Cost of Laundromat vs Home Laundry: Which is Cheaper?

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cost of laundromat

You might be at a place where you are trying to figure out whether it will cost less to invest in a washer and dryer or use the laundromat. At first glance, the answer might seem obvious, but the results may be a bit surprising.

Let’s face it, doing the laundry is not the most glamorous or exciting thing to spend a weekend on. I get it, some people might thoroughly enjoy the act of washing clothes, but personally, I don’t 🙂 regardless of personal opinion, it’s down to basic math to figure out whether it’s cheaper to use a laundromat versus investing in a washer and dryer at home.

Without further Ado, let’s jump right into figuring out the cost of laundry at home vs the laundromat.

Is it cheaper to do laundry at a laundromat vs at home?

Simply put, it is cheaper to do laundry at home versus at a laundromat. The simple reasons for this are due to the following reasons:

  • The laundromat needs to make a profit, so any water you consume is marginally more expensive than at home
  • The same is true for the electric bill, it will naturally be higher than what it costs you at home
  • Laundromat machines are usually large commercial sizes, meaning that they consume more energy and water
  • Traveling to your nearby laundromat might include gas or Transit costs

If you take the above items into consideration, it’s clear that no matter how you probably look at it, it will cost you more to do laundry at a laundromat.

cost of laundromat

How much does a load of laundry cost at a laundromat?

On average, it will cost you about $5.25 to do a load of laundry at the laundromat. Now how did we come up with this number you might be asking? It’s based on the formula and assumptions below:

Laundry ActionCost
Transportation costs to and from the laundromat$1.00
Cost per load for the washer$2.00
Cost per load for the dryer$2.00
Detergent cost for washer and dryer$0.25

Now, if you do an average of 8 loads per week, that will average out to $42.00 per week or $168 per month. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that’s actually pretty expensive!

Now that we have an idea of how much your laundry costs at a laundromat, let’s compare that to you doing laundry at home.

How much does a load of laundry cost at home?

On average, it will cost you about $2.00 to do a load of laundry at home. Using a similar formula, here is how we came up with this assumption:

Laundry ActionCost
Water Cost per load for the washer (20 Gallons per load * $0.0015 per gallon)$0.35
Energy Cost per load for the washer ( Electric 500 watts, 30 minutes) $0.27
Energy Cost per load for the dryer (Electric 6,000 watts, 1 hour)$0.50
Detergent cost for washer and dryer$0.25

Keep in mind that these are General estimations, and wildly vary depending on where you are, the cost of energy, and how energy efficient your appliances are. Regardless of how you look at it though, it is clearly way cheaper to do your laundry at home.

Based on the table above, 8 loads per week will cost you about $10.96, averaging out to $43.84 per month.

cost of laundry at home

Should I invest in a washer and dryer at home?

Now that you have an idea of how much it cost to do your laundry at home versus at the laundromat, you don’t have to factor in having to buy the washer and dryer yourself. Is it worth the investment?

To figure that out, we’ll do one more round of math. He is what we came up with:

  • Cost of Washer and Dryer: $1,200
  • Savings per load of laundry: $3.88
  • Number of washer and dryer loads to recoup cost of machines: $309 Loads

And there’s your answer! It will take you about 309 washer and dryer loads to recoup the cost of buying your own washer and dryer. Now is it worth it? This will depend on how frequently you do your laundry and what’s your financial picture looks like.

How do I reduce laundry costs?

In reality, doing your laundry is simply unavoidable, but it doesn’t mean you have to go broke doing it either! They are things you can do to lower your overall laundry Bill, and sometimes pretty significantly.

Here are some tips on how to reduce your laundry cost.

1. Do laundry less often

The first and simplest thing you can do is simply not to do your laundry as often. Every time you wear a shirt, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be washed. They are some garments that don’t need to be washed so often as long as they don’t have orders or stains. You can typically wear denim jeans, sweaters, e t c more than once before having to watch them.

2. Dry your laundry on a washing line

Instead of drying your clothes using a clothes dryer, you can opt to hang your clothes outside on a laundry line. This saves you money on electricity and even dryer sheets. Using the son is an effective and free way to dry your clothes.

3. Invest in energy efficient appliances

If you have your own washer and dryer at home, then you might consider investing in more energy-efficient appliances. Your current washer and dryer might be older and simply not energy-efficient. This will result in higher energy and water bills. Newer machines usually have an Energy Efficiency rating, so the higher you go, the lighter it will be on your wallet.

4. Use optimized cycles

Lastly, If your laundry machine has different cycles for different garments types, then make sure you use them. It’s easy to just pick the light heavy load every time you do your laundry. If you are washing linen, pick the linen option. If you’re washing heavy clothes, pick heavy. Machines are built-in optimized to be the most efficient in the correct mode, So keep that in mind.


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