Top 20 True Tales from the Laundromat

I don’t care what anybody says. Laundromats are a gold mine of story-telling fodder.

But before I lead you down into that mine of mine, I’ll start with a little background.

One of many “You Do You” facets of RV life is that some folks go for the in-coach washer and dryer, and others don’t.

Here’s our “in-coach” dryer.
Drawback: doesn’t work in the rain

Although we’ve got dedicated hookups for them in our bedroom closet, we opted against installing our own machines, and here’s why:

We didn’t want to sacrifice the storage space, weight allowance, or power & water usage, when we can do our laundry elsewhere — in a facility that someone else has to maintain and repair.

I’ve managed to wash and dry 2-3 loads, once a week, every week since we’ve been full-timing, and it’s really not a hardship. Sometimes, a nearby friend or relative generously offers up their laundry room for a welcome freebie, but I have to admit I’ve become spoiled by the convenience of getting it all done at a laundromat in less than 2 hours, thanks to having access to multiple washers and dryers instead of just one of each.

As for the money, well, I’m not that good at math, but I can guesstimate that at an average of about $6.50/week, it costs us about $338.00/year to do our laundry.

A new set of RV machines costs about $1200.00 (source: quick glance at a few options on a single major national RV retailer’s web site).

So after nearly 3.5 years of full-time RV living, we’ve now spent about as much on coin-op as we would have on our own washer and dryer, but…

I cannot deny the added value of all these stories.

Twenty True Tales from the Laundromat? Priceless.

1. Middle-aged guy walked all the way across the laundromat to tell me, “That looks so nice. You folded it all perfect!”
I think he was fishing for an offer of assistance.
Some women get hit on for their looks. Not me. I reel in the boys who want someone who can fold their fitted sheets.
(January 2016, Port Hadlock WA)
2. One of our sons is traveling with us, and this is my first time doing RV park laundry for three people instead of two.
It’s also the first time I’ve done laundry for one of my children in nearly a year.
I could have done without the additional aggravation. Hello, spellcheck?
(June 2016, Warren AFB WY)
3. This is a nice compromise.
Usually RV park laundry rooms are all like DON’T YOU DARE WASH YOUR PET BEDDING IN HERE, but this one dedicated a washer and dryer just for that.
Kinda wish I’d noticed it before I washed all our clothes in it, but I suppose there are worse things than coming away with a little hair of someone else’s dog.
(August 2016, Nellis AFB NV)
4. Washing our stinkies, under close supervision, here at the local combination mailbox rental, thrift shop, grocery store, laundromat, bait & tackle, beer & wine barn.
(January 2017, Ehrenberg AZ)
5. This may not look like a perfect day to you, but to me it’s a reminder that we’ve spent the past month surrounded by dear friends — the kind who say, “Of course you can bring your laundry over. Any time. Soap’s in the cabinet. Here’s a house key.”
So. Much. Love.
(March 2017, Norfolk VA)
6. Good ol’ Wrinkle Bill…
(April 2017, Shelbyville KY)
7. I want to meet the person who came up with this name for the laundromat at the marina.
Because that is good.
That is very, very good.
(July 2017, Saint Ignace MI)
8. Tim (picking me up at the laundromat, hoping everything’s done): So, did I arrive at just the right time?
Me: That depends. Did you bring me a tetanus shot? Actually, I think I might have cholera.
Yeah, this is a skeevy one.
Check out the professionally — and inaccurately — labeled dryers.
(August 2017, Ashland City TN)
9. October 2017, Manchester TN
10. I’m not sure what begging comforters are, but I think I may have picked a rubber floor mate during one of our shifts at Amazon last week.
(November 2017, Murfreesboro TN)
11. Guess we had a stowaway.
Been a long time since I’ve pulled a toddler sock out of a washing machine.
(January 2018, San Antonio TX)
12. March 2018, Kerrville TX
13. I got the size right, the style right, the quantity right, the fabric blend right, and even the price right.
I neglected to peek inside the multipack and check the two colors that were hiding behind the gray ones.
Which is how Tim now has almost as many pairs of pink panties in the wash as I do.
Which probably also explains why they were such a bargain.
(July 2018, somewhere in SD)
14. You know you’re staying in a rural area when…
(August 2018, Enumclaw WA)
15. I have found my people.
(August 2018, Chehalis WA)
16. So if the laundry room phone rings, do I have to answer in 1993?
(October 2018, Lackland AFB TX)
17. Eeeeeee! Laundry room visitor.
My fluff & fold just got a whole lot fluffier!
(October 2018, Lackland AFB TX)
18. As I was leaning over, tossing stuff into the dryer, I heard the laundry room door open behind me, followed by a male voice saying, “Hey. You were out running this morning!”
He was not wrong, but uhhh, having my backside recognized by a stranger was a little disconcerting.
I turned, readying my “The hell?” look, which I had to camouflage quickly, because I noticed just in time that the gentleman was pointing to the hanging rack over my dryer. “You were wearing those pants!” he said.
Oh yeah.
I guess those blue leggings do indeed etch themselves on the retina.
(October 2018, Lackland AFB TX)
19. Texas, y’all.
(November 2018, Palestine TX)
20. November 2018, Palestine TX
I’ll keep gathering these precious nuggets with the goal of posting a new collection in another 3.5 years — when we’ll have spent enough at laundromats to have bought a second washer & dryer!
2021 Update
And here ya go: 25 More True Tales from the Laundromat

Author’s note: Nearly all of these posts came from my personal Facebook account. I don’t think it’s plagiarism if I copy & paste my own work, but I thought I’d better explain myself to those of you who are thinking, “Hmmmm. I’m pretty sure I’ve read this before…”

But wait. There’s more! Cleaner, brighter, fresher, and static-free, it’s the 2021 collection of 25 More True Tales from the Laundromat. No quarters required.

15 thoughts on “Top 20 True Tales from the Laundromat

  1. Oh my gosh! So funny and I can relate to quite a few of them. I say it’s my least favorite part of full-timing, and yet a good laundromat saves tons of time. A not so good one, too. Occasionally you get good dining out suggestions, and you also get hideous ones, too. Unfortunately you don’t know which is which until you try them. Keep those stories coming.

    1. Thanks, Judy. I forgot to even highlight the convenience of combining it with other errands, and we too often treat ourselves to a meal at local favorite restaurant while we’re out. Aaahhh, the silver lining of the laundromat. Seems a logical place to find one!

  2. Have you guys ever thought of working the Beet Harvest in Sidney MT? It would give you such rich material for your blog…and it is quite a work experience outside any box you can think of…Check it out. We may do it again next year.

    1. Ha! We thought about it for about ten minutes, Martha. Chose Amazon Camperforce instead, as at least we knew we’d be in a climate controlled environment.

      But we have a long history of doing things we said we never would, so you might see a beet harvest report here someday after all.

  3. I’ve never commented here before but this post is amazing! I’ve loved the glimpses into your RV life! Thanks for the giggles 😊. -Michelle

  4. This post makes me smile. We opted for washer/dryer in our rv but we still make a once a month trip to the laundromat. The stories you hear and the things you see are always priceless. I am glad Rver’s everywhere get to enjoy a little laundromat humor.

    I think the craziest thing we have seen was a woman loading five front load washers with clothes and then leaving. No big deal, everyone does that….the only thing is she never came back. The owner dried all the clothes, folded them and waited for her to come back. She never did, Goodwill ended up with a donation. The owner told us it happens all the time. He said eventually they will come back, with a bunch more clothes and never ask what happened to the ones they left a few of months ago…..Crazy!!!!

    1. Who does that??? That is indeed crazy, and also further evidence that laundromats are a bottomless pit of eccentricity. Ha!

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