The Laundry Room’s website proclaims that it’s ‘the prettiest and cleanest little laundromat in Santa Cruz.’ Judging from its online reviews, many seem to agree. It is a newly remodeled and retooled, airy and bright laundromat in the heart of bustling Seabright. And, it actually may be the cleanest—thanks, in large part, to its recently installed Ozone wash system, an all-natural cleaning system that kills viruses, bacteria, and mold. Ozone systems clean and sanitize so effectively that the CDC has approved them to handle healthcare laundry. Imagine what they can do for regular household laundry? We explain in more detail below.
The Laundry Room wasn’t always pretty and clean. In fact, when Rob Williams acquired the 1,500 square foot store in 2019, it was old and outdated; he had to rebuild it from the ground up and totally re-equip it, working with his distributor, Western State Design (WSD). He invested in a full line of Dexter commercial washers and dryers based on their stellar reputation for durability and reliability:
- (10) Dexter T-300 Washers
- (4) Dexter T-600 Washers
- (4) Dexter T-900 Washers
- (2) Dexter T-1200 Washers
- (5) Dexter 30×2 Stack Dryers
- (6) Dexter 50×2 Stack Dryers
With the renovation complete, he reopened his doors in March 2020—which unfortunately happened to coincide with the arrival of the COVID-19 virus on our shores.
A Way to Stand out from the Competition
The timing turned out to be fortuitous. Not only could his store remain open as an essential business, during lockdown, the fact that it was beautiful, fresh and new attracted many new customers particularly focused on cleanliness and safety. The rows of gleaming, stainless steel Dexter Laundry machines in the bright, spotless interior—visible through the large picture windows facing the street—beckoned customers into the laundry.
As the virus circulated in the community, Williams took measures to assure his customers’ safety while in his laundry, including constantly disinfecting surfaces and facilitating social distancing. He also expanded his Fluff and Fold service, understanding there was a segment of customers who desired to limit their time in public.
Williams quickly realized he could make his laundromat even more attractive to customers by installing a state-of-the-art wash sanitizing system. In consultation with his longtime Laundry Specialist from WSD, James Cline, he selected the ArtiClean Ozone Laundry System. ArtiClean has specialized in industrial-grade Ozone laundry systems for decades; it has long experience supplying these systems to coin operated laundries.
How Does the Ozone Laundry System Work?
Ozone laundry systems use electricity and oxygen to create ozone which gets dissolved in cold wash water. The ozone-enhanced cold water permeates the items being washed in such a way that it removes dirt, germs, mold and smells much more effectively than regular wash water—without having to use nearly as many chemicals (laundry detergent and bleach).
The Laundry Room’s website describes ozone as “oxygen (O2) with an extra atom of oxygen attached (O3).” As such, it is a natural element that treats the water, cleaning and sanitizing not only the laundry, but the washer itself. And as pure water, it’s not a pollutant.
Benefits of Ozone Laundry Systems
Ozone laundry systems provide many benefits to laundromat owners, including:
- Customers like the results which means they will keep coming back: garments, bedding, and other household laundry washed in ozone systems are not only cleaner, they feel and smell better than those washed in regular water. This will continue to be particularly important to consumers, post-COVID.
- Laundry can be washed using very few chemicals, which helps extend the life of the items being washed.
- Fewer chemicals means better for the environment.
- Cold water saves energy, which is not only also good for the environment but also saves laundromat owners money.
- Ozone-washed laundry requires shorter drying time. Customers like this and it also saves energy.
Ease of Installation and Maintenance
Williams reports that the installation of the ArtiClean Ozone Laundry System was fast and easy. It took about three days to install the system. The system itself has a small footprint so it can be installed just about anywhere.
The Ozone system requires very little maintenance. It includes a probe that continuously monitors and reports the ozone concentration; the probe will need to be replaced annually by a laundry technician at a nominal cost.
Customer Acceptance and Satisfaction
The Laundry Room continues to attract new customers who are initially intrigued by the new system—but who also end up returning on a regular basis because they’re pleased with the results: they love how their laundry turns out.
There is definitely a learning curve for customers, according to Williams. Williams’ fulltime attendants spend time training customers, and Williams provides clear signage explaining what’s what. One of the most difficult hurdles is getting customers to accept using cold water to do their wash. But it doesn’t take long for customers to take it all in stride. Business is booming.