By Wally Makowsky | Dec 28, 2011
My coin laundry washes the garments for a local clinic. And a few of the doctors have complained that we don’t use enough starch. We are, in fact, using a lot of starch, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. Is there anything new out there that we can use in the wash? What would you suggest?
There is a liquid starch, which is probably available through your local laundry distributor. It’s much higher in concentration than what you’re buying at the store.
Of course, you have to remember that when you’re using it, you should use it on the last rinse. Generally, for a heavy starch, you need to apply anywhere from eight to 10 ounces. Also, use warm water for that last rinse; starch adheres best in water temperatures from 90 degrees to 110 degrees.
Another possible option is a powder starch. However, the only way to effectively use a powder in a coin laundry is in a topload washer. Let the clothes run through a regular wash cycle. Next, start another cycle and, on the last rinse, lift the top just as the cycle starts, let the water fill up, put your powder starch in, stir it up a bit, add your garments and let it run through the rest of the cycle.
Again, as with the liquid starch, be sure the rinse is set on warm water. If it’s cold, the powder will coagulate.
I have a successful commercial accounts business in my self-service laundry, and it’s time for me to purchase an on-site machine to use exclusively for those accounts. I’m considering the purchase of a machine that includes automatic chemical injection. Can you tell me if that feature would be worth the extra money?
The primary benefit of a machine with chemical injection is that you don’t have to stand over the machine and add all of the necessary chemicals. The programs can be set to release bleaches, detergents, softeners and additives at certain intervals of the wash. The other benefit is that you can use some stronger chemicals, which may be too dangerous for you to handle on your own. For some commercial accounts, strong chemicals make the cleaning job a lot easier. You buy the chemicals in bulk, usually 50-pound drums that just hook up to the back of the machine with a wand and hose that siphon the chemicals into the wash.
The main drawback is space. If you are processing these accounts in a coin laundry, and just have room in the back for this washer, you may not have the storage space around the machine for all the drums of chemicals.
If you have enough commercial work to warrant purchasing a machine just for that purpose, you may want to talk to your chemical company. If you will be buying a significant amount of chemicals, the company may install a chemical injection system onto any large-capacity frontload machine free of charge.
I am having trouble with very heavily soiled perspiration stains. I have tried ammonia and vinegar, but with little success. Do you have any ideas?
First of all, perspiration stains, if they are set in for a long period of time and in a consistent manner, are very difficult – and sometimes they cannot be removed at all. The acid and oil in perspiration can actually discolor the molecules in the fabric.
Your best bet is to purchase a gallon of spray spotter for drycleaners. Most laundry suppliers carry this product, which features the necessary chemicals to disburse most perspiration stains.
Typically, spray the spotter directly on the stain, and then run the garment through a normal wash cycle. If you are using bleach as well, use non-chlorine bleach.