Author Topic: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer  (Read 10504 times)

VladTheImpaler

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« on: June 13, 2016, 08:41:49 PM »
Have any Mustachians done a cost breakdown about what is the better deal?

I currently rent an apartment with full-size washer/dryer hookups (electric).
I don't currently have a washer and dryer, so I've been going to the laundromat 2 or 3 times a month.
I found reliable used washer dryers on craigslist for about $300 for a set.
Don't know exactly how much I'm spending in quarters at the laundromat.
Is it more than the electricity and water bill increase at home would be?


Dollar Slice

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4736
  • Age: 42
  • Location: New York City
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 08:50:22 PM »
This page has an extensive rundown of how much it costs to wash clothes:
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html

And this one discusses dryer costs:
http://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-much-do-you-really-save-by-air-drying-your-clothes/

I'm not sure how much you pay at the laundromat but for me it would be a lot cheaper to use my own washer-dryer ($1.75 to wash, $2.00 to dry vs. less than a dollar to do it at home). But it would take me years to make back a $300 investment.

MoonShadow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2542
  • Location: Louisville, Ky.
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 08:51:10 PM »
If you have a place to hook them up, owning your own washer & dryer is by far cheaper than going to a laundromat on a regular basis.  The convenience is also a factor that can't be over stated.  If you want to do it the mustacian way, just buy the washer, and hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline.  They do make racks for this to be done indoors, if you don't have a balcony.

VladTheImpaler

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 09:44:31 PM »
Thanks for the links with all the great info!
I live on the 3rd floor so getting them up here installed and then removing them when I move may be a deciding factor...especially since I can't make back my $300 investment with a year.
hmmm...will have to think about all this.

Jschange

  • Guest
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 09:46:42 PM »
In my experience, if water is included in your rent, you can save even more by hand washing regularly and using the coin machines just sometimes

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10676
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 10:03:32 PM »
If you're only going to be there a year, buying one is tricky. Of course, the longer you're planning to be there, the more likely you'll realize a savings, but be sure to get LL's written permission to install your own washer. Consider insurance as well. If the damn thing backs up/overflows, you don't want to be liable for the damage. I just bought a one-year-old Whirlpool top-loading HE washer at an estate sale for $75, so see what you can find for a better price. Forget the dryer, as others have advised.

If your LL pays for water, a washer could easily become more cost effective than a laundromat.

Otherwise, consider making one of these and supplement with less frequent trips to the laundromat:

http://www.survivopedia.com/diy-bucket-washer/

If you really want to go crazy and have higher level skills, knock yourself out with this option:

http://www.instructables.com/id/5-Gallon-Bucket-1HP-1-Human-Power-Front-Load-Cloth/

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6385
  • Location: BC
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 12:35:34 AM »
You may be able to sell the washer dryer if they are in good running condition, for $300.  Most people arrange for pick up, so all you need to do is keep it connected (so it can be tested), then unhook it when they are ready to move, and clean up any water puddles during moving.

That said,  If I was renting for a year or less, I would hand wash in a bucket / tub about half my clothes, and laundomat the other half (if it's just me).   I used to go to a friend's place too, but the laundromat is good for people watching and reading (Warm, lots of white noise, can finish 4 loads in the time for 1 load, etc).

jim555

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2068
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2016, 03:51:31 AM »
I use a coin machine for $5 a month.  I don't want to take up space, spend on electric, risk flooding (I am in a condo upper floor), outlay the cash for a machine, worry about it breaking.
I have enough clothes to last a month, this cuts down on the number of times I need to go.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2112
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2016, 05:30:37 AM »
I'm sure it's cheaper for a single person or couple to use a coin laundry mat.  You can also get laundry done real quick by running a couple machines at the same time.
Washer and dryer in the house is largely for convenience as you can run a load while doing something else, and don't have to travel to the laundry mat.

Tjat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2016, 06:26:42 AM »
It's probably cheaper to use the coin-op for the year, unless you can get a killer deal on a washer. However, after using a coin-op laundromat for a few years, it would take some serious life disaster for me to ever do that again, regardless of cost. Complete waste of time.

slappy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 725
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 06:50:59 AM »
When I used a laundry mat for a short time, it was about $10 a week for DH and I. I think that covered about 3 loads, including drying. So I feel like a washer/dryer in house will usually be cheaper.

Ann

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2016, 07:20:35 AM »
If your apartment already has the hook ups, honestly I think it will break down to convenience and luck.  If you get a good deal on the w/d and they end up being reliable, you'll probably break even in a year or two (not including utility usage)

For me, I use the laundry units at my complex.  I chose this apartment because it was $50 cheaper a month than the other complexes similar distance to work that ha hook ups.  The w/d is literally downstairs and around the corner from me.  Because I work odd hours, I do laundry at odd hours and never have a problem competing for a unit at 3am, even whine it feels like half of them are out of order.  I've never had anything stolen from me.

If I experienced repeated thefts, or could never use the w/d units when I wanted due to volume or had to schlep my clothes off-site I would rethink this as a long term situation.  I do miss being able to quickly run a small load because one or two things got really soiled or start a load, take a nap and then flip laundry.

Sounds like you're already paying in part (complexes can charge more rent). 

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10676
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2016, 08:53:47 AM »
Because I work odd hours, I do laundry at odd hours and never have a problem competing for a unit at 3am...
God, I hope that your laundry room is isolated enough that doing this does not disturb your neighbors.

Ann

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2016, 08:59:15 AM »
Because I work odd hours, I do laundry at odd hours and never have a problem competing for a unit at 3am...
God, I hope that your laundry room is isolated enough that doing this does not disturb your neighbors.

The apartment manager has never posted any courtesy hours, so I assume so.  But I would be doing laundry at 3am, anyway, if it were in my apartment so that probably wouldn't be any better.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10676
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2016, 11:51:13 AM »
Because I work odd hours, I do laundry at odd hours and never have a problem competing for a unit at 3am...
God, I hope that your laundry room is isolated enough that doing this does not disturb your neighbors.

The apartment manager has never posted any courtesy hours, so I assume so.  But I would be doing laundry at 3am, anyway, if it were in my apartment so that probably wouldn't be any better.
Uh, so courtesy is only important if it's mandated? Wow, just wow.

Dollar Slice

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4736
  • Age: 42
  • Location: New York City
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2016, 12:15:29 PM »
The apartment manager has never posted any courtesy hours, so I assume so.  But I would be doing laundry at 3am, anyway, if it were in my apartment so that probably wouldn't be any better.
Uh, so courtesy is only important if it's mandated? Wow, just wow.

I think the implication is that if the washer/dryer was audible in one or more apartments, they would have posted courtesy hours. Since they haven't done so, presumably they are located in such a way that they don't bother anyone.

I used to live right over the basement laundry room in my building - my bedroom was right over the machines - and there was virtually no noise from it that I could hear. There were no courtesy hours posted. There didn't need to be.

Ann

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2016, 04:47:21 AM »
Yes, thank you!  That is what I was saying.  If the noise were a problem, I assume someone would complain to management and they would let the tenants know late night laundry is a nuisance.  Then maintaining certain hours is a courtesy.  Otherwise it just increases competition for available w/d per tentant.  Going at low volume times seems logical AND courteous.

Choices

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
    • ChooseBetterLife
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2016, 09:16:47 AM »
Agree w/ convenience and cost issues as mentioned above.

As for noise, if you turn off the buzzer notifying you that the machines are done, then it shouldn't wake the neighbors. Ours has the option to make it loud, soft, or off.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2911
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2016, 10:30:39 AM »
The most Mustachian way would be taking it back to the 19th century:

http://www.oldandinteresting.com/images/wooden%20washtubs.jpg

Then line-dry

The costs here are 1) up-front for the tub and plunger/dolly and washboard 2) soap 3) water

The benefits are that you save money on water and electricity in the long-run, and get a good upper-body and core workout from manually washing all your own laundry!

Can't go wrong either way :D

:P

« Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 10:33:25 AM by jplee3 »

MoonShadow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2542
  • Location: Louisville, Ky.
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2016, 11:33:32 AM »
The most Mustachian way would be taking it back to the 19th century:

http://www.oldandinteresting.com/images/wooden%20washtubs.jpg

Then line-dry

The costs here are 1) up-front for the tub and plunger/dolly and washboard 2) soap 3) water

The benefits are that you save money on water and electricity in the long-run, and get a good upper-body and core workout from manually washing all your own laundry!

Can't go wrong either way :D

:P

You can get the washboard from Lehman's.

https://www.lehmans.com/t-vos.aspx

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4001
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2016, 05:41:41 AM »
We rent. The previous tenants sold us their W/d for 200$ so they didn't have to move it. We will be trying to pass that deal on to whoever moves in after us. It is a house, so maybe different than an apartment situation, but you may be able to do the same.

That said, if I was in a building with dryers available, I'd just get the washer, and hang dry, and use the building dryer for the occasional need to dry (I dry all H's work clothes because otherwise I'd have to iron them all).

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10676
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2016, 12:42:28 PM »
You can get the washboard from Lehman's.
https://www.lehmans.com/t-vos.aspx
Wow! Thanks for that trip down the rabbit hole! Six minutes learning about founder Jay Lehamn was time well spent. Now, how do I get to Ohio?

MoonShadow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2542
  • Location: Louisville, Ky.
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2016, 02:49:34 PM »
You can get the washboard from Lehman's.
https://www.lehmans.com/t-vos.aspx
Wow! Thanks for that trip down the rabbit hole! Six minutes learning about founder Jay Lehamn was time well spent. Now, how do I get to Ohio?

I never bothered to read that, is it really worth 6 minutes?

And you know that they can ship it to you, right?

redbird

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2016, 08:34:11 PM »
I had the same situation with my apartment, in that it had only hookups. The leasing office told us our choices were to rent a washer/dryer for $35/month, use the coin laundry by the leasing office, go to another laundromat, or buy our own.

I bought a washing machine brand new. It was a basic, no frills one that only cost a few hundred dollars. The delivery was free. Yes, they even brought it up to my 3rd floor apartment. I did not buy a dryer, and instead opted to hang dry my clothes on some IKEA clothes drying racks. It didn't even need a year to break even with the same costs I would pay for renting or going to a coin laundry.

My particular apartment has flat rate water, so those costs would remain the same no matter what. Obviously I have a small electric increase, for both the washing machine and the electric fan I point at the clothes when they're on the drying rack to help them dry better/faster (I dry them indoors since I only have a small balcony and am not allowed to dry my clothes out there per my lease), but I only wash laundry 1-2 times a week.

I will probably be moving in the next few months, but it'll be to another temporary rental. I've noticed so many rentals in Georgia have hookups but no washer/dryer, and this includes where I'll be moving to. This will make it even more worth the cost of the washer!

I could've saved some money by buying used, but it was a great price on sale and I needed one immediately so didn't feel like having to deal with Craigslist.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10676
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Coin Laundromat vs Washer/Dryer
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2016, 09:36:46 AM »
You can get the washboard from Lehman's.
https://www.lehmans.com/t-vos.aspx
Wow! Thanks for that trip down the rabbit hole! Six minutes learning about founder Jay Lehamn was time well spent. Now, how do I get to Ohio?

I never bothered to read that, is it really worth 6 minutes?

And you know that they can ship it to you, right?
Yes on both counts.

In my working life, I spent fourteen years in jail retail. Shopping (including online) is not something I deem enjoyable. However, this guy's business is what I consider a "bumblebee", i.e. a model that the "experts" would say would never work. He had a clear vision, stuck to it, and his corner of the world is better for it.

In the olden days, when Southwest was more customer-centric and free flights were easier to earn, this is the type of trip I would have taken on a free Rapid Rewards Ticket. Part museum, part cultural experience, part completely different world that I didn't know still existed (wringer washers, anyone?), part selling useful, practical things and not a bunch of imported, latest-trend crap. Yeah, I'd make time in my life for a trip like that. Mid-week, of course.

I have a stainless steel colander that I bought at a Mennonite farm store when visiting my sister when she lived in Delaware. I love that thing and think of the store and that trip every time I pull it out of the cupboard. I joked when I bought it that if it didn't fit in my suitcase, I was going to wear it home as a hat. (It fit.) It still looks brand new, twenty years later. IIRC, it was not particularly expensive,  just sturdy and well made. I imagine Lehman's is kind of like that store only of an order of magnitude or six larger.