Thursday, 17 August 2006

Launderettes

There have been times in my life when I have relied on the nearest launderette. But we currently have an environmentally friendly washing machine (and no tumble drier). The washing machine broke down recently and we're waiting for parts, so it's back to the launderette! Not so long ago there were two launderettes within walking distance from where we live. Now its a bus ride to the nearest one. I always think that launderettes are a vital service - perhaps they should be funded by local government?

Advantages of the launderette
If you arrange a service wash, someone else dries and folds your washing
No more washing hanging around the flat!
A community resource
Potentially saves on the number of washing machines produced in the world

Disadvantages
Having to carry the washing down three flights of stairs, along the road to the bus stop and across town on public transport
Just because they're in a launderette, doesn't make tumble driers environmentally friendly
Most launderettes don't use environmentally friendly washing powders
What are other people's experiences of / views about launderettes?

5 comments:

Nia said...

That they are a complete pain. I lived in a residential complex that had its own laundry rooms and everything was quite private, so everyone left the clothes washing, went home, and came back an hour later to fill the dryer, went home again, came back just to pick the clothes. I don't want to imagine the nightmare of doing the same in a public place where someone could come and take your clothes, so you better just stay in. And walking around carrying a big load of clothes, either clean or dirty I don't much care. And planning laundry around the weather and the opening hours of the place. Nah. Give me my own washing machine.

(it also comes from having been brought up in Spain, where there aren't any launderettes that I know of)

FARfetched said...

Sounds like a nice middle ground to the extremes we have in the US. I don't know of any places here where you can get a "service wash" — unless, of course, you're talking about dry cleaning & then you pretty much have to send it out.

For regular clothes, we have laundromats — basically a room full of coin-operated washers & dryers. Sometimes they're attended, usually not. Like Nia said, there's always that possibility that someone will take your load (more likely just a pair of Levi's) but I've never had that happen. The few times I've had to use them, I considered them a good place to catch up on my reading.

FAR Manor is a long way from everywhere, though: 10 miles, maybe 15, to the nearest laundromat. Having a service wash available would be a godsend when the washer breaks down — I could drop off a bag on the way to work and pick it up on the way home.

Hm. Maybe I should stop talking about putting up a solar clothes dryer (aka clothesline) outside and just do it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Nia, no I wouldn't want to risk having my clothes stolen in a launderette. But the service wash does prevent that. At the moment with no washing machine our choice is either hand wash or go to the launderette - and I know which I prefer! Also the launderette is a real boon for people who can't afford a washing machine, who live in rented flats without a washing machine or who are travelling through a place. Far-fetched, I would love to have a garden to put a clotheline in!

Katherine said...

I spent 2 years living in a flat in Leeds without a washing machine and with nowhere to plumb one in. The first laundrette I went to was within walking distance but was also up a hill so I had to take the bus. It put it's prices up so I went to the second laundrette, which was even further up the hill but seemed a nicer place.

It wasn't. This would no longer be a problem in Scotland but the thing that really annoyed and upset me was that people smoked in both laundrettes, including the staff. I wrote and complained to the second laundrette about this but got no answer.

I only ever used the dryer if I was doing a bedding wash and I always took my own Ecover stuff. I ended up investing in a 'granny trolley' to transport the washing around as my holdall on wheels was too unwieldy for the bus. Once I had got off the bus I then had to go uphill to my house and up two flights of stairs.

I like the idea of laundrettes but they take up time and in England, where you can smoke in them, are often quite disgusting. When I moved up to Edinburgh one of the few stipulations of choosing a flat was that it had a washing machine. It made me a much happier person!

Crafty Green Poet said...

You're right Katherine, life is much easier for having a washing machine. Urgh! Smoking in Launderettes - not nice at all!