I am planning to purchase a washing machine for the barn. The primary use for this washer will be horse blankets and sheets. I don't need a washer with a lot of fancy settings I won't use, but I do need a washer that has a shot at holding up to washing about 80 blankets/sheets per year. It has been about 10 years since I last bought a washer (for my house) so I am not overly educated on this topic and looking for recommendations!
MVP DH has actually been looking into used commercial washers, great minds think alike. I think down the road that is what we will ultimately end up with. What is stopping me right now is the fact that we will need to move this washer to our new barn in a few months, and I don't want to get the thing set up and mounted just to move it in a few months. That said we have an appointment tomorrow to talk with the rep from our local company that supplies and services the laundromats around here! It sounds like they have a decent selection of used machines.
It just seems silly to spend all of this time and energy to load up and drag all of these blankets to someone else to wash, then go through it in reverse to get them all back here, plus pay a small fortune for it every year. Also it is a real pain if I need something done in the middle of blanket season and need a really fast turnaround.
"I'm dreaming of a barn washer with every blanket that I see . . . " (sing that to the tune of "White Chrismas" - yeah, I need a life )
No specific brand recommendations, but a few observations:
1. The front loader type of washing machine seems to work really well. Plus, particularly for things like hauling out wet blankets that are big and awkward, if you have a front loader that's up so the opening is at a reasonable height (as it is on many of the larger load models anyway) then you're not killing yourself trying to wrestle the thing out while it's all twisted around.
2. While you're checking out models, take the time to see how easy it is to access things like the motor and pump and any filters that might be in place. One model front loader I had was a nightmare to have repaired, because of the way it was laid out internally. The other one you just had to pop off a panel on the front and the things most likely to develop problems were right there. (The pump and the filters - eventually something WILL get where it shouldn't be, and life is a lot easier if it's not hours of work for someone to come and remove said item. Like the one time a quarter somehow got jammed into the pump... Still haven't figured out how it made it that far.)
3. Sane latching mechanism on the door. Meaning you don't have to have an argument with it to get it to latch, or wiggle it just right. (Front loaders should be designed so they WILL NOT run with the door open at all, so finicky latches are really annoying because you can be quite certain the door is closed, and the machine is still going 'no, not latched, not working!')
From a former laundromat owner: If you get one of those commercial-grade side-loaders, make sure it's very well anchored into a concrete floor. Use the largest bolts that will fit through the mounting holes. The forces can they generate during the final spin cycle are horrendous! They're also very expensive to repair, and most repairmen don't have the proper tools -- or knowledge.
Contact a dealer and tell him you're looking for a low mileage, large capacity residential Maytag. They're trade-ins from people that are remodeling, and have a lot of life left in them.
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
My barn got a commercial unit off of craigslist a few years ago. The thing is amazing. You can easily put 3+ filthy, disgusting blankets in there, and all of them will come out sparkling clean. It's GINORMOUS, but really, really worth it. Everyone uses it because it takes about 20 minutes to do a load, and no one wants to deal with taking that kind of filth home to their own washing machines...
Apparently, it wasn't overly pricey for what it is, and it's coin operated (I think it's $1.50 or $2.00/load), so the BO has recouped a little bit of what he paid in the past year or two.
I'm on my 4th Whirlpool Duet w/d set. I'd still have the originals but every time we moved they were deal breakers on the sale! (Hey, if someone wants to finance a w/d for 30 years that's their problem).
I use them for people and horse laundry. I can put an 87" Rambo Wug in and it comes out clean. I do blankets/pads/wraps for 9 horses and they run great.
Look for "scratch and dent" discounted units. Sears has outlets and we got ours at Lowes for 1/3 off original price for a ding that's on the BACK of the machine, can't even see it when it's pushed against the wall.
You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!
You can buy commercial machines from a supply store if you live near a city or town of good size.
You can also find sometimes good used commercial machines when a laundermat goes out of business.
Just got a machine without a ringer, as you can put a big thick horse blanket in it to wash. Or a big dog bed. Or a big human comforter king size for your bed. Maytags are long lasting machines, but some other brands are good also.
I've got the Samsung frontload set that was in the Lowe's commercials. Love it, but it isn't big enough for bigger horse heavy blankets (size 82 and 84). One will barely fit in and it doesn't come out clean.
Great the pads, sheets, etc and the collection of smaller pet (cat) beds.
If you can find a used Laundromat model, that's the way to go and the bigger the better. And yes, they need to be mounted on a concrete pad.
We sold Speed Queen models for a while on our website but they were megabucks--only sold two to breeder in Germany who also bought a container load of fencing.