What to Look for in a Laundromat
Finding the best laundromat near you isn’t as simple as just looking for a local location and heading over. Locations with older machines may mean that you’re not getting the best quality you can, and you don’t want to pay more per load for faulty or old units. Here are a few tips to remember while looking around for the best laundromat near you.
Easy to Access Location
Lugging your clothes around town, clean or not, can be frustrating. Find a laundromat that’s local and easy to access all the way from parking to finding an open machine. It’s no fun getting to the location and finding out that you have to wait even longer since all of the machines are being used.
Level of Safety (For You & Your Clothes)
You may or may not stay around the laundromat, but you want to ensure that the location is safe if you do wait. You’ll be in a vulnerable position since you probably won’t have any free hands while transporting your clothing to and from your vehicle, so it’s always nice to have the piece of mind that comes with a safe location. Additionally, if you do leave, you’ll want to ensure that you clothes will be safe in the machines in your absence. While you might think it’s silly to take someone else’s clothes, a quick Google search will show that it happens more often than you’d think.
Modern Machines & Payment
We live in a world where not having cash on you isn’t a rare occurrence anymore. Some newer laundromats have the ability to preload charge cards, which makes life so much easier as you run multiple loads between washers and dryers. Others still offer coin-operated machines, which means you better come with a roll of quarters or make sure that there is a stocked coin machine (especially for 24/7, unattended locations).
We live in a world where not having cash on you isn’t a rare occurrence anymore. Modern laundromats allow you to pay for your machine use with a credit card, which can make life a lot easier.
Sort and Segregate Dirty Laundry by Color, Fabric, and Soil Level
If you’re like most people, all of your clothes are sitting in a laundry basket in a lump of colors, fabrics, and different levels of dirty. While you definitely have the ability to throw everything into the washer without separating anything, you’ll most likely regret it. Different colors and fabrics have special wash requirements that might not work well with the other. Below is a quick list of how to approach a basket full of clothes before washing.
The easiest way to start sorting through the mess is to pull and separate by color. It’s easy to identify what goes where and you’ll be on your way to feeling a little less overwhelmed with the chore ahead. You can easily go with a light and dark pile, but for the best results, make piles that are even more specific. Here’s a quick idea of what you can do:
- Light-colored (Tans or Muted Colors)
- Darks (Blacks & Deep Color Shades)
To reduce any dye transfer between light and dark clothing, make sure that you keep things separate, even when drying.
A lot like a blinker in a car, a lot of people don’t realize that there is a care guide attached to the tag in nearly every piece of clothing or household linen that you buy. The tag will include things like fabric type, care instructions, and other product information. To ensure that your clothes live a happy life without fading and damage, make sure that you wash the right fabrics together. Mixing fabric types can damage your clothes or ruin the coloring, so make sure that synthetic and natural fabrics are separated accordingly.
Additionally, you should always keep delicates separate from heavier weighted clothes, such as jeans and jackets. Heavier fabrics (along with their buttons, zippers, and rivets) can damage delicate clothes during the washing and tumbling cycles.
The last step before washing your dirty clothes is to sort by levels of dirty. You don’t want to mix dirty work jeans in with slightly soiled t-shirts, so make sure that all of your soiled clothing isn’t mixed in. Heavier soiled clothes will need different treatment and wash settings to ensure they come out clean.
Choosing the Right Detergent
It’s almost impossible to not be a bit overwhelmed when you take a look at the laundry products at your local grocery or department store. There are hundreds of different options and scents of cleaning products for garments, but it’s easiest to break it down by type. From powder to liquid, here’s how you should choose the right detergent for your needs.
Powder detergent doesn’t have the same “cool” factor as some of the other heavily marketed laundry products on the market, but it’s the easiest choice for everyday laundry that isn’t heavily soiled. It’s great at getting out normal everyday dirt but doesn’t do as well in cold water washes since powders don’t always dissolve properly at lower temperatures. If you typically wash in cooler temperatures, a liquid detergent is your best bet.
Liquid detergent is exceptionally good at removing oil stains (food and grease) due to its fluid makeup, and as stated above, it’s better for all-around wash temperatures. Liquid detergents can sometimes also act as a stain pretreat, which will cut down on time spent removing some stains on laundry day.
Pods have taken the world by storm the last few years, and it makes sense. They remove the need to scrape at powdered detergent for the right amount or accidental spills while trying to measure out a cap full of liquid detergent. They make laundry day a little easier, but recent findings have made pods something that you might think twice about using. In fact, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the use of pods due to their serious health hazard around children. Their report states that “in the first six months of 2015, poison-control centers nationwide received 6,046 reports of kids 5 and younger ingesting or inhaling pods, or getting pod contents on their skin or in their eyes.” The reports didn’t stop there, as Consumer Reports also found that pods have deadly consequences when placed around those that suffer from dementia.
For the best results and lack of health risks, stick to regular liquid or powder detergents.
Properly Drying Clothes
Properly washing a garment is only half the battle. The chore of laundry is a grind, and it’s easy to just throw everything into a dryer, turn it on, and go watch TV, but you could be decreasing the longevity of your garments by doing so. Refer to the care instructions of your garments for drying requirements, especially for anything delicate or synthetic. Some clothes will need to be hung up to air dry, while others can deal with a standard tumble in the dryer.
Hang-Dry or Tumble
Dryers just seem like the quickest and easiest way to go from worrying about laundry to going and doing what you really want to be doing, but proper drying is half the battle when trying to keep your clothes in the best condition. Activewear that has stretchable fabric added in should always be hung up to dry as high heat can damage or limit the lifespan of the garment. Lighter fabrics can be hung up on hangers as they won’t be damaged by the weight of the fabric like heavier fabrics will (i.e. wool sweaters or heavier cotton jackets).
Some fabrics can handle higher temperatures, while others need to simply be tossed around with room-temperature air. One thing to note is that all bedding should be dried on a high-heat setting to help kill any dust mites and other contaminants that may have transferred onto your bed while sleeping. For the best results, make sure to check the care label of your garment. Fabrics like wool and poly-blends should never be dried in high heat.
Wash and Fold Laundry Services
Doing laundry is one of the biggest pains that nearly everyone faces on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis. In fact, the average American spends up to 8 hours per month on laundry-related chores, with larger families giving up even more of their valuable time to ensure they look good. If you’re someone that values their time and energy, a wash and fold laundry service might be the best option for you.
These services are usually priced by the pound and your clothes will get the proper treatment they deserve, from cleaning to folding. People all over the world are starting to outsource their laundry duties to local laundry pros in their city, and are instead using their newly found free time to do something they love. If you’re ready to get your Saturday life back, find the best laundry service near you and get back to living life.