are laundromats really that big a thing in the US?

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Kharnynb

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So I'm just a dumb euro-poor :D and I'd never knew that the whole going to the laundromat/building washing machine was common in the US, i thought it always was just a thing in new york tv-series.
We don't really have anything like that here, except for some specialty services for big carpets or clothing that needs steamcleaning or such.
Since a basic second-hand washing machine can be picked up at any recycling center here, fixed and with a 6 month warranty for 100 euro's it sounds super wasteful to go to a place where you have to spend money on washing every week.
So is this just one of those cultural things or is there some special reason behind it?
 

El Whedo

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Laundromats are are mostly extinct in the States, except for very poor neighborhoods, and high density cities.

I live in a tiny village where we all have more room than we need. I have a washer and drier in my house, and another set all tarped up in my garage as replacements.
 

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Laundromats are are mostly extinct in the States, except for very poor neighborhoods, and high density cities.

I live in a tiny village where we all have more room than we need. I have a washer and drier in my house, and another set all tarped up in my garage as replacements.
Depending on where you live they are not close to being extinct. I live in a suburb of NYC and they are all over the place.

To answer OPs question, the reason for them is not necessarily cost. As you say second hand ones are cheap enough and off brand new ones are only a few hundred dollars.

The main reason is no hookup in the rental property or a landlord/owner not allowing the modification.

Another is that a lot of large apartment buildings don't have them in the individual apartment. They have a limited number in laundry rooms. These can get crowded or broken so people use laundromats instead.
 

Bassman2003

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It is not really wasteful if you think about it, just different. Small living situations or lack of funds might prohibit purchasing washers and dryers. New models are very expensive. Used washers and dryers are not that big of a thing in the U.S. The laundromats usually have larger machines so the loads can be larger. We take larger blankets etc... to the laundromat from time to time. I would not call them extinct outside of very wealthy areas :)
 
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Kharnynb

Kharnynb

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wasn't thinking wasteful, we also have the ones where you can bring carpets or such, but clothes is a bit wierd to have to drag to a spot somewhere.

even my tiny 1-room with bathroom back in the netherlands had a bathroom spot for the washer, i don't think it's even legal to have a rental place without one.
 

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Laundrymates are still quite popular in the states depending on your city or town they might be less noticable but are a still around. Even the little town I live in has one. In many smaller towns and places the Laundrymat might be located at a nearby truck stop. While it might sound wasteful there is a huge difference in the amount of water used for those than the ones meant for home use. For the most part their machines use less water than home based top loaders. They did see a decline in some places but as the US has adopted more of a throw away rather than repair mindset on many things thanks to the prices for parts and labor being near the cost of a new model. They have been a steady resource for many. top that off with many rental properties here not always having them or allowing them. Keeps the need alive within the US.
 

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i have three here, all located around the apartment sectors...i personaly have my own washer dryer though. and there was one back in NorCal where i lived...

(if memory serves me, when my washer was broke for a bit, it seemed like a good place to meet women! ;) :mug:)
 

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A Google search shows 6 within 3 miles of me. They're pretty common anywhere with a appreciable density of mid- or lower-income housing. I lived in an apartment without hookups for a while a few years ago. It's a little inconvenient, but you work into your routine. 🤷‍♂️
 

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I suspect if the OP saw the size of many apartments in big ol' USA cities they might appreciate tons of people have no room or hook-ups for washers...
 

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I live in rural PA and we have 'em here, people too dumb, lazy or too broke to hook up their own equipment. Or maybe there's no room, no connections as described above....
But we also use laundromats to sell beer, the second one is the better of the two:


 
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Kharnynb

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I suspect if the OP saw the size of many apartments in big ol' USA cities they might appreciate tons of people have no room or hook-ups for washers...
I remember when my brother-in-law was living in a 1-room 25 sq meter (260 sq feet) apartment, and even that had a washer :D
 

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I've used Laundromats a few times in the past. Usually when on vacation with beach towels and swimwear and such to keep from getting a lot of sand in my home washer/dryer. Also for really bulky bedspreads and comforters.
 

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I had shared laundry facilities for the building when I lived in the dorm, the frat house, and first apartment after leaving school. Didn't really consider those laundromats, but they weren't completely private or free to use.

Our first apartment after my wife graduated university had laundry machines in unit, but there was also a set accessible in a closet off the common hallway that we used once or twice when we thought our machines were busted. Since then we've had in unit laundry and used laundromats in special circumstances like vacations.

We've been using AirBnB/VRBO for extended vacations the last couple years because it's just so darn convenient to have private laundry and a kitchen. When you consider luggage space valuable (which it is if you're flying), and factor in how much you save making food vs restaurants it's pretty $competitive$ to get an AirBnB/VRBO compared to hotels.

I think there is a laundromat on the main street of this town, but I've never had a reason to care. I'm more concerned about why I need to drive so far for a decent grocery store. I'd love it if I could hook up the bike trailer my kid used to ride in, pedal a couple of miles, grab the ingredients to make some bread, along with some eggs, milk, and butter, put them in my bike trailer, and pedal them all back to my house without being concerned that I'll get run off the road or that the eggs and dairy wont stay cool. I'd love some produce as well, but I'd settle for quality ingredients to make a loaf of bread, eggs, and some basic dairy. It would also be fantastic if we had some bike lanes and a general attitude of respect (even a grudging respect) towards cyclists. I'm not saying that people are trying to intentionally run down cyclists around here, but I'm certainly not confident on roads with a speed limit faster than 40mph.

Sorry, that was off topic. Laundromats, even if you have machines in your residence they're still great in a pinch, but easy to overlook if you don't need them.
 
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Kharnynb

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I think there is a laundromat on the main street of this town, but I've never had a reason to care. I'm more concerned about why I need to drive so far for a decent grocery store. I'd love it if I could hook up the bike trailer my kid used to ride in, pedal a couple of miles, grab the ingredients to make some bread, along with some eggs, milk, and butter, put them in my bike trailer, and pedal them all back to my house without being concerned that I'll get run off the road or that the eggs and dairy wont stay cool. I'd love some produce as well, but I'd settle for quality ingredients to make a loaf of bread, eggs, and some basic dairy. It would also be fantastic if we had some bike lanes and a general attitude of respect (even a grudging respect) towards cyclists. I'm not saying that people are trying to intentionally run down cyclists around here, but I'm certainly not confident on roads with a speed limit faster than 40mph.

I've always been surprised that the US zoning laws are so strict that you can't have local supermarkets, i've never lived anywhere that doesn't have a shop within 1 km. only tiny villages might require you to go further, but even those have village shops at least.
 

Kent88

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I've always been surprised that the US zoning laws are so strict that you can't have local supermarkets, i've never lived anywhere that doesn't have a shop within 1 km. only tiny villages might require you to go further, but even those have village shops at least.

We do have a bad convenience store in town that's accessible by a road with a 55mph speed limit. Lots of canned and frozen stuff, high preservative and high salt kind of food. I did hear some good news from a neighbor a while ago so I should go check that place out again, but I don't have high hopes. I also heard that a grocery store that went under in a nearby community was sold and opened back up as a different grocery store. It's less than half as far as the grocery stores I've been going to, but still too far to ride bike to if I'd buy eggs, milk, or ice cream.
 

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I've always been surprised that the US zoning laws are so strict that you can't have local supermarkets,
The problem is profitability. Small stores can't compete on prices, so shoppers go elsewhere to save 20 cents on an item. it costs millions to build and operate even a moderate size supermarket, so some small towns have held on to small stores, but some haven't.
 

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The problem is profitability. Small stores can't compete on prices, so shoppers go elsewhere to save 20 cents on an item. it costs millions to build and operate even a moderate size supermarket, so some small towns have held on to small stores, but some haven't.
If it were only 20 cents. I live in a town of about 15000, which is about 10miles away from my hometown of about 3000 ( i'm not counting my actual hometown of...61), and the chain grocery stores here are waaaaaaaaaay cheaper than the locally owned family shop in the smaller town. It's not even close. To the point where if the building hadn't been bought and paid for since the 70s, I don't think they'd still be in business. It wouldn't shock me if they stay open solely out of stubbornness because the town NEEDS something at least. Nice to have in a pinch, but I really only ever stopped there anymore when my dad needed some basics.

On the topic of laundromats, all of the little towns around here have at least one. I think theres two in town here. I only ever used one about 19 years ago when I had just moved out of my mom's and the dryer that came with my house took a crap mid laundry day. I finished that days laundry and had a new dryer installed about 3 days later. Never again. Those places SUCK.
 

estricklin

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If it were only 20 cents. I live in a town of about 15000, which is about 10miles away from my hometown of about 3000 ( i'm not counting my actual hometown of...61), and the chain grocery stores here are waaaaaaaaaay cheaper than the locally owned family shop in the smaller town. It's not even close. To the point where if the building hadn't been bought and paid for since the 70s, I don't think they'd still be in business. It wouldn't shock me if they stay open solely out of stubbornness because the town NEEDS something at least. Nice to have in a pinch, but I really only ever stopped there anymore when my dad needed some basics.

On the topic of laundromats, all of the little towns around here have at least one. I think theres two in town here. I only ever used one about 19 years ago when I had just moved out of my mom's and the dryer that came with my house took a crap mid laundry day. I finished that days laundry and had a new dryer installed about 3 days later. Never again. Those places SUCK.
I grew up in a rural area, and there the connotation about laundromats is very negative. If your using one, you've fallen on some hard times. Lots of single moms, college students and very poor people in them. In large cities it's different, lots of people just don't have the hook ups. Either way, going to the laundromat is a miserable experience.

When I was a kid, I remember many of them had video games, and sold nachos and stuff to make extra money.
 

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i have three here, all located around the apartment sectors...i personaly have my own washer dryer though. and there was one back in NorCal where i lived...

(if memory serves me, when my washer was broke for a bit, it seemed like a good place to meet women! ;) :mug:)
We lived in Crescent City, CA for three years; a small town with two.
We had to start using one when my idiot methhead of a step son and his heroin addicted S O ruined the washer/dryer set we brought with us that we gave to them. And the fridge and large upright freezer. What a pair of losers.
 

Kent88

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The problem is profitability. Small stores can't compete on prices, so shoppers go elsewhere to save 20 cents on an item. it costs millions to build and operate even a moderate size supermarket

I was chatting with some friends about food deserts a while back. I lamented that even a large, specially made vending machine could do a lot if it could manage to dispense a half dozen egg carton without breaking, or 5lb bags of flour or sugar without puncturing the bag. They told me that automats would work in that kind of role. I wonder how expensive something like that is to run.
 
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McMullan

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We lived in Crescent City, CA for three years; a small town with two.
We had to start using one when my idiot methhead of a step son and his heroin addicted S O ruined the washer/dryer set we brought with us that we gave to them. And the fridge and large upright freezer. What a pair of losers.
I can see how you  might view the humble launderette in a negative way, but, as a potentially important element of any community, I think you should give it another chance.

 

betarhoalphadelta

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I'm more concerned about why I need to drive so far for a decent grocery store. I'd love it if I could hook up the bike trailer my kid used to ride in, pedal a couple of miles, grab the ingredients to make some bread, along with some eggs, milk, and butter, put them in my bike trailer, and pedal them all back to my house without being concerned that I'll get run off the road or that the eggs and dairy wont stay cool.

Well, that's one of the difficult things about living in certain places. I remember when the kids were younger and I wanted to get them to sleep and get a walk in, I popped the two of them in their tandem stroller and walked them to and from the homebrew store because I needed ingredients. Yeah, it was about 3 mi each way so pushing 60# of kids one way and then 75# of kids + ingredients on the way back was a bit of a slog, but if I'd just been going to a grocery store rather than LHBS it would have been <1 mi easy.

I've always been surprised that the US zoning laws are so strict that you can't have local supermarkets, i've never lived anywhere that doesn't have a shop within 1 km. only tiny villages might require you to go further, but even those have village shops at least.
The problem is profitability. Small stores can't compete on prices, so shoppers go elsewhere to save 20 cents on an item. it costs millions to build and operate even a moderate size supermarket, so some small towns have held on to small stores, but some haven't.

I think a lot of this is also a cultural thing. In the US, it's customary for a family to do a grocery run once a week, stock up everything needed for the week, and that covers everything. As a result, shoppers expect to get EVERYTHING in one store, and so having a supermarket rather than a "grocery" store became popular. With this, it is also normal for US families to have very large refrigerators (and often spare fridges for overrun) because they need to house a week's worth of groceries.

My understanding from talking to many Europeans and people with Euro friends is that this isn't the way many live over there. People often might buy their dinner prep groceries on the way home from work, or only 1-2 days ahead. There isn't a weekly food run, you buy what you need right before you need it. As a result, for many the very idea of a 26 cu ft refrigerator seems tremendously bulky and wasteful and unnecessary.

@Kharnynb does that fit with what you've experienced?
 

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People who live in apartments or rental units often use laundromats because landlords often don't put washers & dryers in their units.

This is often because the local municipal Building Department makes it difficult and expensive to do so - through not just their obnoxious oversight, long waits and additional costs ... but also because many local building departments prohibit landlords from doing any plumbing work themselves ... instead the bldg dept often requires a licensed/bonded contractor to be used - which is *much* more costly.

Furthermore, it is not common to have extra and ready space to install laundry facilities in the unit ... any "extra" space goes to a second bedroom, a kitchen pantry, or larger rooms in general ... this is particularly the case in purpose-built multi-family housing. It's all in the numbers.

Rental units and especially rental houses often are absolutely notorious "alligators" ... that is, they actually have negative profitability when all costs are included in properly ... debt service, contractor and construction costs, maintenance, taxes, insurance etc etc etc. It takes a LOT more calculations which accurately expense inclusions to run rentals which actually break even and many landlords, instead, try to rely on being able to eventually sell the property for a capital gain and suffer through the poverty and misery of costs and operations in the meantime.
 
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McMullan

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My understanding from talking to many Europeans and people with Euro friends is that this isn't the way many live over there. People often might buy their dinner prep groceries on the way home from work, or only 1-2 days ahead.
Nope, that's some romantic ideal that doesn't represent most of Europe at all. The only time I've experienced that kind of model was when I was a kid and we had local shops. Supermarkets and their investors put most local shops out of business, by undercutting them. Then when I was a student and didn't plan things like food very well. Now clowns like Jeff Bezos are undercutting the supermarkets. At an even greater cost to society and local communities.
 

Kent88

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I think a lot of this is also a cultural thing. In the US, it's customary for a family to do a grocery run once a week, stock up everything needed for the week, and that covers everything. As a result, shoppers expect to get EVERYTHING in one store, and so having a supermarket rather than a "grocery" store became popular. With this, it is also normal for US families to have very large refrigerators (and often spare fridges for overrun) because they need to house a week's worth of groceries.

I've been encouraging my spouse to make grocery lists for years. Our first few apartments were really close to supermarkets and grocery stores, and she likes to cook, so it became really easy for her to look at the fridge while planning a meal, tell me "I want to make [insert name of dish], but we're out of [insert ingredient]" and we'd look around for two minutes to see what else we might be low on, and go make a quick grocery store run. This lead to us making grocery runs a few times a week. We finally got in the habit of grocery lists when we moved to what is almost a food desert and social distancing became a thing.

I guess we're not typical.

I wish I liked a larger variety of foods so that a CSA would make sense, but if we did that now we'd waste a lot of food. But we garden, and if we can ever afford a few acres on the edge of town I'd like to expand that and maybe raise some poultry.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Nope, that's some romantic ideal that doesn't represent most of Europe at all. The only time I've experienced that kind of model was when I was a kid and we had local shops. Supermarkets and their investors put most local shops out of business, by undercutting them. Then when I was a student and didn't plan things like food very well. Now clowns like Jeff Bezos are undercutting the supermarkets. At an even greater cost to society and local communities.

I'll admit I'm going more on hearsay here. I will say that much of it comes from people referring to the French specifically. Not sure if that makes a difference.

I've been encouraging my spouse to make grocery lists for years. Our first few apartments were really close to supermarkets and grocery stores, and she likes to cook, so it became really easy for her to look at the fridge while planning a meal, tell me "I want to make [insert name of dish], but we're out of [insert ingredient]" and we'd look around for two minutes to see what else we might be low on, and go make a quick grocery store run. This lead to us making grocery runs a few times a week. We finally got in the habit of grocery lists when we moved to what is almost a food desert and social distancing became a thing.

I guess we're not typical.

No, it's somewhat normal to do this as a matter of convenience in my opinion. When I got divorced and had the kids on a very on/off schedule of not having them nor being away from them for more than ~2 days at a time (sometimes only one day on/off) I was very much a "only plan dinners ~2-3 days out" kind of guy. So I was often at the grocery store 3 times a week. But, I live in a dense place where I probably have 10 grocery stores in a 5 mile radius, even more if you count Target, various carnicerias and specialty ethnic grocers and my high-end butcher shop. Heck, I'm at Costco once a week because if you expand that radius out to 10 miles, I think I've got at least 4 Costcos...

But population density is a lot higher here than most of the country, and I recognize that my access to and choice of quality grocery stores is far superior to most of the nation.

I eventually got onto a "list" mentality when I met my wife, because I think if she'd had to deal with that lack of planning she'd never have married me lol.
 

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I just really hate going to the grocery store unless they have free vehicle charging. But I also know that if I don't go by myself that my spouse will buy more junk food than I want. I'm good about not buying it, but once it's in my house I can't keep away from it.
 
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Kharnynb

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For me, yes, we tend to do shopping 3 times per week on average, same as when I was still living in the netherlands.

most supermarkets here in finland are part of s-market chain or k-market chain.
these come in 3 sizes each, small for inner city, bigger for suburbs and huge for just outside town.
Generally people will do daily or every other day shopping for meat and veg at the small or mid-sized ones and then go to the big store in the weekend to stock up on pantrystuff etc. City folk will be more likely to just buy everything at their local market, while more rural people tend to go to the bigger shops.
(fun fact, the k chain used to name their shops by size, k-market, kk-market and kkk-market :D, they switched to k-market, k-supermarket and k-citymarket some 20 years ago)
Within the chain, the size of the shop doesn't matter, they are all the same price, they just have smaller selections, but generally even the tiny ones have a reasonable selection of fresh fruit/veg and meat, just likely less of a brand-selection and might be missing all but the minimal "household items".
 

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People who live in apartments or rental units often use laundromats because landlords often don't put washers & dryers in their units.

This is often because the local municipal Building Department makes it difficult and expensive to do so - through not just their obnoxious oversight, long waits and additional costs ... but also because many local building departments prohibit landlords from doing any plumbing work themselves ... instead the bldg dept often requires a licensed/bonded contractor to be used - which is *much* more costly.

Furthermore, it is not common to have extra and ready space to install laundry facilities in the unit ... any "extra" space goes to a second bedroom, a kitchen pantry, or larger rooms in general ... this is particularly the case in purpose-built multi-family housing. It's all in the numbers.

Rental units and especially rental houses often are absolutely notorious "alligators" ... that is, they actually have negative profitability when all costs are included in properly ... debt service, contractor and construction costs, maintenance, taxes, insurance etc etc etc. It takes a LOT more calculations which accurately expense inclusions to run rentals which actually break even and many landlords, instead, try to rely on being able to eventually sell the property for a capital gain and suffer through the poverty and misery of costs and operations in the meantime.
A dryer is going to need either 30 amp 240V service or a gas line (propane or natural gas) plus a 4" vent. A washing machine is going to need hot and cold lines plus a 2" drain. A skilled tradesman is a very good idea for both installations and a reasonably good idea for renter safety vs a hack of a landlord doing it on the cheap. The argument you make at the end pretty much ensures that the landlord will do it on the cheap. Plus as noted, if they unit was not designed with a washer and dryer in mind, needing to run a 2" waste line and a 4" exhaust vent may require careful consideration. The 2" can't be run horizontally through 2x4 stud walls (maybe metal studs, I don't know about those) and the washer will need to be tied in to to the existing drain lines. Screw up the dryer vent and the building may burn down or be a mold pit. As a homeowner and knowledgeable DIYer I appreciate that I am allowed to perform these renovations by my town as the homeowner and occupant and have done so but it is a different story for a renter who may also live in a multiunit dwelling.

The above is not particularly relevant to housing units with built in laundry space. When that's the case, landlords may or may not provide the washers and dryers but usually the renter is aware that it is in their best interest to have one as it will be cheaper than the laundromat. That's what I did even when I was a poor college student renting. The presence or absence of housing units with laundry hookups is largely the driver for the density of laundromats. Besides being able to properly install hookups, I have also become quite adept at repairing washers and dryers. [Quick aside, there is often a repair manual located inside the appliance meant for repair technicians.] In my general area, there are but a couple of laundromats which I discovered while waiting for parts. There are few apartment buildings locally, although there are two small colleges. Having lived in both types previously, those types of places in general will have centrally located laundry rooms available for residents.

I was recently camping and needed to use the campground laundromat. Lo and behold, the machines were connected to an app!
 

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So I'm just a dumb euro-poor :D and I'd never knew that the whole going to the laundromat/building washing machine was common in the US, i thought it always was just a thing in new york tv-series.
We don't really have anything like that here, except for some specialty services for big carpets or clothing that needs steamcleaning or such.
Since a basic second-hand washing machine can be picked up at any recycling center here, fixed and with a 6 month warranty for 100 euro's it sounds super wasteful to go to a place where you have to spend money on washing every week.
So is this just one of those cultural things or is there some special reason behind it?
There's still plenty of laundromats in the States. My former stepfather used to own several and I spent time as a teenager working with him to keep them running. Having seen what goes into the machines (e.g. poopy cloth baby diapers, etc) I prefer to avoid them. That, and they're frequently located in a part of town where you may get assaulted and relieved of your valuables.

With that said, the mobile home I lived in while in college simply had no space or provision for a washer/dryer hook up. It lacked a dish washer (and air conditioning) as well. It was a tiny thing but it was cheap. Hence, I either had to haul clothes to my parents' house or pay to use the laundromat by the university. That's a real drag in my opinion because I'd much rather be somewhere else doing something else than bored at the laundromat.

We spent a week in Madrid in 2019 and stayed at a hotel downtown. There was a small laundromat just down the way from the hotel where we washed all our clothes before packing up to travel home. I recall the laundry being kind of expensive but we were paying for convenience.

On the topic of supermarkets - they're everywhere in the states. The town of 35,000 I grew up in has five, plus numerous quickie mart type convenience stores that sell groceries too. Gas stations, particularly in rural areas, also sell a lot of groceries as well as I discovered when I lived out of town. You pay a bit more for the convenience but it beats a 30 min ride back to town when all you need is baking powder or a bottle of Worchestershire sauce.
 

Jacob_Marley

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A dryer is going to need either 30 amp 240V service or a gas line (propane or natural gas) plus a 4" vent. A washing machine is going to need hot and cold lines plus a 2" drain. A skilled tradesman is a very good idea for both installations and a reasonably good idea for renter safety vs a hack of a landlord doing it on the cheap. The argument you make at the end pretty much ensures that the landlord will do it on the cheap. Plus as noted, if they unit was not designed with a washer and dryer in mind, needing to run a 2" waste line and a 4" exhaust vent may require careful consideration. The 2" can't be run horizontally through 2x4 stud walls (maybe metal studs, I don't know about those) and the washer will need to be tied in to to the existing drain lines. Screw up the dryer vent and the building may burn down or be a mold pit. As a homeowner and knowledgeable DIYer I appreciate that I am allowed to perform these renovations by my town as the homeowner and occupant and have done so but it is a different story for a renter who may also live in a multiunit dwelling.

The above is not particularly relevant to housing units with built in laundry space. When that's the case, landlords may or may not provide the washers and dryers but usually the renter is aware that it is in their best interest to have one as it will be cheaper than the laundromat. That's what I did even when I was a poor college student renting. The presence or absence of housing units with laundry hookups is largely the driver for the density of laundromats. Besides being able to properly install hookups, I have also become quite adept at repairing washers and dryers. [Quick aside, there is often a repair manual located inside the appliance meant for repair technicians.] In my general area, there are but a couple of laundromats which I discovered while waiting for parts. There are few apartment buildings locally, although there are two small colleges. Having lived in both types previously, those types of places in general will have centrally located laundry rooms available for residents.

I was recently camping and needed to use the campground laundromat. Lo and behold, the machines were connected to an app!
Exactly what (to quote you) “argument” are you accusing me of making “at the end” of my previous post which “insures the landlord will do it on the cheap” ?
When it comes to laundry facilities in the unit, many landlords won't do it at all.

You need to go back and read that “at the end” section again.
In the last paragraph, I state that “It takes a lot more calculations which accurately expense inclusions, to run rentals which actually break even". It is difficult to make the numbers meet, and "negative profitability" is a significant reason why many rentals do not have laundry facilities installed.

Maybe you didn’t notice but this thread was about the prevalence of laundromats, and the question is asked by the original poster “is there some special reason behind it?”.
I am responding to the original poster's *question*.

It would appear that you were confused by my point about the Building Department and requiring contractors for the installation of laundry facilities? ... read it right to the end, what were the final few words?
Let me help you here ... those words are “is much more costly”.
Costly, as in why in-unit laundry facilities often don’t make it into the budget ... and consequently there are more laundromats.

You might want to read more carefully next time.
 
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Kent88

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On the topic of supermarkets - they're everywhere in the states. The town of 35,000 I grew up in has five, plus numerous quickie mart type convenience stores that sell groceries too. Gas stations, particularly in rural areas, also sell a lot of groceries as well as I discovered when I lived out of town. You pay a bit more for the convenience but it beats a 30 min ride back to town when all you need is baking powder or a bottle of Worchestershire sauce.

I wish this was the case in the part of the U.S. I have lived in. I think my home county (a very rural county) had three quality grocery stores / supermarkets, and I think they're down to two now. Most of the smaller communities had no convenience stores that would sell quality flour, sugar, or produce. I've avoided food deserts since moving out of my parents place, arguably until this house. We have one store, and it's better than nothing, but not by much.
 
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are dishwashers more common than washing machines? over here, it's the opposite, most "low rent" places won't have a dishwasher, but all will have washing machine connections.
 

Kent88

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are dishwashers more common than washing machines? over here, it's the opposite, most "low rent" places won't have a dishwasher, but all will have washing machine connections.

My #1 advice to newly married couples is to have and maintain a decent quality dishwasher. Our first apartment had no dishwasher, and it was the source of most of our newlywed arguments.
 

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Exactly what (to quote you) “argument” are you accusing me of making “at the end” of my previous post which “insures the landlord will do it on the cheap” ?
When it comes to laundry facilities in the unit, many landlords won't do it at all.

You need to go back and read that “at the end” section again.
In the last paragraph, I state that “It takes a lot more calculations which accurately expense inclusions, to run rentals which actually break even". It is difficult to make the numbers meet, and "negative profitability" is a significant reason why many rentals do not have laundry facilities installed.

Maybe you didn’t notice but this thread was about the prevalence of laundromats, and the question is asked by the original poster “is there some special reason behind it?”.
I am responding to the original poster's *question*.

It would appear that you were confused by my point about the Building Department and requiring contractors for the installation of laundry facilities? ... read it right to the end, what were the final few words?
Let me help you here ... those words are “is much more costly”.
Costly, as in why in-unit laundry facilities often don’t make it into the budget ... and consequently there are more laundromats.

You might want to read more carefully next time.
You ought to read more carefully with the understanding that words have multiple definitions.

argument def-a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.
"there is a strong argument for submitting a formal appeal"

You made an argument that "landlords often don't put washers & dryers in their units"..."because many local building departments prohibit landlords from doing any plumbing work themselves ... instead the bldg dept often requires a licensed/bonded contractor to be used - which is *much* more costly." You did this in response to the OP. I am responding to your argument concerning the building department, my doing so is entirely reasonable particularly since I thought your argument lacked proper consideration of the complexities of plumbing and electrical work. Subsequent posts in a thread do not have to strictly address the OP but can and do respond to statements made following.

In my post (#33) where I used the word argument, I was referring to your argument concerning "notorious alligators" which is in effect you making the case that landlords need to be cheap to begin with and thus not likely to spend the money to use skilled tradespeople. In my experience landlords are quite cheap and many many times I have seen them perform work quite shoddily. Your phrasing "the local municipal Building Department makes it difficult and expensive to do so - through not just their obnoxious oversight, long waits and additional costs..." followed by "but also because many local building departments prohibit landlords from doing any plumbing work themselves" implies you disagree with the Building Department's procedures that you have mentioned.

And further, it's not that the landlords won't renovate the units that the renters use the laundromats. Renters would already need to use the laundromats because the builders didn't put washer and dryer connections in when the place was built. Note also, in most cases new construction requires inspections and installation by licensed tradespeople to begin with, so asking the same later isn't exactly onerous or difficult for a renovation.
 

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That, and they're frequently located in a part of town where you may get assaulted and relieved of your valuables.
Students are getting increasingly desperate these days. Survival of the fittest in the streets around university campuses. I'd make a point of avoiding them, especially at night.
 
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