Laundromats and laundry services
Whether you are a traveler or just a person without private laundry facilities in your home, there are many ways you can get clean clothes. If you use laundry services regularly, these tasks won't take up too much of your time. Here are some options you should consider.
Coin laundry facilities are common in apartments, and some are even available free of charge to tenants. Public laundromats are everywhere and range from basic facilities with washers, dryers, chairs and a few tables to multi-service establishments with cable TV, Internet, coffee, magazines and on-site attendants.
Generally, coin operated laundry machines cost from $1 to $2 per load while dryers run about $1 to $2 per hour. Most coin laundry establishments will also have vending machines for soap, bleach and snacks, and change for dollar bills is readily available. Save money by bringing your own supplies, and don't forget hangers and baskets if you need them.
Depending on how much laundry you have and how busy you expect the laundromat to be, budget enough time to get the job done. Don't leave your laundry unattended, as management generally assumes no responsibility for your things. If others are waiting, they may remove your laundry to gain access to the equipment.
If you have no vehicle and the laundromat is nearby, you can use a small, rolling grocery cart to transport your laundry to the site. If you have a ways to go and public transit isn't an option, take a taxi or ask a friend to drive you.
Wash and Fold Laundry Services
Laundromats often include wash and fold services for customers who prefer to have their laundry done for them. The laundry is dropped off and the customer is told when to return to pick it up. Some examples of common wash and fold services include pressing, hand washing and dry cleaning.
There are also wash and fold services offering pickup and delivery, generally with a 24-hour turnaround time. This may be worthwhile if you have no car, have too much to do or live in a fifth-floor walk-up. Some maid services may also offer laundering as a supplementary option.
Wash and fold laundry service costs about $1 per pound with a 5 to 10 pound minimum. Expect to accrue extra charges for pressing, hand washing, dry cleaning and pickup or delivery.
Laundry Facilities for Travelers
Many hotels and motels have coin-operated laundry facilities on site. Check ahead of time if you want to know for sure. Otherwise, ask hotel staff for directions to the closest laundromat or wash and fold service.
Many vacationers enjoy visiting laundromats in new places if the facility is easily accessible. The traveler can relax, chat with locals, watch people and experience the local culture from the inside.
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