The Art of Finding Clean Laundromats Near Me When Traveling

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New normal lifestyle, Asian beautiful millennial woman washing her clothes in the automatic laundry self service

No matter who you are, how you travel, or where you go, doing laundry is just a fact of life. But cleaning your clothes isn’t most people’s idea of a good time–especially when they have to use a laundromat on the go. You’ve probably thought, “How can I even find a clean, reliable laundromat near me while traveling?” 

Don’t worry. We’re breaking down all the tips you need to know. Check it out. 

Where Do You Do Laundry When Traveling? 

This answer can depend considerably on your method of travel and where you’re staying. If you’re at a hotel or motel, your accommodations likely have laundry machines or even a laundry service available. Those staying in a short-term rental might also have in-unit or in-building laundry.

In addition, RVers and houseboaters with built-in washers and dryers are becoming more common, providing full-time or frequent travelers the amenities they need. 

But many travelers need a laundromat while on the road. And for many who’ve typically lived with their own personal laundry machine at home, this can feel confusing or intimidating. At least when it comes to finding a suitable place.

Traveler’s Tip: These road trip bathroom options are way better than gas stations.

Clothes hamper full of towels for laundry on wash day at the laundromat next to a bottle of detergent.

What Is the Least Busy Day at a Laundromat? 

If you want to avoid the crowds, visit the laundromat on a Tuesday or Wednesday. That was the conclusion of a 2015 survey of self-service laundromats that American Coin-Op conducted.

Thursday is the next slowest day, followed by Monday. As you might expect, weekends and Fridays are the busiest, as people catch up on chores and errands on their days off. While it may be most convenient for you to do your laundry at these times as well, you may end up waiting for machines and spending more time overall. 

Tips for Finding a Clean Laundromat Near Me

The unfortunate reality is that some laundromats are just dirty – machines might have bacteria or a smell, lint catches may be overflowing, and any number of cleanliness issues can affect the waiting areas. Here’s what you should keep in mind to find a clean laundromat near you. 

A man inserts change for laundry detergent at a laundromat.

Read the Online Reviews

We’re lucky to live in an age where online reviews are available for everything from restaurants to tech gear, and this includes laundromats. Getting started can be as simple as typing “clean laundromat near me” into your favorite search engine and seeing what pops up. 

Many busy laundromats will have at least a handful of trustworthy reviews from real customers. Read these over, looking for negative things that seem particularly extreme. This can quickly help you weed out spots with known problems. 

Go See It Before Using It

Before you’re desperate for clean clothes, scout out nearby laundromats and fill in gaps the reviews left out. Look around, survey the prices and availability of machines, and the overall cleanliness. 

This is also a good time to check for other amenities. Do they have a working change machine? Do they sell detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, or other laundry essentials? If things look good, you’re one step closer to locking down your choice.

An old school laundromat with yellow and blue wash machines charging $3.25 per load.

Make Sure the Machines Work

Most importantly, ensure the machines actually work! Others will likely be doing laundry, letting you confirm at least some machines are working. If you’re particularly concerned, it may be worth throwing a few quarters into the machine to make sure it starts, fills, and spins. If you’re staying in an area for a while, you can also bring a few pieces of clothing as a “test run” before making your regular trip.

Can Laundromats Spread Bed Bugs? 

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. But there’s no reason to panic! It’s relatively easy to avoid bed bugs at the laundromat with a little care. Seeking as clean of a laundromat as possible using the advice we laid out above is a great place to start. But even the cleanest laundromats can play host to these persistent pests. 

To avoid bringing any home with you, wash and dry your clothes at the highest temperature they can withstand. Check surfaces for bed bugs before folding, or better yet, take your clean laundry home to fold there. Other steps like inspecting the waiting area seats and washing your laundry bag can also help you avoid potential bed bug issues at the laundromat. 

Closeup of a caucasian man's hands pulling laundry out of the dryer at a self-service laundromat

Is It Possible to Find Clean Laundromats Near Me? 

By now, those asking “how can I find a clean laundromat near me?” should have a great place to start. With a little due diligence, you can often avoid dirty, unpleasant spots and quickly find the best option available on your travels. No matter where you go, cleaning your clothes will hopefully be the least of your worries!

Do you have any laundromat horror stories?

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