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What is Wash and Fold Service?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 16, 2024
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Wash and fold service is a convenient method of sending out laundry to be done by professionals. Unlike dry cleaning, this service launders clothes in a washing machine and dryer similar to those the owner might have at home. Many busy people take advantage of this service to save them time and reduce the hassle of doing laundry regularly.

A good wash and fold service begins with dropping off unsorted soiled laundry. The service will identify the washing requirements of each item of clothing and separate them by color, temperature, and degree of agitation. Then an attendant can safely wash every load with a high-quality detergent, mild bleach, and optional fabric softener. The service will gently dry the clothes and carefully fold anything that doesn't need to be ironed, such as knit shirts, pants, or socks, for the customer to pick up at his or her convenience.

A coin-operated laundry facility and dry cleaner's may be in the same location, so a customer might have the option to have certain blouses or shirts pressed, or have his or her separate dry cleaning done at the same time. Usually, the service charges by the pound, with other treatments charged by the item. Even though they are handling many people's laundry, each person's clothing should never be mixed with anyone else's.

A deluxe wash and fold service may offer to pick laundry up at the customer's home and drop it off when complete. Some provide hand-washing for delicates, such as washable silk or lingerie. They may pre-treat stubborn spots by soaking some items in stain remover. Other convenient extras include the ability to wash drapes, cotton rugs, comforters, sheets, and oversized items in special large capacity washers. Many people who use this service find that, when they factor in what their time is worth, they can save money by eliminating the need for a washer and dryer at home, not to mention the time spent doing laundry.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon335832 — On May 23, 2013

About starting your own wash and fold service. From my experience, there is plenty of that kind of work out there. I have a coin operated laundromat and we often get all the work we can handle. We charge $1.15 over the counter and $2 per pound if we pick up and deliver.

You might make an offer to an unattended laundromat that you will keep an eye on their laundry in exchange for a free space to work in. You would do laundry using their equipment which helps keep their laundry more busy. They would like that but you would set your own prices and make your own money. You didn't say where you live but some variation of this idea should be easy to sell. --Portland, OR

By anon322654 — On Feb 28, 2013

I pay between $.85 per pound and $1 per pound for wash/dry/fold in a small city in Massachusetts.

By anon111863 — On Sep 18, 2010

I would like to start a wash and fold and ironing service. I would like to rent space rather than work out of my home as I hope this business will be in high demand. Same question the other person asked: how much do you charge for each service? Do you need more professional equipment?

By anon50948 — On Nov 02, 2009

unless you have great insurance to cover lost and damaged items that your customers swear were there when they dropped them off. I would not do this out of my home. leave it to the pros!

By nannanaynay — On Jun 21, 2009

I would like to start a wash and fold laundry business at my home, Ironing also provided. I would appreciate more information, like how much do you charge? And anything else that is entailed for the business.

Thank you!

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