A comprehensive guide with everything you need to know to open and run a laundromat
Laundromat Business in the Age of COVID-19

Laundromat Business in the Age of COVID-19

We’ve all had to make changes in our lives to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been forced to live without many activities we took for granted before. 

However, we can’t escape laundry! And, if you don’t have access to a washing machine and dryer, you’ll have to venture out to a laundromat to do your laundry. 

So, as a laundromat business owner, what steps can you take to keep your customers safe while they’re doing their laundry at your laundromat?

Clean, Clean Clean

Keeping your laundromat spotlessly clean is the smart thing to do, whether or not there’s a pandemic. But, it’s even more important to frequently clean and sanitize your space when the threat of the spread of the coronavirus looms large.

In normal times, a thorough cleaning once or twice a day might suffice. But, these days, consider upping that to three times a day, if your business is getting a lot of traffic. (Truthfully, it will give your onsite employee something to do!)

 Cleaning Regimen for a Laundromat 

  • Wipe down all machine surfaces with disinfecting wipes
  • Sanitize carts and folding tables
  • Mop floors
  • Clean toilet facilities, if you provide this amenity
  • Sanitize seating surfaces
  • Disinfect entry and exit door handles

You want your customers to feel safe in your laundromat. They will be there for a while during their wash and dry cycles, so providing a clean and sanitized environment for them will be appreciated.

Further, if your current customers can tell people that your place of business is on top of its sanitation game, that adds up to more customers.

What Else Can I Do?

Most businesses where people are continuously entering and exiting provide some low-cost extras, to add another level of clean. 

Consider installing a few hand sanitizer dispensers either directly to the wall, or on pedestals. One right near the entrance would be especially convenient.

Along with hand sanitizer, providing disinfecting wipe dispensers near the washers and dryers, would be a welcome amenity that your customers will appreciate. You may even post signs asking them to wipe after use. 

Keep some inventory of disposable masks on hand, for customers who may have forgotten to bring a mask with them. Spending a few cents on a supply of masks makes better business sense than turning a customer away.

Another note on masks: Despite repeated warnings from medical experts, some people do not want to wear masks. However, it is the law and it’s important your business does its part to uphold masking and social distancing restrictions. Post signs and advise your employees to stay on top of anyone who isn’t adhering to the rules. 

Follow the advice of the CDC and install a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) purifier which captures unwanted particles from the air, and then returns clean air back into your laundromat. A good air purifier not only eliminates dust, pollen, smoke and other irritants from the air, but it can also eliminate dangerous airborne germs and bacteria.

Weather-permitting, keep the door and windows open, to allow for natural air circulation.

Aside from cleaning, there are a few things that you can do, to increase safety for your customers. These suggestions may mean you’ll have to pay for additional labor in your store, but if it means you’ll be able to keep your doors open, it is worth the investment.

To make sure your customers are able to stay socially distant inside your laundromat, you may have to limit how many customers can be inside at one time. This could mean that not all washers and dryers will be in use at the same time. Consider extending your hours so that more customers can be accommodated. Or, think about adding wash & fold services, so that customers can drop off their laundry and pick it up later that day or the next.

Most businesses check customers’ body temperatures before allowing them to enter, and ask them to complete a simple release form attesting to the fact that they are symptom-free and haven’t been exposed to COVID-19 to their knowledge. Capturing names and phone numbers, might seem like a bit much now, but having that information if you need it in the future for contact tracing will be very helpful.

The Best Way to Keep Laundromat Customers Safe

A simple way to move toward a hands-free experience for your laundromat customers is to install the ShinePay cashless payment system to your washers and dryers. 

Money, especially coins, is dirty! ShinePay is great for self-serve machines. Your customer downloads the ShinePay app on their smartphone and simply holds their phone up to the ShinePay reader on the machine. The cycle is paid for and no coins were involved! 

ShinePay is great for laundromat owners, too. First off, if your customers aren’t paying with coins then there are no dirty coin boxes to empty and change to count. Secondly, you can set wash and dry fees from the ShinePay app; raise the prices during high use times, if you want, and lower them for special deal hours or days. 

And, getting your money is easy, too. You, the laundromat owner, log into your dashboard on the ShinePay app and transfer the balance right into your business’s bank account.

Just a few easy steps will go a long way to keeping your laundromat a clean and safe environment for your customers. While these steps might feel like a temporary inconvenience today, they may become part of your new normal, setting your laundromat a step above the others.