Maybe you’re a regular or Fitzroy local, maybe you’re a traveller visiting our beautiful city or maybe your washing machine decided to kick the bucket at home and leaving you a nice soapy mess to clean up in the process… Either way, love it or hate it, today you’re using a Laundromat!
So what is the Laundrette Code?
Before I owned a coin laundry the only time I had ever used one was travelling overseas and let’s just say that the experience was…… mixed. It’s an interesting experience letting others see your holey under jocks and my partner’s lingerie and working out instructions in another language was also fun. So far as the laundry itself, well I learned what I needed to do to make the experience as pleasant as possible for our customers. The rest is kinda up to you to make the entire experience a good one.
I thought I’d share a few tips on how to survive the experience and hopefully leave with not only clean, fresh smelling clothes but a smile and desire to actually come back again.
How social are you?
Sometimes you have no option as to when you need to use a coin laundry but given the choice what day/time you go can seriously alter your experience. For the social butterflies among us you will love weekends, especially afternoons as that is when everyone who is anyone is doing their washing. Most evenings after 6pm can get a bit full but if you want space and quiet to perhaps read the paper or a good book, I would suggest during business hours or Wednesday or Friday night. We are a pretty big laundry and rarely have no machines available but some laundries are tight for space meaning you can wait for quite a while to get a machine in the busy times.
Missing any socks?
I’ve often joked that if I got a $1 for every odd sock I collected out of my machines I could retire within a year! It amazes me how many items, especially socks, are left behind in the laundry. The biggest reason for this is that people do not properly check the washing machines after it finishes by spinning it a few times around. Socks/underwear often stick to the inside at the front, hidden from view. Carefully check the entire inside or your socks might make it into my future retirement fund as soon as I can find someone to buy odd socks for $1 each! Anyone…..? 50c even….?
How do you wash?
BYO detergent or buy from the vending machine? Do I use Hot, Warm or Cold water? What temperature do I dry my stuff on and for how long? What is Prewash and gentle cycle mean? All really good and valid questions and the answer to each really depends on what you are washing and how dirty/stained they are. This is a pretty big topic that I am working on getting lots of great information about on our website over the coming months but as a general rule, below are a few tips to think about when next using the laundry:
Do not overfill the machines. A good wash and rinse will only happen if there is a little room for the items to move around. Aim for about ¾ full and you should be fine.
- Detergent is important but make sure you use the right amount. You can tell this by the suds through the window. A few bubbles with a bit of froth is excellent but if your washing looks like it’s getting drunk in a new year’s foam party you’ve got yourself way too much and it’s probably not going to rinse well. Helpful tip, add some fabric softener to neutralise the detergent until the mix is just right.
- Water temperature: Cotton or Linen HOT, Clothing WARM, First time wash, Woolens or delicates, COLD. Whilst there are exceptions these general rules will keep you out of trouble.
- PREWASH is an extra little first wash and should only be used for particularly stained or dirty items. Remember that in many machines you need to add extra detergent after the prewash cycle is finished or you will have none in the main Wash cycle.
- DRYING – Commercial dryers are HOT, much hotter than what you have at home so be careful. Clothing and cotton linen is safer on Warm, delicates and high quality linen on Cooler setting. Towels are ok on HOT. Probably best to avoid using the dryer for Woolens, nylon or those kinky leathers used on Saturday night
Don’t be afraid to say hello
The Laundromat does not need to be a boring experience, sure you can chill and listen to some great music, read or grab a coffee next door, but my experience has shown me that you might just experience a really unexpected and great conversation by just saying hello. Check out my earlier blog on just this topic Blog Link
Our laundry is pretty safe, well lit with 8 security cameras and live feed, but when quiet and unattended one must always be watchful. Although rare some people do see the laundry as ‘free clothing giveaway sale’ and of an evening there are sometimes some over eager partygoers who can’t handle their booze. Don’t be afraid to call the emergency number to report either a hazard or problem in the laundry, stay inside where it is well lit in view of cameras and if in trouble call the police who are close by.
It is Everyone’s Laundry
Remember, the Laundromat is for everyone and although we all come from different walks of life, inside the laundry we are all just washing clothes. You deserve courtesy and respect as does everyone there. The Fitzroy locals are by and large wonderful people who are generally always happy for chat, very helpful to novice users and good company to chill with whilst waiting for washing to finish. Enjoy your washing experience and should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or via our website.
Wishing you all happy washing!