NJ AIR QUALITY BLOG

Why You Should Go To The Laundromat

ByMarc Silberberg

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Laundromats have changed and been upgraded in the last decade so much that they are places for people to meet and greet. Although you will find all different types and ages of people in this venue it’s fun to mingle casually sometimes. You’re at your most natural wearing your casual attire which makes everyone a bit more comfortable to chat. Here are some reasons for you to hang around your neighborhood laundromat even if you have a set of washers and dryers in your home or apartment.

1 – Save Your Washer and Dryer from Breaking from Heavy Oversized Laundry

Did you ever try to wash a quilt, heavy towel, or adult terry robe in your personal washer? There is a good chance that after using it just a few times to wash such heavy loads it may break, and you will have to call a repairman. Our home washers and dryers, no matter how big the drums are, are just not strong enough to wash these types of items. The cost of calling in a repairman could be over one hundred dollars just for the house call and the parts and labor will be additional. You can save on repair costs from the get-go because worse comes to worse if the laundromat dryer or washer breaks down, it is the owner of the laundromat who will have to pay for the repairs, not you.

2 – Take Your Child’s Smelly Camp Laundry to a Laundromat

Your child comes home from a complete summer in camp. If you are like most parents, you will dump each and every bit of clothing and linen into your laundry room ASAP. Your concern of many different contaminants will be justified if you see something crawling on the laundry just brought home from camp. Do you believe that your son actually changed his linen the whole time he was away? Who wants moldy clothes washed in your spic and span washer and in your almost new dryer?

Now, you could easily justify doing the laundry at home because it’s convenient and cheaper. However, this is looking at life in the short term. If you are fortunate enough to have an infant at home, would you like to wash the baby’s clothes in the same machine as the camp staff? I think not because your personal washer and dryer are not for such messy items. Yes, it may seem ironic that I am saying to go to the laundromat when you have one at home, however, when there are industrial washers and dryers nearby it pays to be careful with contamination and exposure of the rest of the family to the camp gear. It is true that a good hot dryer does kill most germs however, you cannot compare it to the heat generated by an industrial dryer.

3 – Teach Your Children the Value of Money

Although many laundromats today have apps for paying and quarters for the washer and dryer may soon become obsolete if your laundromat still uses coins this is a great way to teach your child the value of money.

Go to the bank with your son or daughter or maybe you have several kids coming home from camp and show them how to get a roll of quarters. Then you can teach them that a roll of quarters is equal to ten dollars which may surprise them. They probably think a quarter is not worth much and they will realize that they do add up to a nice sum.

4 – Keeping Your Kids Occupied After School

You might try a trip to the laundromat as an outing for young children. Some of the new ones have food and drink to buy as well as other recreational options. Some parents want to have all the laundry done by the time their children come home from school, but the pressure will be off if you wait till they return from school and ask you what are we doing now? You can give them each a small amount of cash and explain that they will be helping you with the laundry and they can buy something as a reward.

Young children are capable of folding laundry properly if they are given detailed directions. It is advisable to have your children get used to safety pins or special socks holders so that they will not have to search the laundry basket for pairs of socks. There are tables to fold your laundry so you can put some sample folded clothing or linen for them to copy.

Another idea if you have several children in tow is to separate the laundry of each child. Then the child can actually do their own laundry instead of just watching you. Imagine having several washers and dryers to use instead of just the one that you have at home in your basement or laundry room. I believe that when a child sees how much laundry they have, in all likelihood they will reduce the amount of laundry they automatically put into the home hamper. A good idea is to purchase a separate hamper for each child and keep it in their room so that the laundry doesn’t get mixed up.

5 – Keep the Family Warm in the Winter

Living in an apartment has advantages but comfortable heating is not always one of them. Some buildings that are old have faulty heating systems that don’t always work and it’s no fun for kids to come home to a cold home. Winter is a great time to proceed to the local laundromat to warm up from the tumbling clothes dryers. If you are lucky enough there will be a coffee and hot cocoa machine to warm you and your children.

6 – For Those Who Can’t Sleep

Are you an insomniac? Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both? Why not use your time wisely and go with a friend or spouse to the laundromat? If you feel uncomfortable in the one near your home, then get into the car and head for the fanciest laundromat you can find. Some people do their laundry late at night to avoid lines either in the basement laundry room of their apartment house or their local laundromat. Of course, this all depends on which neighborhood you live or frequent but there are quite a number of upscale laundromats that would be safe to inhabit in the wee hours. If you like quiet then this would be the time to wash, dry and fold your clothes with practically no one to disturb you. You can take a book or your phone or iPad and relax and maybe spend a couple of hours there and be ready for bed when you get home.

7 – Volunteer to Help Someone with Their Laundry

Do you live near an army base? Are you close to a war zone? There is a good chance that the answer to these two queries is no but there are at least two wars raging on this planet and soldiers are fighting hard and unfortunately sacrificing their lives.

In the Ukraine and Gaza, the soldiers are on or near home territory meaning they are not across the world like the soldiers of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Introduced in Israel at the start of the war was a huge hauler which brought industrial washers and dryers to the army base near Gaza. When the soldiers come back to Israel from fighting in Gaza some have not changed their clothes in days. There are volunteers who offer to wash their uniforms and underwear as a good deed. Those army uniforms are quite stiff and would not do well in home washers and dryers. However, with these industrial appliances the soldiers can go back to the front feeling a little bit cleaner and stronger from their short furlough.

These washers and dryers must be attached by hose to a water source on the base and the soldiers and volunteers do the laundry while a live band is playing with a barbeque grilling. It’s quite incongruous that just a short distance away their friends are fighting for their lives but these fortunate soldiers are being pampered by volunteers. So, if you find some extra time on your hands and you are going to the laundromat you can do a good deed by asking a shut in if you can help with the laundry. Or better yet take him or her for an outing to the laundromat.

8 – Is Lint Cleaning Becoming a Nuisance?

Your new clothes dryer has just been delivered and it’s spanking clean and shiny. You do your first load and very carefully clean the lint trap. This time you tell yourself you will not let a lint problem get out of hand like with your last dryer. There was just no way to get the lint entirely removed from your dryer after a while. You realize that your biggest mistake was not listening to your friend when she told you to call in a professional dryer cleaning service or air quality specialist.

Anyone who wants to keep their home safe from fires and lint buildup should have their dryer serviced regularly depending on how many loads you do. One thing you don’t have to worry about when using a dryer at the laundromat is cleaning out the lint trap.

9 – Meet Your Destiny at the Laundromat

Whether it’s a new job, a larger apartment, or a soul mate there are many happy ending stories that began in the laundromat. While waiting for the laundry to be done a fellow launderer may ask you what you do for a living. If you are in between jobs, you can slowly have the subject of being interested in a new position, come into the conversation. It’s embarrassing to ask someone you know if they have heard of any job for you because every time you meet them you sense that they are feeling badly that they have not come up with an answer for you. However, if it’s someone you probably won’t meet again it’s certainly easier to ask, especially if that person asked to borrow a dryer sheet.

People who have met their spouse at the laundromat are proud to repeat the story of how they met. It’s certainly more upstanding than meeting at a bar. What someone is doing while waiting for the laundry to be done tells a lot about the person. Is he or she busy with their phone and if yes what are they watching or how are they speaking to the person on the other end? Are they using any bad language or are they speaking in a respectable, warm, and friendly tone? Did you know that Dolly Parton, one of the most famous country singers of all time, met her husband Carl outside the laundromat in 1964 and they have been married over fifty years.

10 – Advocating for the Community

Do you have a gripe about something going on in your neighborhood that you want to address but don’t have time to go from door to door? Chances are most people doing their laundry are from your neighborhood and a casual conversation will always win over a cold call or uninvited visit.

Final Words

Some of us will never enter a laundromat unless our washer and dryer are not in working order, however, going to a laundromat once in a while will give you a sense of what’s going on in the neighborhood as well as keeping your kids out of trouble.

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