Every industry needs to evolve to stay relevant and meet the market demand. Innovation drives industries forward, and professional laundry is no exception.
Here are a just a few of the trends that you can expect to see ramping up the laundry game in 2018.
Smart Laundry Technology
Professional laundry operations, whether outsourced or done on location, can be incredibly hectic. The Internet of Things (or IoT), simplifies the process.
Smart technology cuts through the chaos, providing unparalleled organization and tracking methods. Some companies use a tagging process that connects to the cloud and keeps track of the status of each item as it’s being washed.
Others use smart technology to measure resources, electricity, and chemicals. Smart technology also provides data reports and analysis, making it easier to target and eliminate causes of inefficiency.
Smart technology is also impacting machine design itself. Soon enough, the old knob and dial combo that we’re used to seeing on machines will fade away, replaced entirely by screens.
This choice isn’t entirely about aesthetic. With screens, washing options won’t be limited by the physical space on the dial. With limitless "space" within the screen, more programs can be made available, and each load can be more customizable than ever before.
A Different Approach to Detergent
Resources cost money—this isn’t a new phenomenon. The laundry industry is finding new ways to reduce the amount of resources needed per load of laundry, specifically those that are detrimental like the chemicals in detergent.
The concept of the detergent pod has exploded (not literally, we hope) in recent years. Detergent pods are pre-measured and are compatible with every machine. Instead of dealing with powder or liquid detergent, you can now just pop a pod into the load and have peace of mind that your machine won’t overflow and your laundry will be thoroughly cleaned.
Nearly waterless machines also change the detergent game, because by changing the amount of water in each cycle, we change the amount (and type) of chemicals needed.
Reducing the Use of Resources
On a similar note, consumers are flocking toward more eco-friendly products and services. Sustainable, or “green,” practices are highly sought after, and this trend will only pick up in the coming years.
Laundry requires water and energy—two resources that are dwindling. With the introduction of green certificates, the laundry industry is tightening up the exploitation of these resources. For example, the EPA’s WaterSense label ensures that the product or service uses at least 20 percent less water than the average prototype.
Individual companies are also striving for sustainability. From hotels to commercial laundries to dry cleaners, the trend toward more environmentally-friendly practices in professional laundry is saving companies water, energy, and money.
A fundamental change in the way we do laundry is on the horizon. The industry is following new rules, striving for efficiency and eco-friendliness. While we can't predict for certain what the world of laundry will look like in 2018, on the whole, things are looking pretty good.