What is the difference between a Laundromat and dry cleaners?
Laundry is a routine chore much like washing dishes and vaccuming. While most house and flat residents these days own a washing machine and dryer chances are that you may have come across a Laundromat and even used one. Usually coin operated and charging by the kilogram, these facilities are especially popular among college going students and backpackers looking to stretch their vacation wardrobe by washing and re wearing garments. A Laundromat (often referred to as a launderette) is a self service laundry facility.
A Laundromat usually has several washing machines and dryers in the building and they charge you money to wash and dry your clothes. Most Laundromats also have soap dispensing and money changing machines as well as benches to sit and wait while your cycle is going on. Some also have long counters where you can fold your clothes before taking them home.
Benefits of using a Laundromat:
- If you live in a small accommodation and move frequently, investing in a washing machine and dryer is probably not the best idea. Buying and installing this equipment can quickly add up and is just not feasible if you don’t plan to stay in your current accommodation for long. Hence, using a Laundromat becomes an economically viable option.
- Laundromats can be an excellent place to socialize and make new friends. If you have friends who live nearby or use the same laundromat, you can arrange to wash your clothes together and hang out at the same time. That way waiting for the timer to go off won’t be too bad.
- You can multitask. If you choose a Laundromat in a safe area and with retail facilities nearby, you can do your weekly grocery shop or get your nails done while your laundry is getting washed and dried.
How to get the best out of your Laundromat laundry run
Plan your visit
There are times when it will be busy and times when it won’t be. This is mostly trial and error. Once you find a time the Laundromat is clean and reasonably quiet, schedule your visit for that time.
Gather all you need in advance
Pack all your laundry, detergent, fabric softener, money and whatever else you need in a sturdy bag. If you are washing undergarments or fine knits, put them in mesh bags to prevent any damage. Be sure to take along any waiting time essentials such as earphones, laptop or a book to entertain yourself.
Follow the machine instructions
Inside the lid of the washing machine, you will find instructions on how to use it. Follow the instructions and be sure to look at care labels on your clothes before deciding on the time and temperature of the cycle.
Dry Cleaning refers to a process which cleans clothes involving the use of little to no water. Rather, solvents and special chemicals are used to get rid of stains and marks. This helps maintain shine and vibrance of the garment and also increase its wearable life. Dry Cleaning is often used by people for expensive garments which they cannot wash at home or a Laundromat. It is also reserved for specific types of fabrics like silk and wool.
Cottons and denim on the other hand are mostly laundered. Embellished and sequined garments also need to be dry cleaned because the sequins and embellishments can come off in the normal washing machine cycle and the best part of an hour will be spent collecting these from the drum and later shopping for another garment. Hence, dry cleaning is ideal for such type of garments which may be destroyed in an at home washing machine job. Dry cleaners have the equipment to handle such garments.
The primary difference between dry cleaning and Laundromats is the purpose and the types of garments both processes are capable of handling. As a general rule of thumb, laundromats are ideal for big bulky home linen such as bed sheets and duvet covers. They are also good for everyday wear items such as cotton shirts and plain garments as well as towels and bath robes etc.
Dry Cleaning on the other hand is useful for different types of garments which are prone to shrinkage, discolouration and require gentle care. Also if you have particularly stubborn oil or grease stains on your garments, dry cleaning is far superior to doing your laundry in a Laundromat. Below we have classified some items which must be dry cleaned only and others which can be taken to the Laundromat:
They are an item that should be dry cleaned only. This is because washing a suit can change its shape and fit. It can either become tight due to shrinkage or become loose and have a bedraggled appearance after its been washed. Sending your suits to the dry cleaners ensures an immaculate and perfectly crisp finish minus any alterations to the shape and fit.
- Leather skirts and jackets
Leather is one material that is nearly impossible to clean at home or at the Laundromat without ruining it. It requires a professional job and that is why leather garments are dry clean only.
Silk garments sometimes have hand washing instructions but dry cleaning is even better. You definitely shouldn’t be putting your silk garments in a normal washing machine load though so taking them to a Laundromat is out of the question. Dark and silk lined garments should be dry cleaned ideally.
Cotton is one of those resilient fabrics that can be loaded into the washing machine at the Laundromat directly. Be careful to use the appropriate water temperature though and separate darks and whites before loading.
We hope this guide has been useful to you in understanding the difference between Laundromats and dry cleaning services. Gold Dry Cleaners offer both laundry and dry cleaning services at very economical prices. Contact us today and we can come right to you for a pick up!