Self-service laundromats

The set and forget style of laundromat

Business Models >> Self-Service

Otherwise known as ‘coin-op’ laundries, self-service laundromats are typically unmanned spaces with commercial laundry equipment for public use

Modern self-service laundromats usually offer cashless payment options in addition to accepting notes and coins. Opening hours are typically 6am-11pm with the exception of 24-hour businesses in high-demand areas. Self-service laundromats generally operate on long-term commercial leases of 8-15 years and generate steady cash flow over the life of the lease.

Compared with other small businesses, laundromats are unique in that they have no inventory or receivables. New self-service laundries are valued based on actual construction and equipment costs while existing businesses are valued based primarily on net revenue.

Essential laundromat equipment

Machinery selection for self-service laundries will depend on the size of your store. As a general guide, many self-service laundries are equipped with:

8-12 x front-loading washing machines
Most washers have a 9-10kg capacity + 1-2 x 15-20kg washing machines for larger loads, bedding and soft furnishings.

8-12 x dryers
Most dryers are 8 x 9-10kg capacity, plus 1-2 larger 25kg dryers.

Many laundromat owners choose to equip their machines with detergent dispensers that automatically inject the correct amount for each cycle. The benefit of automatic dispensing is no waste, no mess and optimised wash performance. Alternatively, some laundromats are equipped with a wall-mounted detergent vending machine.

Safety & security

Given that unmanned, cash-based businesses are potentially a target for thieves, you may wish to consider fitting your laundromat with an alarm system and CCTV cameras.

Removing the cash factor is another reason to choose convenient cashless payment systems for your laundromat.

Australia’s trusted name in commercial laundry, Richard Jay, can equip your laundromat with a cashless e-CleanPay system powered by KIOSK.

KIOSK is a simple, elegant PayWave reader that seamlessly guides your customer through the payment flow to credit any machine in store.

Utilities & infrastructure

  • The appropriate electricals will need to be installed for every machine, as well as gas plumbing for dryers.
  • You’ll need to organise plumbing for all washers, and your laundromat may also require a hot water system.
  • Ventilation (fluing) for dryers will need to be installed and run to the outside of the shop.
  • Installing a cooling pit is recommended to cool all water extracted during the washer spin cycle.

Other requirements

  • Wi-Fi for cashless payment systems and customer use
  • Bright lighting
  • Auto lock for the front door
  • Chairs and folding tables
  • External and internal signage
  • Business website, social media and local promotions
  • Food and beverage vending machines
  • Money change machine
  • Regular coin collection for security purposes (the less cash kept on site, the better)
  • Daily janitorial service to clean the store, maintain the machines and empty bins.