A buyers guide to commercial
ironers and finishing equipment

It is possible to almost completely automate the linen workflow process. While not all laundries will require this, there are a lot of amazing finishing equipment pieces that can elevate laundry production speeds, efficiency and quality. We’ve done the hard-yards and broken it all down for you and put together this Buyer’s Guide, outlining important considerations so you can find the right finishing equipment and ironers for your business.

1. Machine Type & Benefits

When it comes to commercial finishing equipment, there are a variety of machines that perform a variety of functions. What is best for your laundry will come down to space, budget and the amount of laundry that your business processes.

Presses & Extractors

  • Extractors can reach higher speeds than regular commercial washers, often teamed with batch-washers
  • Presses are also often connected to a batch-washer system, providing an alternative water-extraction method
  • Often used in high volume laundry processing

Linen Separation System

  • Separates wet, partially dry, or fully dry flatwork
  • Supports high continuous volume of laundry processing
  • Eliminates rigorous manual separating

Feeding Systems

  • Connects to ironers and folders
  • Accurately positions linen for optimum results
  • Delivers on speed and efficiency, reducing number of full-time staff required

Folding Systems

  • Automates folding of flatwork including blankets, sheets, pillow slips, towels, and hospital gowns
  • High quality linen presentation
  • Delivers on speed and efficiency, reducing number of full-time staff required

Cylinder or Roller Ironer

  • Heat is released from the roller
  • Smaller footprint, saving on space
  • Can sometimes be a more affordable option

Chest Ironer

  • Heat is released through a flat metal chest, which a cylinder rolls over, applying consistent pressure to the linen
  • Are very efficient at retaining heat, 90%> efficiency
  • Produce high quality finish, and great throughput

Commercial Drying Cabinets

  • Dries garments that normally shouldn’t go in a regular clothes dryer, such as protective workwear, ski gear or shoes
  • Fast and gentle flat drying; no mechanical action
  • High quality results and garment care, extending linen life

Tunnel Finishers

  • Finishes wet, partially dry, or fully dry garments
  • Excellent throughput
  • High quality finish, soft, and lint-free

Presses & Extractors

  • Extractors can reach higher speeds than regular commercial washers, often teamed with batch-washers
  • Presses are also often connected to a batch-washer system, providing an alternative water-extraction method
  • Often used in high volume laundry processing

Linen Separation System

  • Separates wet, partially dry, or fully dry flatwork
  • Supports high continuous volume of laundry processing
  • Eliminates rigorous manual separating

Feeding Systems

  • Connects to ironers and folders
  • Accurately positions linen for optimum results
  • Delivers on speed and efficiency, reducing number of full-time staff required

Folding Systems

  • Automates folding of flatwork including blankets, sheets, pillow slips, towels, and hospital gowns
  • High quality linen presentation
  • Delivers on speed and efficiency, reducing number of full-time staff required

Cylinder or Roller Ironer

  • Heat is released from the roller
  • Smaller footprint, saving on space
  • Can sometimes be a more affordable option

Chest Ironer

  • Heat is released through a flat metal chest, which a cylinder rolls over, applying consistent pressure to the linen
  • Are very efficient at retaining heat, 90%> efficiency
  • Produce high quality finish, and great throughput

Commercial Drying Cabinets

  • Dries garments that normally shouldn’t go in a regular clothes dryer, such as protective workwear, ski gear or shoes
  • Fast and gentle flat drying; no mechanical action
  • High quality results and garment care, extending linen life

Tunnel Finishers

  • Finishes wet, partially dry, or fully dry garments
  • Excellent throughput
  • High quality finish, soft, and lint-free

2. When should you consider an ironer?

There are many benefits to adding an ironer to your laundry:

2. Wash Capacity

Capacity is an important factor when purchasing a washing machine. Wash capacity refers to how many kilos of dry laundry will fit in each washing load. The capacity you need is driven by four major factors: your par levels of linen, the number of people and estimated personal garments, your required turn-around times, and the number of hours per day/per week your laundry will be operating.

We’ve created a general guide to washer capacities, but we recommend speaking to one of our laundry experts for a deeper analysis on the right capacity for your business:

Washer Size T-Shirts Towels Bedding
5 - 7kg 25 1 Single doona
8 - 13kg 35 1 Single or double doona
18 - 24kg 40 1 Queen doona
35 kg 50 1 King doona
35kg+ Speak with us Speak with us Speak with us

3. Roller Length, Diameter & Pressure

The length of the roller and its diameter are important factors when choosing an ironer that’s right for your business.

Consider the lengths and types of linen that you will be ironing, as this will determine the length you need. Longer rollers allow for super king sized sheets and blankets. Shorter rollers are appropriate for smaller items or if you don’t mind folding the linen in half.

The diameter of the roller will determine the quality of the finish and efficiency of the ironer. The bigger the diameter, the more contact the linen has with the roller, producing a better finish and processing linen more quickly.

Pressure is another important aspect of ironers, possibly the most important aspect. Pressure is created by padding and springs around the roll. By investing in a quality pad, you will increase throughput, need to replace the padding less, and deliver high quality finish on your linens. If you intend to iron at temperatures above 185 degrees celsius, then you will require a Nomex pad because it has a higher heat tolerance than polyester pads.

Roller Length 1000mm 1200mm 1400mm 1600mm 2000mm 2794mm 3048mm 3454mm
Roller Diameter 250mm 300mm 330mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 900mm 900mm 1050mm 1300mm

4. Lanes

Some ironers come with the option to have lanes. There are options for 1, 2, 3, and 4 lanes, which can be beneficial depending on the type of linen processed and the quantity. Opting for a model with 4 lanes allows for all configurations. The less lanes, the less options.

5. Feeders, Folders & Stackers

Feeders, folder and stackers are smaller machines that can be added to an ironer to increase its automation and functionality even more so. They take the quality of presentation to another level, as well as reducing operator costs even further.

6. Budget

Budget plays a big factor in any purchase decision, but when considering your budget for an ironer there are a few more elements to consider than just the price tag of the machine.

The biggest cost in operating a laundry in Australia will always be labour. For this reason, it’s important to note how many operators are required for your ironer of choice. Whether you choose to add on a feeder, folder and/or stacker, will also affect the number of operators required within the laundry. It’s worth sitting down and doing the math, as often businesses will find that automated add-ons such as a feeder will pay for itself within a year or two because of the labour costs they eliminate. We highly recommend speaking with a laundry professional to assist you in working on your calculations.

Another big decision when investing in an ironer is roll-heated versus chest-heated. For roll-heated ironers, the temperature is distributed through the roll itself. Whereas, with a chest-heated ironer the temperature source is on the underside of the chest. Chest-heated ironers are used in laundries with high-production as they are much more efficient at heating and produce much higher throughput. Roll-heated ironers are a great option for laundries with small production because of their size, affordability, ease of use and simple maintenance.

6. Heat source

Gas

One of the more popular heating options for ironers, in particular roller ironers. It can be efficient at producing & maintaining heat.

Electric

Electric is another popular form of heating in commercial ironers, usually used in smaller, roller ironers.

Steam

Can be challenging to maintain heat and pressure. This type of heating is found in chest-ironers and requires a boiler.

Oil

Also referred to thermal heating, oil heating is used in chest-ironers. It's very efficient at producing & maintaining heat.

7. How much Residual Moisture Do you Have to Work With?

This can affect the choice of ironer, and may also mean that you need to have a some time in the dryer. It’s important before deciding on an ironer that you know what other machines are in your laundry, as whether upfront costs or time is of more value to your business. For some more upscale ironers, linen can be taken straight from the washing machine and into the iron. Other ironers will request that a specific percentage of residual moisture be met before the linen can go into the ironer. This may mean that linen will require a brief time in the dryer before moving onto the ironer. This is especially true if you have a low-moderate spin washer. For these reasons, we highly recommend speaking with a laundry professional to ensure your business needs are met and your overall laundry setup has been considered in your choice of ironer or finishing equipment.

8. Caring for Your Iron

Daily Maintenance

Caring for your iron regularly will help you continue to get the best out of it, as well as extend its life. Simple actions such as reading the manual, gaining feedback from your staff, and regularly cleaning the machine to prevent build up of wax and dirt, can make a big difference in looking after your ironer.

Preventative Maintenance

When purchasing a commercial ironer, we strongly recommend signing up to regular machine servicing. Even the best commercial laundry brands require preventative maintenance to ensure they are performing at their best and keep on top of any wear and tear before it becomes a costly breakdown. It's important you partner with a laundry team you can rely on. Check out our industry leading Protection Plans to learn more.

Quick Response Repairs

It's inevitable that over the years, especially as your ironer begins to age, that it will break down. Commercial finishing equipment are solid and durable, but with any machine that is used as often as they are, it's expected they may fault from time to time. That's why it's important to partner with a laundry team who are quick to respond and have spare parts on hand, ready to get your machine up and running ASAP. Learn more about our Urgent Repairs Service.

Need help with your Laundry?

Speak with our laundry experts to help you with machine selection, technical information, site issues, and any other laundry support you need.

Manufacturing Partners

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