Laundromats OR Home Laundry? (Which is Cheaper?)

Laundromats are great, they save time and get the job done with ease.

However, washing machines are convenient because they are easily accessible and allow you to do the laundry without having to leave the house.

Both, have their pros and cons but which one is better in terms of cost?

In this article, we will go through some crucial points that will help you to understand the cheaper and better option i.e. Laundromat OR Home Laundry.

What Is the Cost of Laundry at a Laundromat?

The cost of washing clothes at a Laundromat can be expensive, especially if you do not carry your own detergents and laundry items with you.

On average, it can cost anywhere around $10 for two loads (Including detergents). Furthermore, if you add the transportation cost, the bill will jump even further.

If you wash a lot of clothes every week then it would make a lot of sense to invest in a suitable washer.

However, if you wash a few items every couple of weeks then it is wise for you to go to a laundromat.

So, the math is simple, the more load you wash per week, the more badly you will need to invest in a washer to save.

Single people, especially those who live alone can reduce the cost by combining darks with darks and separating the colored items.

The cost of laundering clothes at a Laundromat may vary from location to location and the size of the load.

Some Laundromats allow you to wash two loads simultaneously, while others only accept one.

Using the self-service option is generally less expensive.

Also, Some laundromats offer free cleaning products, while others charge extra for these.

So, these extra value-added services need to be calculated before deciding which option is better for you.

In addition to the cost of just washing the clothes, the cost of laundry detergent and dryer sheets will be much higher than at home.

It’s not that the laundromats are only expensive and do not provide value.

There is a good reason why laundromats exist. Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of doing laundry at a laundromat.

Benefits of Laundromats

There are many benefits to using a Laundromat for washing your clothes.

These include saving time, professional cleaning, and avoiding the cost of owning a washing machine.

Some Laundromats even have WiFi and allow you to do your work while your clothes are being washed.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of using Laundromat services.

Saves Time

If you have a lot of clothes to wash but don’t have enough space, time, and a big enough washer you should consider going to a laundromat.

Laundromats usually have large machines that can handle large items OR Larger laundry loads.

You can leave your clothes in a laundromat while you read a book or work.

You can even shop for cleaning supplies at a laundromat while waiting for your clothes to be finished.

With that said, Laundromats often have long queues and waiting times, so it’s best to come prepared.

Flexible Schedule

In many places, laundromats are open 24 hours a day, making them an excellent choice if you have an unpredictable schedule.

However, not all regions may have this privilege, so just do a little bit of research before planning to wash your clothes during non-busy hours.

Accommodates larger laundry loads

Small to medium-sized machines are enough for a few pounds of laundry.

While larger machines hold twenty to forty pounds of laundry, some laundromats may even offer machines with much higher capacity.

If you plan to use larger machines, it’s best to choose a front-load washer with a higher capacity than a top-loader.

Note: Before you visit a laundromat, make sure to pack a clean laundry bag so that you can use it to store your clothes post-washing.

Professional Cleaning

You can drop off your clothes at any laundromat OR even schedule a pickup, this is fast and convenient.

The machines will clean several items in a short amount of time depending on the number of pieces of clothing.

With that said, be assured of cleaning quality as laundromats provide professional cleaning.

Avoid the Cost of Owning a Washing machine

Buying a brand new washing machine can be expensive and do not forget the maintenance cost that comes with it.

In long run, if you are not a regular washing machine user, you are going to be spending a lot of money on the washing machine (Including maintenance costs, repair costs, electricity, and water bills).

So, it’s better to do a cost-benefit analysis in order to figure out which option is good for you (More on cost-benefit analysis later).

Disadvantages of Laundromat

While Laundromats can be a convenient way to get clothes washed in less time there are some disadvantages that you need to consider.

Here are some common disadvantages of Laundromats.

Laundromat Services May Be Expensive

When it comes to choosing a laundromat, the question of price often arises.

How much should it cost to wash a load of laundry? What are the amenities available? Do laundromats offer other services? Are they available 24 hours a day?

All of these factors impact the price of services and may make the laundromat appear more expensive.

If you’re considering a laundromat in New York, the cost of washing a load can range anywhere from $2.00 to $4.00 or even more at some places.

You May Need To Carry Your Own Detergent

If you plan to wash a large number of clothes at the Laundromat, you’ll need to bring your own detergent and other supplies.

Buying all the required supplies before reaching the laundromat can save you money, but you’ll also need to bring enough change for the machines (If it’s a coin-operated washer).

You may be using Larger Machines for a Small Load

Bigger machines generate more revenue therefore there are chances that you may need to pay extra to use large-sized washers.

What Is the Cost of Doing Laundry at Home?

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $0.17 to $0.35 per load to wash clothes at home. However, when you add detergent, energy cost, and water bills into the equation, the cost will be much higher and range anywhere from $1.20 to $1.40.

Laundromat machines are larger and more powerful than your average home washer, therefore they can better handle the loads and that’s the precise reason why they charge extra.

With that said, when we compare all the good things that the laundromats offer with home-based washing and do a cost-benefit analysis, you will find that the washing machine is more cost-efficient, especially when you wash lots of clothes every week.

The only downside to this approach is that it can take hours to load and dry your clothes at home.

Alright! Coming back to the cost factor, the cost to wash clothes at home largely depends on the below factors.

  • Load Size
  • Washer Type (Top-Load OR Front-Load)
  • Energy Efficiency Rating
  • Type Of Fabrics
  • Water Bills

Are Laundromats more expensive?

The average cost of using a Laundromat service varies wildly, ranging anywhere from $2.50 to $10 or more per load, depending on several factors.

Factors such as the location, heating systems, and the cost of electric units influence the cost of using laundromat services.

Another factor affecting cost is the amount of load you have to wash.

Additionally, many laundromats offer separate washrooms and wifi so that you can use your laptop or mobile device, this too influences the cost.

Technically, if you do the math, you can expect to pay anywhere around $2 per load, followed by an additional $2 for the dryer and another $2 for the transportation.

So, if you sum it up, it comes close to $6 per wash.

Even though the washing cost was $2 initially you ended up paying $6 for the wash and dry.

So, there are multiple factors that you need to consider before deciding which option is better.

Having said that, if we go by simple math, the cost of a laundromat will always be on the higher side as you are also paying for the extra services included in the cost.

Cost Benefit Analysis

If we take a quick look at the table below you will be able to better understand the cost you pay for the benefits you gain (In short cost-benefit analysis).

Service OfferedCost Paid to LaundromatCost Incurred
Per Load Cost (20 Pounds Capacity Washer)$2.50$0.35
Dryer Services (For Approx. 18 Minutes)$1.00$0.25
Transportation Cost$2.00N/A
Detergent Charges$0.25$0.25
Energy Cost for WasherN/A$0.30
Water CostN/A$0.45
Grand Total$5.75$1.60

Note: The above rates and figures are just an average and may vary according to the washer type, laundromat service charges, and location.

How to Reduce Laundry Cost at Laundromat?

An unplanned visit to a laundromat may be an expensive trip, especially when you don’t know how they operate.

However, by following a few simple tips you may be able to maximize the benefits by paying a lower cost.

Here are some tips to reduce costs when visiting a laundromat.

Avoid Washing Small Loads

The first step to cutting down on the amount of laundry you do at the laundromat is to avoid washing small loads of clothes.

A small load of clothes will cost you the same amount as a full one, so don’t waste money by washing only a few pieces.

Instead, you can also share a load with a friend or family member if you are comfortable doing that.

Combining your load could save you more than half the cost of laundry at the laundromat each year.

Bring Your Own Detergent

Another great way to reduce your laundry bill at the laundromat is to bring your own laundry detergent.

You can keep a bottle of detergent in your car, or buy cheaper detergent that will do the same job.

Visit Laundromat During Off Hours

In a lot of places, laundromats offer decent discounts during off hours.

So, just do some research on the working hours of your local laundromat and see if they offer any discount during off-peak hours.

Is it Worth Investing in a washer?

Purchasing an energy-efficient washer will surely save you money over time, we just saw that in our cost-benefits analysis in the table above.

So, energy-efficient machines can save you money on your monthly water and electric bills.

They also use the right amount of detergent and water to ensure your clothes come out clean.

However, the capacity of your machine will influence the amount of water it uses.

So, depending on your usage, budget, and the average size of the load you wash, you can choose an appropriate washer for yourself.

You can find many features in a washing machine, and the more expensive the model is, the more features it has.

Some features are necessary, while others are just not needed.

So, make sure to decide what you need, and stick to it.

How to reduce Laundry Costs when laundering at home?

Whether you have a small family or a large one, washing at home can save you money.

While saving pennies here and there can seem insignificant but it just adds up over time and when you get the energy and water bills, it becomes a difficult thing to accept.

Here are some tips to save or reduce laundry costs when laundering at home.

Avoid Hot Water Wash

Depending on the fabric type you generally adjust the temperature to wash clothes.

In reality, a hot water wash is not always needed.

Try to avoid a hot water wash unless you absolutely need it.

Your washer consumes a lot of power in order to heat the coil inside, so use it only if needed.

Avoid Small Load

When we say “Avoid Small Load” that does not mean you overload the washer.

What this means is, that you should not wash 2 or 3 items in the washer at one go, instead you can gather all the dirty laundry items together and wash them in one single load.

Get yourself an Energy Efficient Washer

There is a good reason why we have star-rated washers in the market.

The higher the star rating the more energy efficient the washer is.

So getting a washer with a higher star rating will certainly help you to save on energy and water bills.

Optimize the wash cycle

Another way to save on laundry costs is to optimize the wash cycle.

Your washer may have a pre-wash cycle, extra rinse cycle, and other features that may consume a lot of energy.

But do you really need them for every wash? Most likely the answer would be no.

So, avoid using energy-consuming cycles for every wash.

You may not need a pre-wash cycle at all if you pre-treat the heavily soiled items.

As a best practice, you may pre-soak the clothes in a tub and then put them in the washer for the final wash cycle.

Final Thoughts

Getting a Washing Machine for yourself is a smart decision if you accumulate lots of laundry.

However, if you are someone who is traveling and do not have the space, it’s best to get your clothes washed by using laundromats services.

A single person who washes clothes once every week may opt for laundromat services.

Just do some cost-benefit analysis and choose the right options.

Personally, I think getting a washer is a smart thing to do and you won’t regret that.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)