Commercial Laundry Machines for Vet Clinics
7 November 2017
A busy veterinary clinic will have a lot of contaminated bedding and blankets to wash, and a commercial laundry machine is the only way to be sure it is clean and hygienic. But how do you know which machine is right for you? And why won't a domestic washing machine do?
In this blog, we will take a look at why you need to be thinking about upgrading to a commercial washing machine in your vet surgery or clinic.
Why Do I Need a Commercial Laundry Machine in my Vet Clinic?
Our pets are at just as much risk of cross contamination as humans, so a vet practice needs to take steps to ensure every animal that comes through the door is safe whilst they are being treated.
And not only is there a risk to our lovely pets, but the owners are at risk from various Zoonotic diseases being transferred to them if infection control is not done properly.
Most people believe that a hot wash is enough to kill most bacteria, but this just isn’t the case. Using a commercial laundry machine, specially designed to decontaminate fabrics, if the only way to be sure you aren’t putting your patients, or their owners, at risk.
Not only do you have an obligation to prevent cross contamination of people and animals, but you are also obligated to prevent contaminating the public water supply with dirty laundry water.
The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) sets out clear guidelines on how waste water should be prevented from entering the public water supply. They categorise the type of waste water, from one to five. Category one is the least contaminated and category five is the most contaminated and dangerous to public health. Water contaminated with animal waste, blood, or fluid is in category five.
Vet clinics must have washing machines that prevent backflow into the water supply. If your vet clinic has a domestic washing machine, it will not be compliant with category five regulations (unless the plumbing has been specifically adapted).
If you are unsure if your clinic is compliant, get in touch. We will come and do a free, no obligation laundry audit for you.
Why Can’t I Just Use A Domestic Washing Machine?
A domestic washing machine is not suitable for a vet clinic, not in the least because it won't be compliant with WRAS regulations.
Not only that, but a household washing machine does not have the same decontamination controls as a commercial laundry machine. These machines from Miele, for example, have special thermo-decontamination available at the push of a button, meaning you can be sure your uniforms and pet bedding is clean and free from hazards.
Commercial washing machines have a larger capacity too. Getting the right drum size is important, as it means you won't have to run the washing machine as often, saving you time and money. Most domestic washing machines have a maximum load capacity of 10kg, whereas the capacity on a commercial laundry machine rages from 8kg to an enormous 40kg. That’s a lot of blankets!
Another benefit a vet clinic or surgery will get from using a commercial laundry machine is longevity. Domestic washing machines are not designed to cope with large volumes of laundry, or ones which generate a lot of hair and other waste. Miele Professional washing machines, for example, have been tested for up to 30,000 washes. Commercial washing machines can also cope with all the pet hair without getting clogged up and breaking.
And don’t worry that the machines will be massive. These days, there are slimline options, which can even have a dryer safely stacked on top.
There are some great commercial washing machines and dryers available to suit any budget and clinic size. Take a look here to see our recommendations.
Get in Touch
If you aren’t sure if your current laundry set up is compliant with WRAS guidelines, is properly decontaminating your linen, or even if it the most efficient use of space, get in touch with us. You can fill in the enquiry form here, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0114 258 9614.
We will come to your site and conduct a free audit of your facilities, after which you are under no obligation to buy anything.
We will be able to advise you on compliance, your laundry processes, and even the layout of your machines to maximise efficiency.
Alternatively, if you know you are ready to upgrade to a commercial laundry machine, we can advise you on the best machines for you and your staff. Or take a look at our products page.