Strip the bedsheets, get the towels, gather the dirty clothes baskets, grab the detergent and dryer sheets, shove them in the car and drive to the laundromat. After returning home, put away the fresh laundry and iron the few items that need pressing. Repeat the process a couple of times each month. It’s enough to make a person seriously consider nudism as a lifestyle.
The inconvenience factor has gotten worse over the past few years, too. There used to be several laundromats in town. However, my favorite one changed their business plan to only doing commercial contract laundry–uniforms, towels, and floor mats of corporate customers. Another one closed following the death of its owner. Now, there are two laundromats that serve the needs of this town of more than 20,000 inhabitants.
The downtown laundromat is unsupervised and does not have a change machine nor other conveniences. The other place has plenty of conveniences and also houses a tanning salon. The second one is also very crowded.
Every year or so, the coin boxes of the washing machines are altered in order to require more coins per use. The dryer cycles are shortened in order to gobble up more quarters. At both locations, the ratio of washers to dryers greatly favors the washers. It takes a bag full of quarters just to do a few loads of washing.
Laundromats foster unhappiness, frustration, and boredom.
Feeble attempts to distract patrons from the unpleasantness of laundry day are present. A few teevees and outdated video games are in the building. Plus, the games require quarters to operate them.
Laundromats are places to learn patience and tolerance. Most of the time, there are crying, bored children who run around and cause their parents to yell and scream commands and threats. It’s also rather embarrassing to have an otherwise adorable little kid strike up a conversation while I’m trying to sort and fold my socks and underwear.
Something must be done about the lack of tables we need in order to fold our laundry. The same can be said about the shortage of roll-around basket-carts.
If you have ever used laundromats, you’ve probably encountered malfunctioning or broken machines. We discover bad machines after we’ve inserted coins and attempted to start the wash cycle. If there is no laundromat attendant on duty, good luck getting a refund. Also, good luck finding paper, pen, and tape to leave a note to warn the next patrons.
Speaking of other patrons, there are always a few who leave the laundromat to do other chores or whatever. Their clothes go through the cycles unattended. It’s annoying when a washer becomes unbalanced and struggles through the spin cycles. Afterwards, the washed clothes remain in the machine, hogging it until the patron finally decides to return. This happens despite signs that request patrons not to leave laundry unattended.
Sometimes I encounter empty detergent containers and used dryer sheets as well as empty soft drink bottles and food wrappers around the machines I need to use. This makes me say grrrr.
Another annoyance is the person who thinks she can “reserve” a dryer or two before her washing is finished. She needs to remember that everyone must wait for an empty dryer the same as the rest of us. Furthermore, when the drying is done, the machine should be emptied promptly. Also, if there is a lint screen, the fuzz needs to be scraped off before the next person uses the dryer, yuck.
In case you haven’t guessed, I composed this rant at the laundromat while waiting for the dryers to finish their cycles.
The Blue Jay of Happiness notes that on today’s date in 1934, the first pay self-service laundry opened in Fort Worth, Texas. C.A. Tannahill rented electric washing machines to patrons by the hour. There were no electric dryers at the Washateria.