycle.
Another suggestion is to buy a product called Wetspo. It’s a liquid oil and grease remover, and it can be used in either your pre-wash or wash cycles. Anyone who regularly handles restaurant-type laundry, where there is grease and oil involved, should have this product for the tougher stains.
The only problem you might have in using Wetspo is that there might be a petroleum after-smell. If you encounter this, toss the items back into the dryer for another one or two air cycles. You don’t need heat, just circulation to clear up that petroleum scent.
I have a customer who brings in garments stained with iodine. How can I best remove these stains?
First of all, I would suggest that you isolate the iodine by soaking the garment for 12 to 18 minutes in warm water (approximately 90 degrees) with an enzyme detergent. After this process, re-wash the item with your regular detergent-and-bleach formula.
If the stain persists, your next step is to wash the item in hot water (150 to 160 degrees) with sodium silico fluoride. This should be an extended wash of about 30 minutes. Then follow up with a normal detergent-and-bleach wash.
Also, there are various enzyme products out there, which are effective at removing iodine stains. With those, soak for two to three hours. In many cases, this process will remove most of the iodine. If a slight stain remains, proceed with an after-wash, because you may have loosened the stain enough to remove it with the wash.
When using enzymes, be sure that your water temperatures aren't too low or too high. Approximately 70 to 95 degrees is preferable.