any experience in Laundromats???

Does anyone have any experience with Laundromats? I am is the process of purchasing a small, commercial, modular unit that will currently have 10 washers and 12 dryers. The lot is currently paid for and the unit we have under contract out of state and will have to ship it to ND. The location is a small town near (200) near the Bakken Oil boom. There is also a large construction project about ready to kick off that will take about 2 years to complete. This is my first venture into commercial property and any advice would be helpful?



I had several over a period of 10 years.
Check out, it’s a forum like this one for laundry owners.

Check with the local government about environmental impact fees.
These can run as much as several thousand dollars per machine.

Go with the largest 3 phase, front load machines you can afford and will fit in the modular unit. I don’t know how well the flooring will hold up on a modular unit.
Our machines were anchored into cement flooring.

I also don’t know how you would secure the change machine to keep people from tying a chain to it and ripping it out.

I would also recommend a camera system to record everything that occurs on premises.

Good luck!


Thanks for the advice Pete, I will go to the site you mentioned!

There are no local environmental fees in this location. I can only go up to about 20# machines because as you said they needed to be mounted on concrete. I will have to figure out how to mount the change machine. The camera’s are a great idea, would you go with an exposed system and add a hidden system?

The unit is relatively small it only has 10 washers and 12 dryer spots. Ideally I would like to have drop off only and not be open to the public. I am not sure if I will have the market to start out with.

Thanks Again


I have no experience in laundromats whatsoever. I have thought a lot for a way to ensure additional profits from laundry machines when I purchase my first multifamily unit.

The last place I lived, the laundryroom had coin-operated machines, which in itself was very risky. The possibility for theft is very real.
I lived in another place where they used laundry cards. All you had to do is go to the clubhouse and load the card with money. This was a much safer alternative because the clubhouse was staffed. However, when the clubhouse was closed, there was no way for you to load your laundry card.

There are two options that I came up with that would solve the problem of theft while offering convinience to you and the tenants.

  1. Have a laundry card machine that loads the laundry cards by accepting only debit/credit cards.
  2. Have the washers and dryers run like vending machines accepting only debit/credit cards.

This will benefit you in two ways:

  1. The tenants will no longer have to look for quarters.
  2. Nobody can steal your profits from the laundry machines because everything is electronically deposited into your account with no physical trace.

I hope this help a bit.

Exposed camera system should be fine if it records in a secure or offsite location.
Be sure to have one camera showing face shots as people come in the front door and another showing the change-machine.

The problem with just wash and fold is having enough business to justify the investment in the machines. Are there any other laundries in town? If yes, start the business now with pickup service and use the other laundries machines to provide your service. You can then gauge whether there is enough demand to justify the wash and fold business model in your area.

When I had mine, the wash and fold basically covered the labor cost of having an attendant on site, the gravy was from the self-serve laundry business.

There is a lot to keep in mind, Thanks for the responses. I will have to check into the costs of the machines that take cards.