Author Topic: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?  (Read 14021 times)

GrayGhost

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Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« on: April 10, 2015, 04:34:13 AM »
Greetings fellow Mustachians,

I have been thinking about a few of MMM's articles in the past few days. I completely agree with his comments about dryers generally being energy wasters, and that you need not wash clothes simply because they happened to have touched your skin for a few hours in a day. Also somewhat relevant is his fantasized "Badass Utopia".

I got to thinking... is there any reason at all why a single person, or a couple, or, heck, a family, ought to personally own a waster and dryer?

I mean, think about it. The bloody thing is an idle resource 90+% of the time. Surely it would make more sense for several families to share a washer and dryer at a centralized location. It's true that you'd have to commute to it, but clothes aren't heavy, a simple combination lock would absolve you of having to babysit the process, and a simple app on your phone could inform you if there are any problems, or when your clothes are done.

Compare this to having expensive bulky machinery in your own house, that's not always easy to service, and that, again, is generally an idle resource.

What do you guys think? Is laundry a good task to outsource, or should it be done in-house? What am I missing in my "analysis" of the situation?

Cheers

cerebus

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 04:43:04 AM »
Think it depends on your wash load. We have 3 kids and one is in cloth nappies, so the washer is on all the freaking time. That thing is probably killing our electricity bill but it has a large capacity and my wife is pretty good at managing it. The dryer in our house only gets used once in a blue moon when there's a drying crisis like a vomited-in duvet or something. I doubt we could go corporate with the wash-dry situation just because it would be a pretty major hassle for minimal return - we own our washer/dryer so what's the point of changing the whole thing up? On the other hand when I was single I used a corporate washer in an apartment and it worked out way cheaper than having my own even if it was like 25c to use per wash.

mveill1

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 05:35:06 AM »
Great idea! We should call these new outsourcing facilities "laundromats".  ;p

Just teasing obviously. You already see this in cities (aforementioned laundromats), condo complexes, apt buildings with their laundry rooms etc. The fact that washing machines are frequently shared, but other appliances like ovens or microwaves aren't, tells you that you're right. They are a bit of a waste of space and resources.

I only have a small washer, but I suppose if there was a laundromat nearby I wouldn't mind reclaiming that space as my flat is quite small...


kendallf

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 06:05:46 AM »
I renovated the house we're living in before we moved; it had a washer and dryer in the garage that weren't legal (i.e., washer drained into the ground outside the garage, 220v for the dryer wasn't installed to code).  I planned to install them in the front room of the house, but needed to change the electrical panel and add to the plumbing to do so.

That was 2 years ago.. there's a great Laundromat down the street and my wife loves being able to take everything down there once a week or so and be finished in about an hour.  I would still add them to this house but I'm working on another place and it's not a priority.  Haven't really missed them..

MayDay

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 06:14:01 AM »
We've had to use a laundromat a few times when ours was broken.

It's fine, but there's not one right near my house so I have to drive.

Children in laundromats is no fun so I have to do it when h can watch the kids.

You have to have enough clothes to last a week or whatever. 

It's hell if you are dealing with stomach flu and all the bedding got vomited on at 3am.


WhatIsFrugalAfterAll

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 06:16:17 AM »
How much do you value your time?

My nearest laundrymat is 1 mile away. To do laundry for the week would be:

Drive down
Pay $10 to start wash
Drive home
Drive Down
Pay $7 to start drying (or bring home)
Drive home
(Maybe hang to dry)

So $17 and an hour of my time
vs
$3 in utility cost and 10 minutes of time.

I value my time at $100 an hour, so that 50 minutes wasted is $83 wasted.. plus $14 in laundrymat costs.. = $97 per WEEK having my own washer and dryer saves me.

I can easily buy a washer and dryer on $97 a week ;)

MrsPete

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 06:33:26 AM »
Yeah, it's about time and convenience.

This morning I threw in a load of towels before I left the house.  When I get home, I'll put them into the dryer.  Total effort:  Maybe 10 minutes total hands-on time. 

In contrast, going to a laundrymat would've required driving and waiting for the load to finish OR returning later (and hoping that no one stole my towels). 

No, no love for this idea. 

Noodle

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2015, 06:45:07 AM »
I have shared laundry facilities and also had my own. To me, the financial savings of sharing was not worth the stress of dealing with inconsiderate neighbors or the time cost of going to a laundromat (especially the five years I was car free).

TheFixer

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 07:00:36 AM »
When we first got married, we had to use the laundromat just down the street (that's convenient).  But it cost several dollars (20+ years ago dollars) per load, and meant sitting there keeping an eye on the machines.  After a few expensive weekends sitting at the laundromat I looked thru the classifieds and bought a used Hotpoint washer & dryer for $100.  We still have the dryer.  Washing machine started to rust apart after we used it for 15 years.  Best $100 I ever spent on household appliances.  YMMV.

Shared resources are a good thing, but for me there are more obvious idle resources around here, like a lawn mower, chainsaw, table saw, pressure washer...  All things I own and maintain, but use infrequently.

okonomiyaki

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2015, 07:12:46 AM »
I think it would make sense ... except that modern washing machines are (unfortunately, or a least this has been the case in my experience) almost like designed to break/get unbalanced after a certain number of washes (5-10 years, again, personal experience; my mum's one is going strong for 25 years now - and it was a midrange Philips!)... So the question becomes: do you invest in one that will last your family those 5-10 years, and have the convenience of having things washed when you want them and the ability to take advantage of off-peak cheap energy tariffs, or do you share with several families, and have to re-buy machines every 5-10/(number of people) years?

Laundromats are great... in theory ... except for:
(1) distance to travel with laundry, time waiting for wash (hanging out in the laundromat, even reading, is not comfortable, especially with all of the other people around, including those who want to talk - or chat me up), and time heading home, with wet clothes,
(2) cost - in Oz, the cost of 1 wash at the laundromat is $4 a pop. I do 2 cycles a week (cottons /60*C intensive/ and synthetics/40*C delicate/), which would cost me $8/week. Over a year, that adds up to 52*8=$416. I can get a perfectly decent used machine on gumtree (Ozzie equivalent of craigslist) for $200-$400, and a new one for $450 /my current washing machine is actually one of the few things I bought new and with one of those idiotic extended warranties - I've had one too many used ones die on me, I think because of the wear-and-tear hypothesis listed above/...
(3) washing quality. Laundromat machines tend to be industrial-grade, which (in all but one of the times I've tried them) are quite rough on clothes, and fray jean edges, underwear lacy bits and other sensitive fabric areas - which means in addition to the cost estimate in (2), I'd have to add the cost of buying more clothes due to wear and tear during washing.

Having said that, I have lived in an apartment block which had a cheap shared laundry in the basement with a mix of "normal" and "industrial-grade" high-quality machines, which did not ruin clothes. This was also a block where we paid high body corporate fees, so I think that all of the costs of maintaining the space, machines and their servicing was directly passed onto the tenants. Given my relatively low usage, I am not sure that sharing saved me money...

PS While I agree that dryers are evil, I've lived in enough places in the world to understand that they are essential in certain scenarios (monsoon in India, autumn/winter in Northern Europe in a small apartment ). I completely agree these should be shared.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 07:16:34 AM by okonomiyaki »

midweststache

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2015, 07:20:08 AM »
We've had all options: doing laundry at family's, laundromats, building machines (in basements of the buildings, usually) and now in-unit.

We do laundry once a week, but man oh man does it feel luxurious when we do.

1) No driving. (Good, since we don't own a car.)
2) No hauling a ton of laundry to the 'mat on foot. (Nice, particularly in the Chicago winters.)
3) No hauling a ton of laundry up and down precarious stairs. (This wasn't an issue in our old building, since we were on the first floor and only had one flight, but we're in a 3rd floor walk-up now and man oh man would that have been a pain when our back stairs were covered with 2ft of snow. Also, no one leaving the drying in the dryer ALL FREAKING DAY and using up one of the precious few machines the building has as... storage?).

Sure, we're paying for this luxury in our rent and the phantom energy eats at our electric bill, but we were spending $15-$20/month in laundry costs at our old building and the 'mat, so I'm going to call it a wash. (<-- Laundry pun? I like it.)

burly

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2015, 07:21:09 AM »
Greetings fellow Mustachians,

I have been thinking about a few of MMM's articles in the past few days. I completely agree with his comments about dryers generally being energy wasters, and that you need not wash clothes simply because they happened to have touched your skin for a few hours in a day. Also somewhat relevant is his fantasized "Badass Utopia".

I got to thinking... is there any reason at all why a single person, or a couple, or, heck, a family, ought to personally own a waster and dryer?

I mean, think about it. The bloody thing is an idle resource 90+% of the time. Surely it would make more sense for several families to share a washer and dryer at a centralized location. It's true that you'd have to commute to it, but clothes aren't heavy, a simple combination lock would absolve you of having to babysit the process, and a simple app on your phone could inform you if there are any problems, or when your clothes are done.

Compare this to having expensive bulky machinery in your own house, that's not always easy to service, and that, again, is generally an idle resource.

What do you guys think? Is laundry a good task to outsource, or should it be done in-house? What am I missing in my "analysis" of the situation?

Cheers


My simple answer is children... especially toddlers.  Between two full time working spouses and two toddlers, you don't have the time or energy to wash clothes.  I would much rather spend that time doing other things or more often than not, I have too many other chores to do during the non-working hours.

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2015, 07:23:52 AM »
I felt the need for in-unit W/D when my kid was in cloth diapers and, later, wetting the bed daily. Also, when kids vomit. And have nosebleeds. (They refuse to do these things on a schedule.) Even if they weren't doing all that, trying to care for a kid in a laundromat can suck, depending on variables.

I take care of just one kid now, and he's older, so I very happily wander across a field to a communal, cheap, coin-operated option every two weeks.

mskyle

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2015, 07:58:13 AM »
I use a laundromat a couple of blocks from my house; in my previous apartment I shared a washer and dryer with two other units (a total of five adults, no kids). I've also been in larger buildings with a shared laundry room in the basement, and I've had my own washer and dryer.

If you share a washer and dryer with considerate people who don't leave stuff in it for hours on end/don't mind if you put their stuff in a laundry basket when you need to do your laundry/have different laundry schedules from you, it's great. Very very nearly as convenient as having your own laundry. If there's too much competition for the laundry (not enough laundry-machine hours in the day), or your laundry-mates are inconsiderate, it sucks. And you have to decide who owns/is responsible for the machines (including the upkeep, the electricity/gas, and the water) - simpler if you already have a landlord or condo association who takes care of such things.

So it's possible, people do do it, but it's there's definitely an operating cost to owning and maintaining a machine that's used by several financially unrelated people.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2015, 07:59:26 AM »
Yes, it's a luxury, but so is having your own kitchen.

JLee

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2015, 08:35:30 AM »
Greetings fellow Mustachians,

I have been thinking about a few of MMM's articles in the past few days. I completely agree with his comments about dryers generally being energy wasters, and that you need not wash clothes simply because they happened to have touched your skin for a few hours in a day. Also somewhat relevant is his fantasized "Badass Utopia".

I got to thinking... is there any reason at all why a single person, or a couple, or, heck, a family, ought to personally own a waster and dryer?

I mean, think about it. The bloody thing is an idle resource 90+% of the time. Surely it would make more sense for several families to share a washer and dryer at a centralized location. It's true that you'd have to commute to it, but clothes aren't heavy, a simple combination lock would absolve you of having to babysit the process, and a simple app on your phone could inform you if there are any problems, or when your clothes are done.

Compare this to having expensive bulky machinery in your own house, that's not always easy to service, and that, again, is generally an idle resource.

What do you guys think? Is laundry a good task to outsource, or should it be done in-house? What am I missing in my "analysis" of the situation?

Cheers
Idle resource most of the time, but it costs nothing when not in use.  My washer and dryer came via Craigslist at $220/pair over two years ago. They are surprisingly easy to service if need be (then again I build engines, so my perception may be twisted). My nearest laudromat is 1.3 miles away. Given the time factor (and cost factor per load at a laundromat), my $220 appliances are worth far more than $220. Figuring five loads a month at $5/load for washing and drying combined (unsure), I'm $405 (plus 325 miles, assuming I stayed there the whole time and wasted time I could be doing other things - 650 miles if I went home in between) and ~250 hours ahead (~2 hours per load) by buying my own.

Add in the fact that I have three roommates who would be decidedly unhappy to have to go to a laundromat (and they are providing me $1100/mo), it's WELL worth it for me to have them here. :)

Ricky

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2015, 08:36:42 AM »
Well for one, it's much cheaper over time to have your own...that should be reason enough.

I never have and would never share laundry facilities. I haven't partly because it wouldn't make sense with how rural I live, and partly because I just don't want to "go out" to get something so basic done. I wouldn't buy a condo or live in an apartment that didn't have hookups. So at any rate, I'm not foregoing a maximum of a $1K expense to have such a large convenience right next to me.

I'm not sure how washers/dryers are any more "resource hogs" at your house than they are at the laundromat. If they're not in use, they're not in use. You only pay for what you use, which I think was MMM's point. Don't use it so much.

MayDay

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2015, 08:40:33 AM »
Oh yes.  The horror of not having enough machines. 

When I lived in a certain dorm for a summer, there was 1 washer and 1 dryer for about 40 of us.  We had to set a very strict washing schedule, and i always took the 7 am spot (no one wanted that one!) because otherwise inevitably someone would get behind schedule and the whole thing would be thrown off, and you would have no clean clothes. 

If there were other laundry facilities nearby I never saw them, and had no car, so would have had to take laundry on the bus. 


James

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2015, 08:42:05 AM »
This is one of those areas like cars and food, there is simply no "right" answer for everyone. But there is mustachian ways of looking at it for your particular situation, which is more important than the end result.

Once our kids are out of the house I could see going without washer and dryer, since we would have very little laundry. I would be happy to hand wash our clothes and hang them to dry, and could see getting a spinner to just get most of the water out instead of a whole washing machine. Having said that, there are occasions a washer and dryer come in really handy, so I imagine we will probably have a set simply as a convenience. But I look forward to the day the dryer in particular rarely gets used.

rubybeth

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2015, 08:43:58 AM »
I share laundry facilities now, at an apartment. :) I would say there a definite drawbacks to sharing--having to wait while others finish their laundry, only being able to do laundry 8am-10pm (my husband is up late and could easily toss in a load late at night, but can't due to these rules), and the annoyances of others' soap residue being left in the machine and lint in the dryer (or gum, or whatever other crap ends up in there on occasion). I dream of owning a house with a laundry room near the bedroom, so I can just take off my clothes and toss into the laundry room, skipping the hamper/sorting step. I hate schlepping my laundry to my parents' because I have to park quite a distance from my apartment building and it's a hassle I'd prefer to avoid.

LiveLean

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2015, 09:36:48 AM »

My wonderfully frugal late mother had a clothesline in our late 1970s home that was strung from the second story laundry room across our backyard to a tree. (There was a cable system attached to it). She hung everything from sheets to underwear and everything in between. I can only imagine how ballistic the homeowners associations of today would go over this.

I do a lot of our family laundry and I know with women's clothing in particular, it seems every damn thing of my wife's needs to be hung up rather than tossed in the dryer. But I can't imagine doing that with all of our sons' socks, drawers, etc. (along with my stuff).

We bought a foreclosed rental property last year where the washer/dryer had been removed. I couldn't imagine they were worth much -- they're inexpensive relative to other appliances - and given how tight the space was to get them in/out, I was surprised they bothered. Since it's a weekly beach rental, I don't get the sense the ones we bought are used much. This is a beach home on stilts/pilings, so we have clotheslines strung and it makes sense to hang towels and swimsuits on it. Plus, the sea breeze gives clothes/towels a nice smell and softness.

ash7962

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2015, 09:47:30 AM »
Haven't seen anyone else mention this, so it might have just have been a fluke type of thing.  But I live in an apartment and therefore use the building's washers/driers.  Couple weeks ago I washed sheets and a blanket, and within 20 min of using them discovered I was very itchy and covered in hives.  I suspect someone put something bad in the washer/drier that I am allergic to.  Soo yeah add cross contamination to the list of reasons why common washer/driers suck.

Also just throwing in there that I hate having to obtain and keep track of quarters for laundry.  I know this will probably go away in the future but ugh, hate.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2015, 09:54:14 AM »
Couple weeks ago I washed sheets and a blanket, and within 20 min of using them discovered I was very itchy and covered in hives.  I suspect someone put something bad in the washer/drier that I am allergic to.  Soo yeah add cross contamination to the list of reasons why common washer/driers suck.

Oh yeah! I haven't had skin reactions, but I can't bear being around scented/chemical dryer sheets, detergents, etc. Especially in those closed spaces. (The one I share currently, and the two previous to that, didn't use these.) And when my stuff "catches" those chemicals, it's in there til my next wash. Headaches until that point :(

Bob W

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2015, 10:00:13 AM »
We have an over under washer dryer that came with the house.   It takes up about 9 sq ft of floor space in a closet.   I just did the math,  it runs about 4% of the time.   

Here is one great big trick that I have mentioned on the forum often.

After your shower- squeegee off with your hands to remove 90% of the water.   Then use a 12" by 12" micro fiber towel to finish dry.  Hang towel to dry it.   You can safely use this towel 15-30 times.   Throw it in with a load (never ever use fabric softener on microfiber).

So now you annual towel washing has gone to the equivalent of 1/4 a load per year.

If you are a spendy pants then use a bigger towel.   

So compare that to the average clueless US consumer who uses a fresh towel daily and does about 50 loads of towels per year for no apparent reason. That is a factor of 200 times more effort for the same outcome. 

Tragic really. 

So for me it is about conscious use of the appliances.    One person should be able to do less than a load per week.   Here is how it breaks down -

7 pairs of socks,  7 under pants,  3 pants,  9 shirts.   

If you can get buy on one load per week and it is $2 to wash and then hang dry you are living pretty cheap thrills.

Of course there is always the bathtub agitator or other washing devices.   Grandma used a hand wash tub with a ringer.   Her electric cost was zero.

And remember that hot water is seldom if ever needed. 

And really,  really hanging clothes after a few hours of use and rewearing them is a very doable and thoughtful option.   I generally wear the same kahki pants 4 days per week to the office.  That is about 40 hours of wear between washes.   

yyc-phil

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2015, 10:05:23 AM »
We have a dryer but use it only a few times a year. We hang our laundry in the apartment or on the balcony in summer and could live without a dryer easily. But having the convenience of a washer in our household is not negotiable, in our particular situation. It could be different for other people, there is no one-size-fits-all.

JLee

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2015, 10:36:25 AM »
We have an over under washer dryer that came with the house.   It takes up about 9 sq ft of floor space in a closet.   I just did the math,  it runs about 4% of the time.   

Here is one great big trick that I have mentioned on the forum often.

After your shower- squeegee off with your hands to remove 90% of the water.   Then use a 12" by 12" micro fiber towel to finish dry.  Hang towel to dry it.   You can safely use this towel 15-30 times.   Throw it in with a load (never ever use fabric softener on microfiber).

So now you annual towel washing has gone to the equivalent of 1/4 a load per year.

If you are a spendy pants then use a bigger towel.   

So compare that to the average clueless US consumer who uses a fresh towel daily and does about 50 loads of towels per year for no apparent reason. That is a factor of 200 times more effort for the same outcome. 

Tragic really. 

So for me it is about conscious use of the appliances.    One person should be able to do less than a load per week.   Here is how it breaks down -

7 pairs of socks,  7 under pants,  3 pants,  9 shirts.   

If you can get buy on one load per week and it is $2 to wash and then hang dry you are living pretty cheap thrills.

Of course there is always the bathtub agitator or other washing devices.   Grandma used a hand wash tub with a ringer.   Her electric cost was zero.

And remember that hot water is seldom if ever needed. 

And really,  really hanging clothes after a few hours of use and rewearing them is a very doable and thoughtful option.   I generally wear the same kahki pants 4 days per week to the office.  That is about 40 hours of wear between washes.

Yup. I can generally run the same pants all week (jeans on Friday). Work shirts (AC'd office) will get ~2 wears (hanging in between). I have four bath towels and can usually get by for a month or more between having to wash them. I'm generally doing laundry because I ran out of socks/underwear.

mtn

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2015, 10:57:02 AM »
It was fine in college. I'd go to the laundromat, put clothes in, walk across the street and do some shopping at the grocery, come back, move clothes to dryer (if I didn't have to wait), then do homework.

My time is much more valuable now than it was then though. My grocery shopping is much more efficient, I no longer have homework, I have a lot more household responsibilities...

Sorry, not worth it for me.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2015, 11:29:10 AM »
Simple math so.  At least, it does for our family.  Let's say a washer and dryer at a laundromat cost $1 each (I haven't been in several years, so I'm guessing).  Our minimum laundry is 5 loads per week.

5 loads/week * $2/load = $10/week.  Add a buck for detergent, so we're at $11/week.
52 weeks/year -> $572

$572 will buy you a rather nice used washer/dryer set.  Every.  Year.

Now, I'll grant that utility costs will reduce the advantage of owning, as will the square footage inside the house.  But I've also left out the loads of towels (finally convinced DW that they don't need laundering every week) and the bedding (once every couple months?).

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2015, 11:30:20 AM »
/\ so you don't use detergent when you own the washer?  Interesting!  :)

scrubbyfish

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2015, 11:41:28 AM »
One person should be able to do less than a load per week.

Yep. My son and I are down to two loads every two weeks. (Is that half a load each per week? Or? Whatever. Y'all get my drift.) Once a month or so, one extra load.

On my last trip, no one had laundry machines and I was travelling super light, so I handwashed my stuff. All was well.

eyePod

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2015, 11:44:26 AM »
We've had to use a laundromat a few times when ours was broken.

It's fine, but there's not one right near my house so I have to drive.

Children in laundromats is no fun so I have to do it when h can watch the kids.

You have to have enough clothes to last a week or whatever. 

It's hell if you are dealing with stomach flu and all the bedding got vomited on at 3am.

We did it through college. It sucked. And then our next apartment was a shared one. My wife got threatened once for "hogging the washer and dryer all day." No lady, this is our one load! The other one was someone else's!

And yeah, the washer dryer once the baby came along was invaluable. So much poop and spit up. All the time.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2015, 11:48:49 AM »
My wife got threatened once for "hogging the washer and dryer all day." No lady, this is our one load! The other one was someone else's!

Oh yeah, that too, lol! I only had this happen in one place, but the way it escalated -my partner and I on the receiving end of bizarre and frightening behaviour about someone else's load- ack! ack! But that was only one symptom of the landlord at that place being cuckoo, and one of several elements that had the Residential Tenancy office noting the landlord was wildly illegal yet urging us just to run, run away. Which we did.

zurich78

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2015, 11:53:45 AM »
Heck, why even have hot water?  It's cheaper to boil it on a stove or make a fire in the backyard!

seattlecyclone

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2015, 12:17:46 PM »
Why have your own anything? Surely we could have more efficient use of resources if we all shared washing machines, lawn mowers, cars, and tools of all sorts with our neighbors. To a certain extent this is true. However in reality someone has to take responsibility for maintaining these shared resources and collecting payment to amortize the capital and maintenance costs involved with these resources. Once the maintenance time burden exceeds a certain level, the people in charge of the resources are going to want to be paid for their time as well. Cars are expensive enough that people who need them rarely can and do save money by renting from Zipcar, Car2Go, etc. Lawn mowers and washing machines, not so much. A decent washing machine costs a few hundred dollars, while by using a laundromat you can spend that much in a matter of months.

BlueHouse

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2015, 12:31:01 PM »
Yes, it's a luxury, but so is having your own kitchen.
+1
I would much rather have "prison-style" cafeteria food than have to cook myself.  I would never complain if I never had to cook again.  I would pay for a meal plan if I could just show up at a neighbor's house, eat dinner, then leave. 

zurich78

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2015, 04:19:04 PM »
Now here's the real question...

When is someone going to bring a Washer/Dryer combo unit to the US market?  You know, so I can throw a load of dirty laundry in at 11pm when I go to bed, and I can wake up to dry clothes.

Still don't get why this hasn't taken off in the U.S. -- and this would be great for laundromats too!

Prairie Stash

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2015, 04:29:43 PM »
Now here's the real question...

When is someone going to bring a Washer/Dryer combo unit to the US market?  You know, so I can throw a load of dirty laundry in at 11pm when I go to bed, and I can wake up to dry clothes.

Still don't get why this hasn't taken off in the U.S. -- and this would be great for laundromats too!
It already exists. Search dual washer/dryer.

OP - Washers generally wear out after X amount of loads. The more loads you put through the faster they wear out, so sharing just means replacing more often. My in house washer saves money over going to a Laundromat, good enough reason for me.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2015, 06:44:52 PM »
I've done both in my current place. Thing is, the laundromat is $4 a load, and is gold coin only, no card (so you've got to have the correct change), and isn't near my place.

It was just easier in the end to get a decent secondhand washer.

I don't have (or have space for) a dryer. Line drying is normal to me, and most people I know do it as well. Is being precious about line drying an American thing?

For the few times a year that a dryer really is necessary (read: it's the middle of winter and it's pouring rain for the last week), I'll take it to a laundromat.

MayDay

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2015, 07:39:22 PM »
Line drying is normal to me, and most people I know do it as well. Is being precious about line drying an American thing?

Yes. 

Probably in (small) part because of humidity.  In many places in the US it will take 2 days to dry clothes indoors during the humid season and by then your clothes smell musty.  In the not-humid season stuff will dry in half a day to 1 day. 






kathrynd

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2015, 07:58:18 PM »
We live in, and co-own, a 5 unit apt, with our 4 adult children.(we all have our own unit)
In the common area, we installed a second hand, coin dryer (takes $1)
There is also a clothes line in the back yard.
The dryer pays for the electricity used in this common area.

We all have our own washing machine in our apt (portable that rolls up to the kitchen sink)
If the dryer is finished, and someone wants to use it, clothes will be taken out.

Rural

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2015, 04:25:59 AM »
Our secondhand washer and dryer cost $100 over ten years ago. Now, I believe there may be a laundromat in a town 15 miles away - that's the closest possible.


So, gas to go 30 miles - that's nearly a gallon. Then add in the cost of the machines, even assuming I haul back wet clothes to hang (which I always did back in my laundromat days, though I'd dry one load if I was approaching "go commando" territory). I don't know what laundromat machines cost to run now, but it's surely safe to assume that with the gasoline we're approaching $5 a trip without considering time to have any value at all.


Now, add in that I've torn a rotater cuff and I'm limited to five pounds lifting. I could carry laundry baskets anyway, but it would definitely be at the expense of my chance of healing without surgery (at home, I can just carry a few items of clothing at a time).


It's not something everyone has to deal with, of course, but I'll posit that, given time, everyone will get old, and most of us will find ourselves dealing with physical limitations at some point as we age.


So, for me and for many, shared laundry would cost more money, would expend more resources in a general sense (the power and clean water for the machines is used regardless, but add gasoline), would be a tremendous time sink, and would sometimes be impossible because of physical limitations.


The problem is not that we don't share machines but that machines don't seem to last as long as our older ones anymore. That adds in the manufacturing burden on resources and climate at much more regular intervals as well as adding tremendously to the cost of ownership. This is a global resources problem, not just a microeconomic problem, and it's one that has been imposed on us all by the manufacturers.

okonomiyaki

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2015, 07:29:38 AM »
For the people who suggested that hand washing your clothes is a mustachian approach, can I please point out an incredibly valuable resource you will end up using heaps more off to achieve the same result: fresh water! And while utility costs may be low enough that you won't notice the difference in the short term, in the space of even a decade your water usage will be significantly higher, perhaps negating your perceived savings, and requiring many more natural resources to have been consume d in the process.

I lived with an elderly relative who refused to get a washing machine all through college, so I had to do all of my laundry by hand: the amount of water you need to properly rinse sheets, and the amount of elbow grease required to get dirt out of jeans - it is much harder and less romantic than you would think... I Am very thankful that I now have a washing machine...

Melody

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2015, 07:55:37 AM »
We live in, and co-own, a 5 unit apt, with our 4 adult children.(we all have our own unit)

This is my dream! I wish more families would/could do this! I love the idea of living in a community while still having independence!

scrubbyfish

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2015, 08:49:31 AM »
For the people who suggested that hand washing your clothes is a mustachian approach, can I please point out an incredibly valuable resource you will end up using heaps more off to achieve the same result: fresh water!

Depends so much on what you're washing. On my last trip, I handwashed everything, but with very little water. But the clothes were small, few, and very thin/light materials. Even the pants (slacks/trousers) squeeze to a handful. Those thin travel towels are also totally fine. I've never owned jeans.

I've handwashed everything at points in my life (living in a jungle, or in crack houses with no facilities within miles, etc), but the above is the most I handwash here.

Ricky

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2015, 09:55:31 AM »
We live in, and co-own, a 5 unit apt, with our 4 adult children.(we all have our own unit)

This is my dream! I wish more families would/could do this! I love the idea of living in a community while still having independence!

Mine too, provided it was in a location that worked for everyone. That's what's so hard about making that dream happen :P

Rubic

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2015, 10:08:02 AM »
For the people who suggested that hand washing your clothes is a mustachian approach, can I please point out an incredibly valuable resource you will end up using heaps more off to achieve the same result: fresh water!

Certain kinds of clothes are more appropriate to hand wash than others.  For 10 years when I lived in a cheap apartment without washer/dryer facilities I would hand wash all my wool and polyester (techno fabrics, gym clothes, etc.), but would take all my cottons (jeans, t-shirts, shorts) to the laundromat.  That compromise worked out pretty well, though I'm glad to now live in a condo with shared facilities.

kathrynd

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2015, 10:54:26 AM »
We live in, and co-own, a 5 unit apt, with our 4 adult children.(we all have our own unit)

This is my dream! I wish more families would/could do this! I love the idea of living in a community while still having independence!

Mine too, provided it was in a location that worked for everyone. That's what's so hard about making that dream happen :P

Thank You...I love it too.
Eventually they may move to a larger place, if and when they start having children of their own.


We travel 7-8 months a year, so there is always someone around to check on our property.

Tris Prior

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2015, 04:22:07 PM »
I have never had my own washer/dryer - including when we owned a condo. (We are currently renting.) Reasons why I wish I did:

- Our landlord charges $2/wash and $1.50/dry. And it's a small machine that, as I learned through experience, will malfunction when overfilled. I find this obscene.

- In most places I've lived, doing laundry involved carrying it down an outdoor staircase. Not fun in Chicago when the back steps are likely covered in snow and ice. One apartment had a narrow spiral staircase leading to the laundry; how I did not break my neck, I have no idea. Also not fun when it's life-threateningly cold out so you've got to bundle up just to do your damn laundry. One of the best things about our current place is that the stairs to the laundry room are indoors! It sounds like such a small thing until you have to deal with it.

- Laundromats? Sure. Went to one once when our building's washer was dead for a week and our dirty clothing was really piling up. We don't have a car, so this involved carrying all of our laundry down 3 flights of stairs, loading it into our granny cart, hauling it on foot in the freezing cold over unshoveled sidewalks (of COURSE this happened in the dead of winter), sitting there for a couple hours while various interesting characters tried to chat me up, and then hauling it all back home down snowy sidewalks and UP three flights of stairs in the freezing cold. Honestly, though, I would totally go back there in less snowy weather, unsavory characters and all. Just being able to put a normal amount of clothing into a washer was a fantastic novelty, after having to deal with our washer that freaks out if you put one sweater too many in it.

- I'm fortunate that in our building, we don't have people leaving their wet mildewy laundry in the washer for days on end, which stinks up the machine. But this has been a thing elsewhere.

Owning my own machines seems to me like one of those unnecessary first-world luxuries that MMM is always railing against, honestly. But man, would it be nice sometimes.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2015, 08:29:38 PM »
/\ so you don't use detergent when you own the washer?  Interesting!  :)
LOL!  True, true, but you have to use detergent when using a laundromat as well, so I consider that a wash.  Er, so to speak...

mskyle

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Re: Why Should One OWN a Washer and Dryer?
« Reply #49 on: April 13, 2015, 10:26:35 AM »
Now here's the real question...

When is someone going to bring a Washer/Dryer combo unit to the US market?  You know, so I can throw a load of dirty laundry in at 11pm when I go to bed, and I can wake up to dry clothes.

Still don't get why this hasn't taken off in the U.S. -- and this would be great for laundromats too!

I have always been super-unsatisfied with the combo Washer/Dryers when I have used them. I'd rather just have a washer and hang my things to dry. They seem to break more often, and the capacity is much smaller than for a single use machine. I think laundromats are exactly where you *wouldn't* want a combo washer-dryer - drying takes forever in a combo machine.