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Laundry Equipment: Commercial vs Domestic

November 7, 2023 / Wolf News / Care Home News / Hospitality

Choosing the right laundry equipment can be a tricky task, particularly when deciding between commercial and domestic options. To clarify the distinctions between the two, we’ll answer the top 10 questions we receive here at Wolf Laundry. Join us as we explore the key differences that set commercial washing machines apart from their domestic counterparts.

  1. What is a Commercial Washing Machine?

A commercial washing machine is specially designed for continuous use, capable of handling large loads, and constructed with high-quality components and features that domestic machines lack. These machines boast superior motors, pumps, and heating elements, making them ideal for commercial settings.

  1. Should I Choose a Commercial Washing Machine Over a Domestic One?

In environments where infection control and sanitation are paramount, such as care homes, healthcare facilities, hotels, boarding schools, and sheltered housing, a commercial washing machine is essential. These machines are also available with payment options. All commercial washing machines offered by Wolf Laundry adhere to WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) standards, which are crucial for infection control in care homes. Domestic machines simply don’t meet these rigorous requirements.

  1. How Do Commercial Washing Machines Differ from Domestic Washing Machines?

Commercial washing machines and domestic counterparts differ significantly due to their intended use. The primary distinctions include:

Longevity: Domestic washing machines typically last around five years, with an average of 270 wash cycles per year. In contrast, commercial washing machines undergo rigorous quality testing for an extended lifespan. Schulthess commercial washing machines, for example, are tested to endure 30,000 operating hours, equivalent to a service life of 20 years.

Schulthess Commercial Washing Machines
Schulthess Commercial Washing Machines

Higher-Grade Parts: Commercial washing machines feature components of superior quality compared to their domestic counterparts. The robust motor and graded heating element ensure consistent, reliable results, making them ideal for environments with stringent infection control requirements.

  1. Are Commercial Washing Machines Larger than Domestic Machines?

Commercial washing machines come in various sizes to meet diverse demands. Even the smallest commercial machines, like the Schulthess StarLine, is the same size as a domestic machine with a 7kg load capacity. Larger commercial machines, such as the new WH6 range from Electrolux can handle up to 33kg loads, making them ideal for high-volume laundry operations. Choosing the right size and number of machines for your specific needs is crucial, and our experts at Wolf Laundry can provide guidance.

  1. What Sets Commercial Washing Machines Apart in Terms of Features?

Commercial washing machines offer a range of exclusive features and specialised cycles not available in domestic machines, including:

  • Hot-Fill: Commercial machines can be directly filled with hot water, resulting in faster cycles and reduced energy consumption.
  • Tailored Programs: Tailored to meet the diverse needs of various sectors, particularly in care homes and healthcare facilities.
  • Auto-Dosing: Commercial machines can be equipped with auto-dosing pumps, ensuring precise dispensing of industrial chemicals as required.
  1. What’s the Difference Between Commercial Washing Machines and Industrial Washing Machines?

Industrial washing machines are large, custom-built machines designed for specific industrial cleaning applications. In contrast, commercial washing machines are intended for use in sectors such as care homes, healthcare facilities, hotels, schools, and more, making them practical and cost-effective for these environments.

  1. Can I Change the Power Rating on a Commercial Washing Machine?

Unlike domestic machines, commercial washing machines can be adapted to different power supplies, including single-phase or three-phase power. Depending on the model, they can also be converted from 13-amp to 32-amp power options, offering flexibility in installation.

  1. What Is the Life Expectancy of a Commercial Washing Machine?

Commercial washing machines are built to last. Their longevity is measured in cycle hours, with a quality machine like Schulthess typically enduring around 30,000 hours. This is in stark contrast to the typical domestic machine, which has an expected life of just 2,500 hours. Even though domestic machines come with manufacturer warranties, these are usually voided if the machines are used for commercial purposes. Commercial machines, on the other hand, typically come with standard parts and labour warranties for two years. Wolf’s OneCare package will cover the cost of equipment including all maintenance, and annual servicing, including gas safety checks for a single monthly payment.

  1. How Much Does a Commercial Washing Machine Cost?

The cost of a commercial washing machine varies depending on factors such as make, model, and capacity. At Wolf Laundry, we offer a wide range of commercial machines to accommodate various budgets and requirements. While domestic machines may initially appear less expensive, they often require replacement sooner, making them more costly in the long run. Commercial machines can also be rented, offering the benefits of no upfront costs and a monthly subscription that covers both the equipment and service. Wolf Laundry provides equipment to suit any budget and offers flexible finance options to help you manage your expenses and adapt to changing needs.

  1. Where Can I Buy a Commercial Washing Machine?

If you’re considering a commercial washing machine, look no further than Wolf Laundry. We stock a diverse range of commercial washing machines, catering to various price points and specifications to meet the needs of every business. You can explore our full range of commercial washing machines on our website and reach out to our experts for guidance on making the right choice for your business.


In the debate between commercial and domestic laundry equipment, it’s clear that commercial washing machines stand out in terms of durability, features, and performance. They are a necessity in environments where hygiene and efficiency are paramount, offering extended lifespans, superior quality, and specialised capabilities that set them apart from their domestic counterparts. If you’re considering upgrading your laundry equipment for a business setting, Wolf Laundry has you covered with a wide selection of commercial washing machines to suit your specific requirements.

Call our team of experts on 0330 0532192 and we can help you to choose the right equipment for your needs.