Pop Quiz: What's the worst thing to do on a gorgeous day off work? Answer: Sit in a steamy laundromat for hours. But a trip to the laundromat doesn't have to be drudgery. With a few tricks, a trip to the laundromat can be efficient and maybe even fun.
Try to avoid going to the laundromat immediately after work or on busy weekend hours. That's when laundromat users will have to wait for machines, and heading out during those busy laundromat hours can make a quick trip turn into an all-day affair. Try for weekday mornings or weekday late afternoons when more machines will be free. Before leaving home for the laundromat, pre-sort clothes and treat all stains. Both steps allow you to drop clothes into the machines quickly, rather than taking the time to sort and stain-treat before starting the wash cycle. Also, pre-treating at home means the stain remover can stay at home. One less thing to lug along to the laundromat! However, one thing to always bring to the laundromat are quarters! Laundromat change machines can sometimes be out of order, so it's better to make a habit out of buying a roll of quarters with every trip to the bank so a quarter stash will always be available.
At the Laundromat
The goal is to drop pre-sorted clothes quickly into individual machines, but not without a little work before-hand. Give those chosen machines the sniff test. If the nose detects bleach, move on or be sure to load it with whites. Some laundromat-goers are a little overzealous with the bleach, which can make bleach hang around in the machine. Tossing a dark load into a machine with bleach residue can turn a favorite pair of jeans into a blotchy nightmare. For people who don't love communal washing machines, quickly wiping down the inside of a machine with a cleaning cloth before using it can give germophobes some peace of mind.
Wise Time Use
Don't consider those wash and dry cycles wasted time. Use the washing time to run errands, do homework, or fit in a quick workout by jogging around the neighborhood. Or make laundry day fun by inviting friends along and grabbing a cup of coffee during the wash cycle. Just be sure to keep an eye on the time so that your clothes don't end up sitting in a washing machine or dryer, forcing another laundromat patron to move them.
Some people swear by laundry bags because they're easy to store and transport, while others prefer to fold laundry into a basket rather than risk their clothes becoming a wrinkled mess in a bag. The choice is up to the individual. One thing to always have on hand, however, is a big garbage bag. If the weather turns wet during a day at the laundromat, freshly dried clothes can be tossed into the garbage bag or covered with it so they don't get wet again on the way home.
For more information on how to best utilize the services offered by a laundromat, talk to someone at a company like Indian Village Laundromat.