Laundromats/Self-Service Laundry

Don't have a washer and dryer? Are you tired of waiting for a machine in your apartment's facilities...the one with 3-4 machines for 200 tenants? Cart it all to a nearby laundry facility. Remember to bring your own laundry detergent — laundromat vending machines aren't cheap.

Davis used to have a number of laundromats, but with the recent departure of Quick Clean Center and Wash Mill, Davis now only has one: The Laundry Lounge, located in Central Davis. They unfortunately experienced burst pipes on 20 January 2013 and had to close temporarily for 1 day, highlighting one of the problems with having only one laundromat in town. (Another is that people without cars living in East Davis used to be able to walk to The Wash Mill). However, with the city code that requires apartment complexes with more than 8 units to have a functioning washer and dryer, some believe that it is hard for laundromats in Davis to gain enough customer base, especially in the summer when the population drastically drops. However, the evidence belies this. The Wash Mill had been in business for forty years and wanted to continue to stay in business; the problem is that it is very costly to start a new laundromat because setting up a laundromat typically involves installing a lot more plumbing, electric lines and gas lines than a retail space ordinarily entails. Thus, while the Wash Mill could have continued as it was, it could not afford the high cost of moving to a new location.

A new laundromat called Love Laundry is opening in the Spring of 2016. It bills itself as a more modern facility.

This article from The Davis Enterprise highlights some of the issues facing laundromats in Davis and more specifically the closure of Wash Mill.

Little known fact: Laundromat is actually a service mark for a commercial establishment equipped with washing machines and dryers, usually coin-operated and self-service. It should be capitalized, but often occurs in print in lowercase.

Dry Cleaners


Basic Laundry:

These are your everyday jeans & tee shirts. Socks, boxers, underwear, that sort of thing.


Anyone have any tips on doing laundry? Have you found shortcuts or "poor man's" methods?

  • Ladies, get mesh bags for bras; Target, Wal-Mart, etc. Close the back of your bras and wash them in the mesh bag, they won't snag other clothes. And DO NOT put bras in the dryer. I'm guessing you all knew that, but you can never be too sure.
  • Don't feel you have to use as much laundry detergent as the instructions on the package say. Use about 1/4 - 1/2 that amount - experiment and see what works well for you. Using as much as they say will just leave a lot of potentially irritating residue and cause you to go through the detergent faster than necessary.
  • Hang dry clothing when possible to save energy, money, and wear and tear on the clothing. Also, when using the dryer, try not to dry the clothing all the way to burnt hot dry. Try to dry them to where the waist bands of heavier things are still damp. This also eases up the wear and tear on the clothes. If you use clothespins to hang up a shirt, hang the shirt upside-down so you don't get little clothespin poochy-marks on the shoulders.
  • Running the washer on COLD/COLD saves energy and money. You don't have to use special "cold water only" detergent, either.
  • Buy detergent without dyes or fragrances to minimize impact on local ecosystems. Or, you can even make your own.
  • If you need quarters for the machines, try the change machines at the MU Games Area on campus. They always have a huge supply. When the quarters drop it's like you hit a jackpot.  Ask grocery stores nicely, or change bills for coins at the bank.  "May I please withdraw $10 from my checking account? Yes, and can I get that all in quarters?" 
  • Some apartment complexes use swipe cards for laundry fees.  University laundry facilities may also use them.  You'll want to make sure they don't go through the wash with your clothes!

Delicates & Handwashing

These are delicate items like silk, cashmere, chenille, some lingerie.

  1. You'll need a basin/container/sink, two is preferred. Many places have two kitchen sinks, that's a great place to wash delicates

  2. One basin will have warm water with a little bit of soap for washing, use laundry soap made for delicates, as most are too harsh, or use a very small amount. The other will be cooler water with no soap for rinsing.

  3. Do lighter colored items first, that way when you rinse, you won't have dark water. You can change the rinsing water whenever you want.

  4. Spot treat any spots on your items, with a high concentration of soap and a toothbrush.

  5. Do one thing at a time, put your item in the warm soapy basin, and agitate it by gently swishing it around with your hand. You may even want to let it soak for a little bit.

  6. Ring it out by gently folding your item, don't twist, and push up against a wall of the basin to push water out.

  7. Move it to the cooler water basin and swish it around like you did in the other basin.

  8. You won't need to let it sit in the cool water, make sure the soap is gone and set it out to dry. Some items need to be "reshaped" like sweaters, but in most cases you can reshape and lay on ironing or drying board. Any flat surface will do.

  9. Hooray, you've washed your own clothes!

    -MichelleAccurso is an expert at handwashing.

    Departed Laundromats

    Departed Dry Cleaners