I Love My Laundromat

When I was five years old we lived in a triplex on Fremont Avenue in Seattle and went to the Laundromat on the corner every week. It was one of my very favorite places. It had a warm, clean smell and squeaky yellow linoleum floors. My sister and I loved taking turns pushing each other around in the wheeled laundry baskets, playing tag, and climbing inside the dryers and the extractor. In retrospect, I’m amazed we didn’t get kicked out of the place!

So even if I wasn’t a Whedonite and a fan of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog, I’d still have a soft spot for Laundromats. Laundry facilities were available at each of the three other places I’ve lived since moving to Portland, but not at my new digs. So I was secretly delighted when I realized I’d have to find a Laundromat in my new neighborhood. And find one, I did. I think I might have found the coolest Laundromat in the world!

Now once a week I head to the Belmont Eco Laundry with a backpack full of laundry to wash. I alternate between biking and bussing depending on the weather. The Laundromat is an especially nice place to be on a rainy day. I've just gotten a Smart Klean laundry ball at the suggestion of my friend Karin, another tiny houser. So far I'm liking it quite a bit, even though it's one more thing (since it's not disposable it counts as a thing in my Thing Challenge). It's nice to not have to think about buying detergent anymore!

Unless I'm doing sheets and blankets I'm able to fit everything into one of the 18-gallon washing machines, which are the smallest they have. I pay $2.25 for the quick wash on my credit card (no need to bother with all those quarters!) and settle down to do use the free wifi while waiting the 16 minutes for the magical washing machine to finish up. The machine sends me a text message when it is time to switch my laundry to the dryer. I grab one of the wheeled baskets (so tempting to crawl inside and scoot around the Laundromat, pushing myself off the washing machines, but I resist!)

I've been impressed by how my clothes are already nearly dry because of the rapid spin cycle of the industrial washing machines. I've discovered it usually takes only 2 quarters (14 minutes) to dry my clothes. If I'm only doing one load clothes I can get things washed and dried in just half an hour! I don’t have to deal with quarters and I even got to check my email. The only thing that would make this place truly perfect would be if they happened to have a coffee shop next door, but I'm still pretty pleased! I’ll do my best to refrain from turning laundry day into a musical…