Commercial vs domestic laundry equipment for your hotel

Pillows and quilt on a bed

Domestic laundry equipment may seem cheaper when you run a hotel but it could be more expensive in the long run.

We’re often asked “What’s the difference between commercial and domestic laundry equipment?” here at WASHCO. So, we decided to take a look at what sets commercial laundry equipment apart from domestic machines.


Domestic laundry equipment isn’t designed for intensive daily use. It tends to be built to last around 5 years, delivering an average of 270 washes per year.

Commercial machines, like the WASHCONNECT range, are built to last much longer and withstand heavier workloads. These machines are subject to intensive quality testing to guarantee their reliability – often up to as far as 30,000 operating hours, which equates to over 10 years of usage (based on the machine running 8 hours a day, 365 days a year).

A wider range of features

Commercial laundry equipment usually has a wider range of features and types of wash cycles than domestic laundry equipment. Many models also allow you the option to develop programmes specifically designed to suit your business needs. This could include specific cycles for chef whites, mops, cloths or even shower curtains. They can all be tailored to deliver the most efficient wash process and handle the different debris and soiling levels.

It is even easier to set up and use specific programmes with new smart technology. WASHCONNECT, our range of smart machines, can be set up with custom named programmes with the parameters your business needs. For example, if you want to call a programme ‘very dirty towels’ then it isn’t a problem! And the 7″ touchscreen makes it easy to find the programme too.


It’s essential that you have the right size machines for your laundry. If they are too small your laundry won’t clean properly, while overloading the machine could damage it.

According to Which, the average domestic load size in the UK is only 2-2.5kg of clothing per wash load. With copious amounts of towels and bed linen to wash daily, you will need something bigger. For example, just one bed sheet weighs approximately 1 kg. Commercial machines are available in much higher capacities. This means you can save time by reducing the number of loads required and be confident the laundry is cleaned properly.

WASHCO stocks both larger and smaller capacity solutions to suit every business need. This includes Miele’s popular Little Giants range, which has a load capacity of 8kg and low consumption values all within 1m² of space. WASHCO also supports clients with clever stacking solutions to optimise available floor space.

To give you an idea of the capacity you might need for a variety of items, check out our table below.

Sizes: Metric cm’s

*No. of items recommended at once.

High-Speed Cycles

Many commercial machines are designed with shorter cycle times. In other words, great results with a faster turnaround of clean linens. Something that is particularly useful for hotels during busy holiday seasons.

The G-force used in spin cycles is much greater in commercial machines. Spin cycles can range anywhere between 1000 rpm (rotations per minute) to 1800 rpm. More water is removed with less residual moisture left in the material. This reduces the drying time which is often the most expensive part of laundering.


Manufacturer warranties are available with domestic machines. However, if machines are used for commercial purposes most domestic warranties will be rendered invalid.

Parts and labour warranties supplied with commercial laundry equipment usually last between two and three years, though they also have the option to extend. Response time for callouts is usually within 8 working hours. This is because it is a commercial contract and the need for speed of response is understood. At WASHCO, our engineers deliver a high level of first-time fix as we know how important it is to your business that downtime is kept to a minimum.

Reduced Lifetime Cost

A domestic machine can cost less initially. However, they are likely to need replacing sooner which can be more expensive in the long run. The warranty, as mentioned above, is also at risk of being void if used in a commercial setting. Domestic machines are not designed for frequent, commercial use which can lead to more breakdowns.

Many commercial machines are available on a rental basis, which has a number of advantages. These include no upfront cost and a monthly subscription which includes both the equipment and the service. WASHCO provides equipment to suit any budget and also offers clients flexible finance arrangements. You can then easily manage your outgoings and have flexibility if your needs change.

Additionally, we have a range of service contracts available, which includes all parts and labour – protecting businesses from any increase in part costs. Click here to see what tasks WASHCO usually complete on a service to prevent avoidable breakdowns. With our confidence in the products expected lifespans, we can even offer contracts for up to 10 years.

To discuss your hotel’s needs and discover more about the commercial laundry equipment available, please contact WASHCO’s highly qualified team on 08000 546 546 or email