Laundry Solutions Australia

The Laundry Equipment Experts

Commercial vs Domestic washing machine, which is better and why?


Unlike domestic washing machines, commercial machines are made to handle much higher laundry demands where usage is up to all day, every day. Commercial machines are also designed to be easily serviced instead of frequently replaced.

They also use much more heavy-duty parts. These are some of the parts that are “beefed up” to create a much more heavy-duty washing machine.

  •  Cabinet
  • Frame
  • Motor
  • Gearbox
  • Transmission
  • Clutch
  • Brake
  • Bearings and Bearing Housings
  • Pump
  • Suspension

In a nut-shell, commercial washing machines and commercial laundry equipment are designed with reliability and longevity in mind when compared to domestic machines.

As you can imagine, commercial washing machines have solid warranty periods. Yet, there is one thing that many potential purchasers overlook.
The fact is the warranties of domestic machines are quite often void or reduced if used in commercial applications.

For instance, if a motel purchased a domestic machine to wash the sheets of their motel rooms and had an issue with their machine, it may not be covered under warranty as the motel is deemed to be a commercial application.

Most customers are unaware that this is the case with domestic machines and have been left high and dry with near new machines with no warranty.

Type – Front Load or Top Load?

So, which type of commercial washing machine is best, top load or front load? Well this comes down to a couple of things including

  • The application,
  • Whether water usage is an issue
  • Personal preference.

Most new businesses will choose to go with front load machines as they are more water efficient in comparison to top load washing machines.

For example, our top load machine uses about 100 litres of water per cycle compared to the 42 litres of a commercial front load washing machine.

This is a very important factor to consider for aged care facilities as they are very big consumers of water and any reduction they can get is a bonus.

Not only do all commercial businesses have to pay for the water used in their shop, they also often have to pay approximately 80% -90% of the cost of the water used in trade waste charges here in Australia.
For instance, if they use $100 of water they would also be charged about $80 – $90 in waste charges as well.

Because of its action the front loader is recognised as supplying a greater wash quality compared to the top load model. Front load washers also have a much higher extraction speed, with our CW10 washer extracting at a speed of 1200 RPM whereas our CTL7 top loader extracts at 710 RPM.

The higher extraction speed translates to a much-reduced time in the dryer as more moisture has been extracted during the spin cycle on the front loader.

One of the defining features of a top loader that people prefer opposed to the front loader is the ability to keep adding linen after the wash cycle has started. This is not possible once the door locks on a front loader.

The other determining factor to why people will choose one over the other is price. Based on our current models and pricing our top load washer is about $1000 cheaper than the front load machine. On this alone many customers will choose the top load machine, which is understandable!

With the above said, the sales of top load machines are stronger than ever due to both their simplicity, longevity and price.
Some people love their top loaders and others their front loaders. All-in-all it comes down to personal preference.

Which machine do I need?
So, who actually uses commercial washing machines? When it comes down to it, the businesses who need a reliable washer to do several loads per day.

  • Aged Care Facilities
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Child Care Centres
  • Back Packers
  • Day Spas
  • Hair Dressers
  • Government Departments
  • Cleaning Companies
  • Vets
  • Massage Therapists
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Serviced Apartments
  • Caravan Parks
  • Restaurants
  • Universities
  • Schools

As you can see the list is quite extensive! One last great thing about deciding between a commercial vs domestic washing machine is that commercial are also available in coin and non-coin options to service both the user-pays market as well as the OPL (on premise laundry) market.

We hope this article has helped you in your decision process. If you need any help with deciding on the best commercial washer for your business then call us on 1300 666 289.
Additionally, you can fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.

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Having the best laundry equipment for your business is a must, especially if you are doing several loads every day like you would in a veterinary practice washing animal fur out of towels or a salon where towels are used to soak up oils and lotions. Chances are that in your laundry exists a domestic washing machine from a nearby retailer that promises high washing loads and a superior clean every time.

If you run either one of these businesses or plan to start one up I have no doubt you already understand that frequent and heavier washing loads are a given.

Here are 5 reasons why a residential machine just will not cut it and will actually hurt your business.

1. The lack of energy and water savings

This is the biggest driving factor for any business. Each day when there is one load coming out and then another load going straight in for a good part of the day it tends to rack up the water and energy costs.

Even the best rated machines for the domestic market still use upwards of 63 litres of water every wash. Of course if you haven’t done your research then this number might not mean much to you, but for you savvy owners it is easier to understand that these numbers can tally up.

If you are using a commercial machine for your laundry needs then you could be saving roughly 12-20 extra litres every wash.

That’s a water saving of nearly 16 thousand litres every year!

We should also mention, that 52L for the commercial machines comes from our own front loader spec sheet. If we use the low-average amount at 44L per cycle (for our own front loader) we get a value of 68,640L.

A whopping 30 THOUSAND LITRES less than a domestic washer.

As for energy usage, almost all machines are going to vary in their usage, but a quick look at the technical specifications of varying domestic products reveals most of those same machines use around 219-260 kWh.

Most commercial washers will use significantly less than this (ours uses 0.67 kWh). When you add this on to your water savings that can be a significant chunk.

2. Repair costs

Nothing is worse for a business that does several loads of laundry each day than a washing machine having a break down, especially when you rely on only one or two machines. If your washing machine breaks down then business slows down.

To repair a domestic washing machine can cost anywhere from $100-$500 depending on the type of damage, the parts required to repair it and how long it will take.

Now, that might not seem all that bad or out of the ordinary, then again if you keep up with the same demands on the machine after getting it repaired the first time you will only run into the same problems in no time and it wont be long until you end up paying the cost of the machine in repair costs.

Either that or it may seem easier to replace the machine entirely but then history only ends up repeating itself leaving you out of pocket and going out of your mind.

3. Limited warranty

Maybe not the biggest issue on the list but still something to consider when you have a machine or two you would want to last you AT LEAST 6 years.

Most retailers will only offer 2 years warranty on their domestic washing machines with the option to buy extended warranty at a further cost.

Some have also been found trying to dupe consumers, claiming the warranty to not being valid. On the other hand, suppliers of commercial laundry equipment will generally offer a 5 year warranty on the products.

4. The service stops at the purchase

Congratulations, you’ve just bought a new washing machine from that retail store down the road, or found one online for a really good price. They also delivered it to you free of charge!

But that’s where the service stops.

More often than not, a domestic retailer will sell you a machine and then you will never hear from them again, after all its only about the sale. The only time you will hear from them after this is in marketing emails.

Now we can’t speak for every other commercial supplier here and we are sure that you will get a better after sales service than your standard domestic retailer, at Laundry Solutions Australia however, we will continue the service long after your machine has been installed.

5. Longer cycle times

Cycle times will vary depending on a few factors such as the type and size of the loads you are doing as well as whether you are using a front loader or top loader.

In a domestic front load washing machine the average full wash cycle is around 2 hours. For a commercial machine doing the same wash the average will be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

Naturally a top loader will do a wash cycle faster than a front load, but it’s quite easy to do the math on this one, faster cycles means quicker loads, quicker loads means a fast moving and efficient business.


In conclusion, a business such as day spa or salon is always going to fair better using commercial laundry equipment. The upfront costs are higher but they end up quickly paying themselves off, leaving you with a durable, lasting machine.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 666 289 or email us at and we will be happy to answer them for you.

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