People are sometimes reluctant to use a laundry service that picks up their dirty clothes and returns them clean and neatly folded because they think it’s more expensive than doing it themselves. Or that not doing laundry yourself is “lazy.” When you compare the cost of doing laundry at home or in a laundromat or using a wash-and-fold service, yes, a wash-and-fold service is more expensive.
However, this is only the case if you consider dollars and cents. If we shift our focus to the real value or total hidden costs of doing your laundry, the situation changes.
Doing your laundry at home may work for you if you’re a stay-at-home dad or mom. In that case, doing dirty laundry may be a regular chore in your day. Some stay-at-home moms or dads may find folding laundry contemplative. Perhaps they’re doing it during a quiet moment of the day, while catching up on the latest episode of their favorite show on Netflix or listening to an audiobook while the kids are in school or napping. If you don’t have a home but live in an apartment, perhaps you enjoy trading gossip with the neighbor down the hall while doing your laundry in the basement or at the local laundromat.
In these above examples, you might not mind spending the time it takes to do laundry. In other cases, there are some people for whom a wash-and-fold laundry service is not only economical, but a lifesaver:
- A couple where both partners work outside the home
- Busy college students
- Single professionals who live in an apartment building where they must either use the washer and dryer in the basement or a local laundromat
- Someone who hates doing laundry and finds the entire task oppressive
Comparing the Cost Value of Wash-and-Fold Laundry
The average American family does about 300 loads of laundry every year. That’s about one load per day. And if your family is bigger than the average American family with two parents and two children, 300 loads a year can easily become 400 or more.
Think about all that laundry. While doing laundry at home does have some advantages — for example, you can wash and dry your clothes while you’re working on other tasks — it still takes time to sort those clothes before you wash them, and more time to fold them and put them away afterward. It’s not a stretch to say it could take you between 30 and 45 minutes a day. If you’re doing laundry seven days a week, that means you’re spending between 3.5 and 5.25 hours every week, 14 to 21 hours a month and 168 to 253 hours a year — that’s between 21 and 32 eight-hour work days a year doing laundry. To put that in perspective, many of us spend almost an entire month working every year on laundry-related chores.
Now, what if you don’t own a home? Suppose you live in an apartment. You may save a little time, depending on the number of people in your family, but you have other concerns. While you still have to sort laundry, you also have to lug it down to the basement, where most apartment buildings place their washers and dryers. You have to pay a fixed cost to do laundry. Let’s assume it takes an average of $1.50 to do a load of laundry in the washer, and another $1.50 to dry it.
The machines may be busy, so you have to wait until later and come down again. You may not have the correct change and need to return to your apartment to find more quarters. Someone else who wants to use the washer or the dryer may take your clothes out and leave them piled on the side, often damp or wrinkled. Plus, you still need to fold them. Overall, it’s not a very cost-effective or pleasant experience.
What About Going to the Laundromat?
Using a laundromat takes even more time than either of the above two methods. You still have to sort your laundry, but then you have to walk or drive to your local laundromat, hope a good machine is available, then wait about 30 minutes to wash and 40 minutes to dry. Unlike having a washer or a dryer in your home or in the basement of your apartment, you won’t be able to do any other tasks but wait, normally two to four hours. Once your laundry finally finishes, you fold it and return to your home.
Realistically, you probably won’t want to visit a laundromat as often as you use a home washer and dryer or a washer or dryer in the basement of your apartment, because it is so time-consuming.
These examples have only briefly touched on the time factor. We will examine what that time truly means to you below.
Let’s look at the cost of doing laundry at home:
- The price of energy and water used in every washer load. If you wash with warm water instead of cold water, it costs more to run the load. Plus, you have to factor in some amount of money for the electricity cost to run your washer as well as the price of water per washer load, which will vary based on your energy source and the utility costs of your provider and area.
- The price of energy used in every dryer load. Not all dryers are created equal. If you don’t have an ENERGY STAR dryer — or washer — your costs per load will be higher. Another option for drying your clothes is to not use the dryer — which means hanging clothes to line-dry. You’ll use more of your time to hang and then take down the laundry once it’s dry.
- The cost of purchasing machines. You also need to factor in how much you will spend when buying the machines, and how many loads it will take you to break even on your investment. According to one calculation, assuming the average price of a good washer-dryer combo is $1,300, it would take you 600 loads to break even — about a year and a half, if you do four loads a week. That number does not account for any problems with the washer or dryer you may need to fix, which would tack on additional costs.
Again, if you don’t own a home, you may need to use the on-site washer and dryer in the apartment building’s basement. If you’re lucky, however, your landlord would have provided a washer and a dryer in your apartment. But there is an additional cost for this. For instance, in Philadelphia, a washer-dryer combination can add as much as $211 a month to your rent.
Let’s look at the cost of doing your laundry in the apartment basement. In this case, we have factored the cost of energy and water into the overall cost. If we use the same set of parameters — four loads a week for the washer and dryer — your cost can vary depending upon what your landlord charges to use the machines.
- Washing machines usually cost between $1.25 and $1.75 per load. Prices for dryers are a whole different ball of wax. Some dryers will charge you between $1 and $2 per load, while other dryers charge you by the minute — say, $0.25 for the first 15 minutes, then an additional $0.25 for every 10 minutes after that.
- If it costs $1.25 for the washer and $1 for the dryer, it would cost you $9 to do four loads in the washer and four in the dryer. If it’s $1.75 per washer load and $2 per dryer load, four loads of laundry would cost you $15.
If you use our wash-and-fold service at Classic Drycleaners and Laundromats, you will pay $1.98 per pound of laundry. A king-sized pillowcase will hold about 20 pounds of laundry. That’s just under three seven-pound loads of laundry. So for approximately three loads of laundry, you would pay around $39. There is no need to sort your dirty clothes, and Classic Drycleaners will pick them up and drop them off for free twice a week.
The Value of Getting More Time
As you can see from our comparison above, wash-and-fold laundry costs somewhat more in pure physical dollars. But there are other factors to consider that have a direct impact on the overall real cost of either doing laundry on your own or using a wash-and-fold service. The primary benefit of using a wash-and-fold service in Harrisburg and the surrounding Pennsylvania communities is time savings.
How much do you think your time is worth? Minimum wage? Most people would probably say it’s a little more than that. Even if you value your time at a minimum salary of around $10 an hour, if you look some at some of the time calculations we made above, suddenly the cost of doing your own laundry is quite a bit more. Remember that figure we mentioned above of between 168 hours and 253 hours to do laundry at home every month? That means it would cost you between $1,680 and $2,530 to do your laundry every year even if only calculated using minimum wage. That’s a lot of money.
If you spend two to four hours every time you make a trip to the laundromat — and that two to four hours is truly wasted time — that’s an additional $20 to $40 for every trip. Plus, you have to carry your laundry to and from the laundromat. If you go to the laundromat twice a week, you would, in essence, be spending an additional $80 on doing your laundry.
Since most people believe their time is worth more than minimum wage, the cost increases accordingly. If you are a professional who earns $30 to $50 an hour, suddenly doing your laundry yourself becomes cost-prohibitive indeed.
However, it’s more than the financial expense or even the true value cost. It’s what you could be doing with that extra time.
If you are a student, wouldn’t you prefer to spend your time studying or with your friends than doing laundry? If you have midterms or finals, the weeks leading up to exam week are chaotic. It can be difficult to find the time you need to study. With a wash-and-fold service, you don’t need to worry about keeping up with your laundry or trying to focus in a noisy, chaotic school laundry room or a local laundromat.
Working couples know how hard it is to find time to spend even a few hours together every week. You don’t want to spend what precious time you do have to do your laundry. What if you could get that two to four hours you spent at the laundromat back and use them to go to dinner and a movie instead? Or, if going out isn’t your thing, you could use the time to chill out and binge-watch your favorite TV show.
It’s not just the act of doing laundry that’s time-consuming, but thinking about it, making sure you have washed everything you need to wash and looking under couches and behind sofas for missing socks or other pieces of clothing. On occasion, you may have to run the same load through the wash twice because the washer is not particularly clean after many loads and your clothes come out smelling musty instead of fresh.
Even if you have a home and a washer and dryer, no doubt it would be nice on occasion to be able to send out your laundry and have somebody else wash and fold it. Maybe that’s not something you want to do with every load of laundry, but you might have an important event coming up, you are checking off items on a long to-do list in preparation for leaving on a business or personal trip or are planning to host a large party. Being able to spend your time focused on making sure those events run properly, rather than having to do your laundry, is another one of those situations where you realize how much your time is worth.
It’s like having someone come into your house occasionally and cleaning it. It’s a treat.
In the end, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, a young couple with no children who may live in an apartment, a college student, a single professional or somebody whoabsolutely hates doing laundry, a wash-and-fold clothing pickup and delivery service is just what you’ve been looking for.
Don’t Have Time or Motivation to Do Your Laundry? Let Classic Drycleaners and Laundromats Do It for You
If you don’t have the time or the desire to do your laundry, either at home or the local laundromat, it’s not a problem. Classic Drycleaners and Laundromats’ wash-and-fold laundry delivery service is the perfect answer. We can help anyone — students, families, busy professionals, facilities with commercial laundry needs and folks who dislike dealing with the weekly wash. We can give you back your time to spend on things that are more important to you than laundry. Let us do the dirty work for you.
Our laundromat wash-and-fold service process is simple: Bring us your laundry in a basket or a bag. During your first visit, we’ll give you two laundry bags you can use when you return for your future needs. You don’t need to bring fabric softener or detergent. We’ll take care of all the supplies, and we will provide you with a choice of fabric softeners and detergents. As we noted above, we charge $1.98 per pound of laundry. We sort your items by color, we use a regular setting in cold water for washing and we tumble-dry using medium heat. In a day or two, or twice a week for our free pickup and delivery customers, we’ll return your items to you neatly folded. We will handle all your laundry with professionalism and care.
We also offer free pickup and delivery to your home or office. From commercial wash and fold services to residential delivery we can save you time and money on your laundry. If you want to know if you live within our service area for free pickup and delivery, call us at 717-920-5500 or email us at email@example.com.
Contact us today so you can start to see the benefits of a wash-and-fold service.