The closest laundromat to you may not necessarily best suit your needs. While cost and availability of machines are obvious considerations, you may also want to factor in features such as wi-fi and proximity to other establishments as well.
Whether you are a laundromat regular or you only visit once a year, the fact is, using the laundromat is time consuming. Finding your ideal laundromat can help make that time seem less tedious or even be more productive.
Cost and Time
The cost per load on a washer or the number of minutes you get per quarter on a dryer will vary from laundromat to laundromat, and even from machine to machine with the same laundromat. So it may pay for you to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal per laundry load. Some laundromats even offer discounted prices on particular days of the week, too, so keep an eye out for the specials.
See more money saving laundry tips in my other article, 10 Ways to Spend Less at the Laundromat.
Another factor to consider is time. This involves not only the hours of operation for the laundromat itself, but also the time it takes for the washing machines to finish their cycles. Some machines can finish spinning your clothes in as little as 20 minutes, while others take up to 35 (and that’s not even counting the extra cycle option that can add even more minutes). Most of the modern machines with a digital display will count down the remaining time for you, but it’s rare that they will tell you how long the cycles are in advance. So you may have to ask other laundromat patrons, or find out with a little experimentation of your own.
Availability of Machines
At your ideal laundromat, you won’t have to jockey for position and wait for washers or dryers to be available for you to use. There should be enough open machines for you to use when you get there. If you’ve got a flexible enough schedule, you may be able to go at times which are less crowded, or you can look for another Laundromat that has less foot traffic.
Your ideal laundromat should also have the types of machines you are looking for. A number of places advertise large capacity washers, but not all of them have large capacity dryers as well. If you are going to wash a large comforter, for example, you’ll need the bigger machines. And unless you plan on hanging it outside to air-dry in the sun, you will want to go to a Laundromat that has a dryer large enough to handle that bedding.
Location, Location, Location
While distance and travel time are important considerations, you may also want to look into how close the laundromat is to other places you visit. Someplace close to where you live or where you work is helpful, but so is a location near or en-route to other places you go to run errands, go shopping or eat.
Although I recommend in my other article to bring your own snacks, I often seek out Laundromats that are located within walking distance of food. I like to be able to get myself a beverage at a coffee shop after I put my laundry in the washer, and if the timing works out, I sometimes treat myself to lunch at a pizza parlor while I wait for my laundry to dry.
No matter where you go to do your laundry, there is the inevitable time you have to wait for the machines to do their job. So if you can find a place that a pleasant environment, the time will pass by more easily.
Some of the newer laundromats offer free wireless internet , so in theory, you can be productive online while you’re waiting for your wash to spin. Of course, the internet is filled with lots of activities which will help you pass the time as well!
Many laundromats have TVs as well, so if you get stuck doing your wash while the game is on, you can be entertained in the meantime.
Naturally, bringing a low-tech book to read may seem a little old-fashioned in this day and age, but reading while you’re waiting at the laundromat is also a great way to pass the time.