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Working from Home… Again

Working from Home… Again

Kathy Huntebrinker, Owner of Simply Clean Laundry Service, recently wrote down her thoughts on the current corona situation and how it has changed her life these last few months.  As small business owners, being flexible and having the ability to pivot and adjust to changing situations is key and she does this extremely well.  It’s fun to look back on how our lives have changed in the relatively short time we’ve been doing this but we wouldn’t change it for anything.  Enjoy her blog post below and we hope you and your family are healthy and doing your best to adjust to the current situation we find ourselves facing.  
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Once upon a time, I was a “work from home” mom.  We bought the then small diaper business and I ran it from home while having three kids within four years.  I became accustomed to working during nap times and managing work and home activities. If one of my kids was laughing, babbling or crying during a phone call it was all right since I was talking to other parents or soon to be other parents.  I vividly remember signing up a new customer sitting in the backyard with Caitlyn scribbling all over the sign up sheet, or Norah playing Squinkies on the floor next to me as I finished a route or Ryan sitting on my lap playing with his own computer (a calculator) while I wrote an email.  As the business and the kids grew, they eventually all went to school and I became a “work from work” mom.  When we bought our current facility, I suddenly had my own desk and stopped doing extra folding and deliveries so I had an office job for the first time in my life.  

Now, fast forward five more years and the arrival of the pandemic and schools being cancelled and I find myself back to being a “work from home” mom.  I stay home with the kids in the morning to make sure school work is getting done and then head into work to finish up routes and check in with our staff.  Instead of scribbles and Squinkies, we now have Google Meets, Schoology and virtual learning to work around.  I find myself with acute and obtuse angles and algebra equations on my work papers instead of preschoolers’ alphabet letters, stick figures, and scribbles.  And once again, if I answer the phone from home, it is okay if you hear my kids talking, laughing or singing in the background, because now most of you are working from home as well.  My thirteen year old even thinks she is ready to answer the business calls since she has been listening to me (we haven’t gotten there yet, but you never know…)  It is crazy when life comes full circle, but we are all in this together and someday I may be back at my full time office job.  But for now, I will enjoy the kids and the work all combined into one.  

Kathy Huntebrinker
Owner, Simply Clean Laundry Service

314-782-2476

Protected and Private

Protected and Private

We want to make sure your clothing is protected and kept private when delivered to you. We take great pride in making sure your clothes get to you as clean and fresh as they are when coming out of the dryer.  We fold and pack everything tightly in clean plastic bags, and then those bags are placed in a nylon bag for double the protection and double the fun. We recently changed from our logo printed canvas bags to a completely washable nylon bag.  This was in response to the coronavirus and while they aren’t as cool as our old bags, they do make sure your items are protected and private upon delivery.  No one wants to see your underwear,  and we’re sure you don’t want them seeing it either.

Mark Huntebrinker
Owner, Simply Clean Laundry Service

314-782-2476

Overflowing Laundry at Home?

Overflowing Laundry at Home?

We’ve had several calls lately from customers that tell us that even though they’re home all day, they are becoming overwhelmed by the amount of laundry their families are creating during this pandemic.  They have all their normal household duties, but they also have a new list of responsibilities like helping the kids with school work, getting their work done from home, creating more detailed meal plans with efficient shopping lists, and of course all the other projects that you personally would like to get done during this time.  In some ways, life has become more busy with the stay at home orders created by the coronavirus.  

Well if your laundry is overflowing at home, we can definitely help.   It’s what we do and have continued to do during this time. We pick up in St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Peters, and surrounding communities.  Or you can drop off at our location in Overland, MO right by the Taco Bell on Page near Ashby. Give us a call today to set up your account at 314-782-2476. 

Mark Huntebrinker
Owner, Simply Clean Laundry Service

314-782-2476

How Have We Adapted as a Business?

How Have We Adapted as a Business?

As the world continues to change and our new reality sets in for at least the next few months, we’ve had to make some changes here at Simply Clean.  By nature, Simply Clean has always been a relatively contact free type business with the exception of our commercial stops which most have closed during this time.  For our residential and diaper stops, we drop and pick up mainly from people’s porches or apartment hallways so contact has always been minimal. We have added extra precautions with a new type of washable bag and protection for our drivers and people sorting laundry.  But along with the procedural changes, we’ve also had to adapt our business model a little bit to make up for some of the loss we’ve incurred from our commercial accounts.

When this all occurred, we decided on two new approaches that would allow us to keep helping as many people possible with our services, while also ensuring our employees keep a steady paycheck.  The first thing we did was expand our service areas. While these new areas haven’t been posted on our site, we have expanded where we target new customers and we are accepting customers in a broader area of St. Louis.  This means going a little further North, South, and West than what’s currently shown on our website. The second thing we did was to start accepting drop off service aka Curbside Service. This is something we’ve never done before but had always planned on, so we are now accepting wash and fold at our facility at a reduced rate if a customer drops off and picks up.   It’s a great contact free service that allows customers to use our service if they are out of the pickup area and they can save a few bucks as well.   

These 2 small changes to our business model have allowed us to continue growth in our diaper and residential segments during a time that would otherwise make it very difficult to do so.  And as always, our number one priority is the safety of our customers and employees and we continue to follow strict cleaning and sorting guidelines to prevent any issues. We are continuously grateful to St. Louis for the support and are always happy to serve you.  Give us a call today at 314-782-2476 to talk with Kathy about scheduling your first pickup or dropoff and thanks again for choosing our locally owned and operated laundry service. We really appreciate it.

Mark Huntebrinker
Owner, Simply Clean Laundry Service

314-782-2476

Meeting Notes from Our Team Meeting

Meeting Notes from Our Team Meeting

During these difficult times, communication is definitely the key in maintaining a safe productive environment.  This includes notifying customers of changes to our routes, cleaning procedures, or just any related business activity, and it also means increased communication at our laundry facility with our Team Members.  We have always had one on one meetings with our employees where we go over performance, business updates, goals, etc, and we had informal group meetings every day to go over workload, priorities, incoming laundry, and new customers.  But with the new world we’re living in right now, we have added more formal meetings and I thought I would share with you the agenda and meeting notes from our first official formal team meeting. I’ll list out the bulleted agenda items below with the notes and conversation that took place after it.  This is an inside look at the exact items we discussed and some of the details around them.  

First Group Meeting – March 2020 – COVID-19 Edition

  • Welcome – Thank you everyone for your continued hard work.  This continues to be a strange time in life and business and we are going to increase communication during these difficult times including this meeting.
  • Safety First – This is our number one priority for employees and customers.  We have provided everyone here with the proper personal protection. Gloves and masks.   Follow the cleaning instructions and make sure to protect yourself especially on incoming laundry.  Also, make sure to be diligent about following the cleaning and flow procedures as outlined in our training yesterday.  
  • What can you do as an employee – Keep yourself safe and healthy and follow the cleaning procedures.  We have time so take your time. If you ever have a fever, stay home and contact us for further instruction.
  • Workload – Many of our commercial customers are seeing a decrease in work or will close all together with the Stay in Place orders that come out Monday.  We are driven to try and keep workload as high as possible but understand that there may come a time when we have to temporarily put people on leave. We will have those discussions personally with each of you later this week.
  • Literature – All emails and blog posts that we have sent to customers are up on the main desk.  Please take time to read them. Let us know if you have any questions.  
  • What We’re Doing (Mark and Kath) – Trying to retain as much business as we can while maintaining safety.  We are expanding our delivery area a little bit to keep drivers busy and reaching out to past customers to see if they need help.  We are also catching up our to do list around here and finishing our evaluation of delivery software that we will start to implement soon.  And we are also adding a drop off option at our store.  Details to follow.
  • We are Essential – Per the MO and IL guidelines, we are considered essential and will remain working as long as we can.  I created a “Permission to Travel” letter that you should take and keep on you in case anyone stops you on the way to or from work.
  • What’s Next – Keep communicating with us and we will do the same.  This is a difficult time and we will pull through it but let’s try to keep our heads up and keep working hard for our community and our customers.  
  • Questions?

I hope you enjoyed seeing a small glimpse into our business as we navigate during these trying times.  We believe in being honest with you and our employees so if you ever have any questions, we are here to answer them.  We hope you and your family stay healthy.

Mark Huntebrinker
Owner, Simply Clean Laundry Service
314.782-2476

NEW – Curbside Wash and Fold Drop Off – Reduced Pricing

NEW – Curbside Wash and Fold Drop Off – Reduced Pricing

To help increase social and phyiscal distancing, Simply Clean Laundry is now offering Contact Free Curbside Wash and Fold Dropoff Service at our location.  Place your laundry by our front door, and we will come out and pick it up.  All you need to do is setup an account with us and call us when you arrive.   The best part, it’s only $1.40 per pound with no minimum and ready the next day.  

It’s Simple.  It’s Clean.  It’s Simply Clean.

 #1.  Call to setup your account at Simply Clean Laundry.  We’ll get your name, payment information, and your washing preferences. We will also let you know store hours for the week.

#2.  Drive Over to Simply Clean Laundry at 10420 Liberty Ave. St. Louis, MO 63132.  We are near Page and Ashby.  We are still open because laundry services are considered essential.

#3.  Place your bags near our front door, wait inside your car, and give us a call at 314-782-2476 and we will be right out to pick it up.   For pickup, just park, and call and we’ll bring your clothes right out to you.  Please wait in your car until the attendant sets everything out.  Super Easy, Super Clean.

A Special Thank You to Our Team Members

A Special Thank You to Our Team Members

This new life that we are forced to live right now has been tough.  There is a cloud of uncertainty and stress that now falls on everyone, but you know what?  Our team members are still at work every day with a smile on their faces asking what they can do for our company and our community.  There’s such a great culture at our work and it starts with the relationships between all of us and it’s like one big happy family.  We are always willing to help each other out, and not just with work duties, but also outside of work. Sometimes it’s sharing supplies like toilet paper when someone can’t find any, or giving someone a ride when their car is in the shop.  Kathy and I are proud of the work family we have created and how hard everyone works to achieve common goals.  

We’ve got an incredible group of team members that work at Simply Clean Laundry Service.  It’s really hard to process all the things that have happened just in the last few weeks. From a business perspective we were really firing on all cylinders.  Our business was growing steadily and we have been able to hire a group of team members that are all amazing individuals. They are always on time, get along well with each other, and care about the future of our business so they do their best to contribute in any way they can.  With their help, we’ve been able to serve and take care of more and more laundry service customers. The one thing we are most proud of, is that we are able to employ and pay each of our workers a respectable wage. We have worked hard over the last couple of years to create a business that allows us to do that and because of their hard work, dedication, and attention to detail, they have helped create that for all of us.  

So I want to say a special thank you to our team members who continue to make this all possible.  I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished and I’m proud of the hard work they continue to put in even in these times of uncertainty.    

Thank you to: 

Christi C.
Jeanette R.
Angel J.
Paula W.
Charles W.
Thomas B.
Gail P.
Sarah S.
Ken H
Kathy H
Mark H

We will continue to strive no matter the situation, and I’m thankful for all of you.

Kathy and Chrisit

Simply Clean Laundry COVID-19 Response – Part 3 – March 20th, 2020

Simply Clean Laundry COVID-19 Response – Part 3  – All about that Cleaning – March 20th, 2020

We remain committed to working as long as advised to support the many families and businesses that rely on our services.  We are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. We wanted to send out this follow up message to keep you updated on our procedures and make sure we communicate exactly what we’re doing in response to the recent news.  Our number one priority is to maintain a healthy and safe environment for our customers and our employees. 

Many of the procedural changes you see below are in part due to Mark’s (Co-owner) background in the pharmaceutical industry.  Mark majored in Microbiology and minored in Chemistry before working in his previous life as a QC Manager for a major pharmaceutical company here in St. Louis.  Mark was in charge of all the environmental monitoring (bacterial and air sampling) on site and for setting up clean rooms that required an aseptic environment for filling syringes/vials of manufactured drugs.  As part of that, Mark was required to test, trend, and investigate issues that centered around all aspects of maintaining a clean environment on site. This experience definitely helps in creating processes to create clean areas, cleaning schedules, segregation, etc.  

In addition to our normal procedures, we have also added/re-enforced the following:

  • The facility was bleached and cleaned including all workable surfaces including carts, tables, and other high contact surfaces and continue to be done daily.  

  • Dirty laundry and clean laundry are not mixed and are stored in separate areas at our facility and care is taken with dividers in the vans to ensure the same separation.

  • We have changed the residential bags we’re using to a totally washable nylon bag that will be washed with the customers laundry each time.

  • We have always had dedicated dirty sorting areas for incoming laundry.  We have a nice workflow that includes the dirty storage area that moves to the dirty sorting area, and from there everything moves through washers and dryers and comes out to clean tables for folding and packing.

  • We have instructed employees to wear masks in addition to the gloves they already wear for sorting incoming laundry. 

  • Employees are also advised to not manipulate or jostle the laundry any more than they have to.  

  • Washer temps will be increased to warm for all incoming washing and all laundry is dried at a minimum of 140 degrees.

  • Laundry taken from the dryers is assumed to be disinfected based on washing and drying temps and will be placed on a clean cart, then moved to a clean table, and then bagged in a clean plastic bag, and then put in a clean nylon bag.  From there, it is moved to the clean storage area for laundry/linen before being delivered back to you.

  • Drivers are protecting themselves during pickups and dropoffs with gloves and masks as needed.

While no one can guarantee 100% protection, we wanted to make sure we let all customers know the procedures we are taking to help maintain a clean and safe environment for our customers and employees.   Thank you for your continued support.

Mark & Kathy Huntebrinker

Owner, Simply Clean Laundry Service
314.782-2476
 

Simply Clean Laundry COVID-19 Response – Part 2 – March 17th, 2020

Simply Clean Laundry COVID-19 Response – Part 2 – Released March 17th, 2020

Below is the second email we sent in response to what’s currently happening in regards to the Coronavirus.  We changed the type of bag we are using for Wash and Fold service to a completely washable nylon bag.  We remain committed to working as long as advised to support the many families and businesses that rely on our services.  We are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. 
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Good Afternoon,

In addition to the email we sent on 3/13/20, we wanted to let you know of a couple more changes we are implementing for our residential laundry service.  You will notice that the bag your laundry comes in is slightly different. Your clean laundry will still be packed in the normal clear plastic bag, but we will be using blue nylon bags instead of our canvas bags temporarily.  These nylon bags are completely washable and will be washed every time with your own laundry.  

Please use this nylon bag going forward. When you put out the dirty laundry please put it in the nylon bag and keep the attached tag with your name and laundry information clipped to the bag.  If you lose the tag or have more laundry than the nylon bag please put it in plastic trash bags and label it with your name. 

Lastly, starting next week, we will move all residential laundry to a warm wash and will continue to dry on low.  Both of these measures along with normal wash cycles, are effective in cleaning and disinfecting laundry.  

A copy of this email will be placed in your bag this week, but please watch for additional emails including any future correspondence which will be sent by email only going forward.  Let us know if you have questions and thank you for continuing to support our family owned business. We wish you and your family good health.

Thanks,

Mark & Kathy Huntebrinker

314.782-2476

Simply Clean Laundry COVID-19 Response – March 13th, 2020

Simply Clean Laundry COVID-19 Response – Released March 13th, 2020

Below is the initial email we sent in response to what’s currently happening in regards to the Coronavirus.  We are committed to working as long as advised to support the many families and businesses that rely on our services.  We are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. 
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Dear Customers,

As we all continue to monitor updates about the spread of COVID-19, we understand your top priority is the health of your family. We want to make sure we are keeping you up to date on the precautions we are taking at Simply Clean Laundry to maintain a healthy and safe environment for our customers and our employees. 

Here’s what we are doing:

  • We have increased the frequency of our cleanings here on site that includes cleaning and disinfecting all high-traffic areas and hand-contact touch points.  This also includes all tables, carts, etc that are used in our process.  
  • We have ensured all equipment including water heaters, washers, and dryers are functioning properly and at temperature levels that will properly disinfect.
  • We will continue to follow on site procedures that ensure complete separation of customer owned items from washing, to drying, to folding and packing.  
  • We will also continue to follow employee safety measures which includes ensuring gloves are worn during all dirty laundry sorting.  
  • In addition, we have communicated proper hand washing techniques to all employees and have hung signs in all bathrooms with those hand washing instructions.
  • Employees have been instructed to stay home if they experience any cold or flu symptoms including cough and fever.

We are closely monitoring daily updates from the CDC to ensure we are following the most current washing and handling recommendations. We will continue to do everything in our power to maintain a healthy space for our customers and employees.

We know many of you depend on us, and our current plan is to remain open servicing our customers.  Thank you for continuing to support our community’s local businesses during this time. We all appreciate it.    

We encourage you to review the CDC’s recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and wish you and your family good health.    

Mark & Kathy Huntebrinker

Owner, Simply Clean Laundry Service

314.782-2476

Commercial Laundry Service

We pride ourselves on providing our clients hassle free service. We are reliable, and we strive to make every part of the process easy and consistent. This way you can worry about other aspects of your business.

Residential Laundry Service

Don’t have time to wash your own laundry? No problem. Just give us a call to arrange your free pickup and let us do all the work. We use trusted detergents and wash to your specific specifications. Then everything is folded, bagged, and returned to your door step. It couldn’t be easier.

Cloth Diaper Service

You may know us better as Baby Care Diaper Service. We have been serving St. Louis for more than 20 years with over 10 of those years under our direction. We have washed over 2 million diapers in that time so we know a few things about cloth. Click here to be taken to our main cloth diaper site.

What Clients Say

  • I love Simply Clean Diaper Service because I know cloth diapers are healthy for my baby and for the Earth. Plus, the convenience is hugely important to me as a new mom — I never have to run out for diapers, or constantly do the laundry.

    Katie S., mother of Lincoln, Diaper Service Customer
  • I am beyond happy with my decision to go with Simply Clean.  For me it was important to try and do my part to keep this world just a little bit greener for my daughter, and teach her right from the beginning how the small things count.  The Owners will help you through any issues you have with real urgency to please their customers.

    Jessica M., mother of Lily, Diaper Service Customer
  • Cannot recommend Simply Clean service enough. Kathy was flexible, kind, easy to work with, and accommodating of our schedules. Plus, the laundry was clean, soft, and ready to put away.  They really make laundry easy. 

    William T, Laundry Service Customer
  • As my business grew, it no longer made sense for me to do my own laundry.  By the time you figure in utilities and my time, it was well worth the cost to let Simply Clean wash my linen.  Thanks Simply Clean!

    Becky S, Massage Therapist, Commercial Laundry Customer
  • Fantastic service. The owners are very knowledgeable and helpful. They are easy to work with and adjust to my needs. It is so easy to just put the laundry out once a week and get it back a couple days later.

    Hannah R, Laundry Service Customer
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