Routine Maintenance (In-House)
1. All laundry employees should be made familiar with all equipment and operation. All installation and operation manuals feature a section on routine maintenance. Employees should be aware and capable of performing the tasks that keep machines operating safely. This could include cleaning lint filters, wiping surfaces of any contaminants and clearing foreign items such as coins, pens and keys from machines.
2. A log book can be created so that any routine maintenance that is desired to be carried out can be logged and signed when completed.
3. Maintenance training should be carried out on a regular basis such as monthly. It is important that all staff know how to clear, clean and check machines so that if something doesn’t seem right, it becomes obvious.
4. Photographs can play a useful role in the maintenance of commercial laundry equipment. Maintaining an ongoing digital collection of photos can show wear and tear over time and is useful in comparing how the machine looked when new to when a problem occurs.
5. Empower operators to speak up. The people who use the machines are the most familiar with them and know when something doesn’t look, sound or feel right.
6. Identify employees who appear to be extra knowledgeable about the equipment. Ask if they would be willing to be listed as a contact in the event that a worker has a simple question about operation or problems.
7. Keeping your machines clean minimises rust, contaminant build-up and the potential for chemical corrosion or the growth of mould or mildew.
8. Avoid temporary repairs or stop-gap measures that involve such materials as gaffer tape, cable ties and inappropriate sealants. Act immediately to arrange professional repairs or maintenance.
9. Commercial washers can be routinely inspected and maintained as follows:
- Check for cracks, swelling or other signs of wear on water inlet hoses.
- Examine internal hoses which may be damaged by chemicals.
- Lubricate bearings intermittently.
- Check door gaskets and locks for efficient operation.
- Check for signs of wear on drive belts.
- Examine machines for leaks.
10. Commercial dryer maintenance:
- Inspect drive belts and replace if necessary.
- Clean burner tubes in gas dryers.
- If applicable, examine fire suppression system for leaks.
- Lubricate bearings if necessary.
- Tighten electrical connections on electric heat models.
- Clean steam trap on steam heated models.
11. Commercial ironer maintenance:
- Inspect drive chains and lubricate if necessary.
- Lubricate bearings if necessary.
- Replace worn sprockets and chain.
- Inspect feeding and ironing belts and guide tapes and replace if necessary.
- Remove as much lint as possible and clean exhaust system.
12. Commercial flatwork feeders and folders:
- Inspect mechanical drives including flat or round belts, for wear and tear and replace if necessary.
- Lubricate bearings.
- Inspect feeding and folding belts and replace if missing or damaged.
- Examine pneumatic lines for contaminants such as water or debris and clean or replace as needed.
- Drain air filter/accumulator and replace filter if necessary.
13. Other commercial laundry items
- Replace or update laundry lighting systems.
- Inspect and clean lint filtering systems, makeup air louvres or screens, booster fans and exhaust systems.
- Perform routine maintenance on air dryers and compressors.
- Clean and thoroughly dry laundry carts.
- Seal any cracks and crevices on exterior walls.
- Thoroughly clean the entire laundry facility on a regular basis.
Machine Maintenance (External)
- It’s important to have a technician that can be depended upon for urgent servicing or routine maintenance. Choose a professional who is a genuine expert in the equipment that you have, even if they are not the cheapest available. Correct, prompt diagnoses and rapid turnaround for repairs is invaluable.
- Consider entering into a Preventative Maintenance Program to ensure the best chances of optimal uptime. Keeping your machines in prime condition will not only save you money in replacement or repair but it will prevent unnecessary workflow interruption which may just occur when you can least afford it.
- Keep a running list of any issues – however small or large – that should be mentioned to your technician the next time they visit. Naturally, if any issue seems particularly worrying, contact your technician without delay.
Running a safe and productive laundry depends on keeping all elements in good working order and making sure staff are on point with operations and familiar with protocols that are in place for the benefit of all.