Determining the Average Cost of a Load of Laundry

Laundromat Equipment SC

In order to make your vended laundry business successful, you need to understand a few key factors when it comes to setting your per load price at the machine. As the owner of a laundromat you are basically selling your utilities to your customers. The cost of your utilities directly effects the price your customers will pay at the machine, but how do you know what to charge? To set those prices you need to know about your machines, have your utility bills handy and be ready to crunch a few numbers. Write down what you currently charge or what you think you should charge before we begin. The reality of what you should actually be charging may surprise you!

For more than 40 years T & L Laundromat Equipment SC has been providing vended laundry owners with the information and equipment they need to be successful in their businesses. Whether you are expanding your franchise or opening your first coin-op, T & L's professional staff has the industry experience you need and the knowledge you can trust to help you select the right equipment for your business. We proudly offer in-house financing and carry the largest selection of seating, folding tables, bill changers, and Energy Star rated Speed Queen washers and dryers in the Carolinas. Ready to get started? Give us a call today!

In order to be able to accurately calculate the per load cost of laundry in your facility you will need to know the following numbers:

  1. The cost of gas to heat your hot water. Hot water will need to be generated in some cycles, however almost 40 percent of all programmed cycles use cold water.
  2. The cost of water and sewer per gallon. You may never have really looked before but your water bill has a breakdown of your usage in cubic feet or CCF. There are 7.48 gallons in 1 cubic foot of water.
  3. Know your electric consumption. Your manufacturer's information should tell you how much electricity your machine uses per cycle. Most machines use fractional horsepower motors so the amount of energy used is small. 
  4. Water gallons per cycle. Break out that owner's manual again. Most newer models use about 21 gallons of water per cycle, but if your equipment is older it could be as high as 26-32 gallons per wash. 

Now that you have these values it becomes very simple to calculate your per wash cost. The figures below are estimated based on a newer top load washing machine.

$.816 per therm. (100,000btu) = $.03

$.018 per cu. ft sewer = $.0024 per gallon = $.05

$.084 per KW Electricity = $.084

21 gallons @ $.016 per cu. ft. water = $.002 per gallon = $.04

Total: $.20 per cycle

Based on this example, a top load cycle costs you about $.20 in utilities. You then need to factor in your store's percentage of overhead per machine per square foot. Overhead is defined as rent, insurance, heating and cooling, lighting, insurance, CAM and labor. 

Based on a study by the Coin Laundry Association of America, the average cost for a top load wash is $2.00. Many machines can be programmed to charge a premium price for warm or hot wash loads. Per the same study, the average premium for hot water is anywhere from an additional $.25 to $.75 per load. 

When determining how to price your wash cost be sure to take into consideration things like what your competitors charge, whether they have special amenities to draw customers, are their machines newer, do they offer additional services? Wanting to increase your prices? Consider adding value items like new machines which will lower your utilities, upgrading the flooring or seating, or a credit card friendly payment system or coin machine. 

Talk with the experts at T & L Laundry Equipment today and see how we can help you make the most off every wash. 

Affordable Laundromat Equipment SC Services and Dealers

T &L Equipment can be a key factor in your success as a coin operated laundromat owner. We are a full service distributor for South Carolina and North Carolina providing investment opportunities, commercial laundromat equipment SC products, and even assistance in financing and a small business plan. We have helped people for 40 years, so you can be assured you will be working with professionals who know the industry inside and out. Call us today!

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