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Get All of Your Laundry Done At Once
I can not express enough how amazing this is. I now save 17 hours a day by doing my laundry at the laundromat. Okay, 17 hours might be a slight exaggeration, but let me tell you it feels like 17 hours. Yesterday I took all of our family laundry to Brio Laundry. Laundry for 9 people. I did 5 large loads (would have been at least twelve in our washing machine) and dried all of them in three dryers (they are huge). It took me 43 minutes to fold it all (I timed myself). In just three hours I was back home with all of our laundry done.
The Laundromat is More Affordable Than You Think
Doing your laundry at home isn’t free, though it often seems like it. For us to run our washer and dry we are using electricity (obviously), water (we pay monthly on usage) and more importantly, our septic system. The standard advice for laundry when you have a septic system is to spread your washing out over the week instead of doing it all on one day.
This saves your septic system from the “shock” of so much water and laundry soap. Well, in a large family I am doing 3-4 loads of laundry under regular circumstances. Add in sickness, sheets, and blankets, and it’s a whole lot more.
Laundry Can Be Done Just Once a Week
From an efficiency standpoint, there is no better way to do your laundry than at a laundromat. The reason is, at the laundromat, I can wash all my clothing at once, in multiple machines. At home I am constantly having to switch loads, reaping one basket of clean, dry laundry ever 2-2.5 hours.
The Laundromat Gets Our Clothes Cleaner
That’s right. The washing machines at a laundromat are made for commercial use. They are faster, stronger, and sturdier. All of the machines at Brio Laundry are front loaders. They are powerful and our clothes come out amazingly clean.
Not Having Easy Access to a Washer and Dryer Has Cut Back on Laundry
Two words: Teenage Girls. They are probably the biggest contributor to our laundry pile. Yes, they do their own laundry. But here’s the thing. Doing their own laundry still means they are using our washer and dryer (both time and money expense). Now that they know we are using a laundromat, even the teen girls are more careful about what constitutes “dirty” laundry.
Tips for Using a Laundromat for Your Large Family
Sort Your Laundry at Home
This one is pretty obvious, but you are going to save time if your laundry is sorted before you head to the laundromat.
Gone are the days when you need to sort colors and whites and sixteen other categories. Here is how I sort our laundry: pants, shirts, towels/socks/undies/pajamas, work clothes (Chuck is in construction and gets really dirty). The reason I sort this way isn’t even to save my clothes/laundry. It is because it is much faster to fold a pile of just pants or shirts, then a mixed load. It is all about being sorted for drying/folding.
Get a Customer Loyalty Card
Our laundromat offers loyalty cards. Over time this saves money. It also accepts quarters or credit/debit cards. I always use my debit card which makes it quick and easy.
Don’t Dry Your Clothing
Bringing your freshly washed laundry home to hang dry is an option. We live in a very rainy and damp climate (geographically it’s a temperate rainforest) so this isn’t a viable option for us. If you live in a dryer climate, however, you might want to consider this option.
Handwash Selected Items
Now, I am not suggesting you start doing laundry for your large family by hand. What I am suggesting is that some items can easily be washed by hand. You may also want to invest in a small hand laundry system such as the Scrubba Portable Clothes Washing Bag (also great for traveling) or the Laundry Alternative Wonderwash.
Farming My Backyard has some very practical tips on how to handwash your clothes. I recommend you learn the basics of handwashing. It makes traveling light so much easier when you know how to wash your clothes in a pinch.
Best Soap for Handwashing Clothes
We don’t (normally) wash our clothes by hand, but when our kids go on mission trips with Teen Missions, handwashing is required. We always send our kids with Fels Naptha laundry bars.