This blog posts comes to you all the way from Australia’s cutest Laundromat - Koala Park Laundromat Burleigh Heads - on the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland.
Before you leave home:
Check every basket, under every teenager's bed and in every room for any and all possible signs of laundry.
Many Laundromats these days have jumbo sized machines – we have the two largest washers available to the public on the Gold Coast for example – so, kill 2 or 3 birds with 1 stone and bring along as much laundry as possible!
Gather some coins: Our Laundromat has card readers on every washer and dryer – we also have a coin change machine - but not all Laundromats are like ours. Therefore, research whether your local Laundromat has card readers / coin dispensers and if they don’t, gather as many coins as you can before you leave home.
Bring your own detergent: Save money by bringing along your own detergent and softener. Sure, most Laundromats have dispensers for detergent and softener – but you’ll $ave if you bring your own.
Think about your personal safety: Not everywhere is as safe as the Gold Coast - and you could be reading this blog post in a crime-riddled neighbourhood somewhere - so do some research before you leave home.
Choose a Laundromat where you are going to feel safe - especially so if you’re visiting after dark. You are looking for a well lit Laundromat that can easily be seen from the road. You don’t want to be sitting in a dimly lit facility that is tucked away or in an alley or that doesn’t have passing traffic or passersby. Laundromats that have active and working CCTV systems are a good and safe choice too.
So, if a Laundromat that is usually clean appears to be a bit messy - be forgiving about this because it can happen in an instant and it is not usually the owners fault. BUT - importantly - before deciding to use the washers in any Laundromat you need to check the machines for grime and mildew - grimy machines that are ingrained with black mould particles are not due to messy pizza party customers – they are a sign of neglect and not good for your health.
Once you have an idea of what is what – choose 1 or more washing machines of the size best suited to your individual laundry loads. You might find your whites all fit together in an 18kg machine while your colours easily fit in a smaller machine on which you’ll choose a nice sudsy cold wash.
Do not over stuff the machines. This is a false economy. You need to leave space for the water to do its work.
Next, check your clothes for stray items such as keys, coins, screws and nails etc – these things can damage both your clothes and the Laundromat owners’ machines. For your own sake, also check for tissues in pockets so you don’t get a lint-filled wash!
Check the washer before you add your clothes to it. Dexter washing machines for example spin at 100 and 200 gs and that causes small items to sometimes become centrifugally ‘stuck’ to the roof of washing machines. Checking the washer before you add your own clothes also ensures that you spot (and remove) not just a stray sock - but something damaging such as a rogue lipstick for example which would wreak havoc with your laundry and ruin your favourite t-shirt!
Read the machines’ instructions carefully. If still in doubt as to how to operate them, ask a fellow Laundromat customer. If still unsure, look for a telephone number – owners who care are always super happy to guide you through and think aloud with you so that you get the best possible outcome from your visit to their Laundromat.
If you have a great experience at any Laundromat – it is because the owners care and take pride in their Laundromat - and they love making customers happy.
Despite the fact that laundry can be quite a chore, some Laundromat owners - such as ourselves - value your time and your custom very much and want you to have a positive experience.
We do so by providing a clean and inviting space, maintaining the machines and making sure there are extras for you to enjoy.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and if - on your life's magical journey - you ever find yourself on Australia’s Gold Coast – we would love to have you visit our little cute Laundromat by the beach.
Live long and prosper.