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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Word About Laundries

I don't know what brought this to my mind, but in US TV programmes, there are often laundries featured, usually as a way to track items that help the investigation. It seems that ordinary people send their shirts and linen, to name but two, to laundries for, well laundering.



Private people, by and large, don't do this in the UK. You might take things to the launderette or the dry cleaner's. You might do them yourself in your own washing machine (laundry rooms in basements of apartment blocks do not exist either). You may pay someone to come in and do them for you. You don't send them to a laundry.

Maybe restaurants use them. Perhaps some hotels or even hospitals do (though hospitals usually have their own laundries).



It's the same with concierges. Council flats used to have caretakers onsite. So did schools. Economy measures years ago phased them out.

It always strikes me as strange how two countries with a common root end up growing into such different plants.

20 comments:

Nantz said...

Wow, where are these laundry places that I can send my things to? I know of none near me. We have laundromats where you take your clothes and use their washers and dryers but most people have them in their basements. Also, we have dry cleaners for things you can't wash yourself due to possibly damaging the article(s) of clothing.

Eliza said...

Actually, laundry rooms do seem to be getting more common..Hannah has one in her block of flats, although technically it's more of a private launderette because you have to pay to use the machines.I've never even thought of using a laundry,and I refuse to buy anything that needs dry cleaning anyway :-)

val said...

Maybe it's a New York thing, Nantz. Like the laundry rooms in the basements of apartment buildings. Most UK houses don't have basements, but we have washing machines in our kitchens or utility rooms.

Laundrette is what we call a laundromat. You can do your own or pay for a service wash.

Nantz said...

The one thing I am thankful for is a basement...doesn't matter if that's where the washer and dryer are...it's my safe haven during wicked storms!

a said...

See, I think it's beyond weird the firs time I saw a clothes washing machine in a kitchen. Where is the dryer kept?
It's pretty common in the US to have a laundry room in the house or hookups in the garage. Lots of regions here do not have basements (the west coast post 1920).
I live in a small city in the midwest and my local laundromat does offer a laundry service. You can drop a bag of dirty clothes and pick them up the next day all clean and folded.
I have a washer and dryer in my laundry room but I use the laundromat for things like blankets and pillows, it's just easier that way.

val said...

"a", people have driers in the kitchen or utility room too, but lots of folks are trying to stop using them - they are just about the worst thing if you are trying to control your carbon footprint. I put clothes on airers to dry, either freestanding ones or those that fit on the radiators. Or I put them on the washing line. That's the best, gives them a lovely fresh natural smell and NO energy input required!

a said...

OK, I have to ask, what is airer? Radiators are not the norm here so I have no idea all the stuff you can do with them.
I have used clothes lines in the past but where I live the humidity and the rain every other day all spring and summer makes it not the best option. 3 days later they are still damp and need to go in the dryer so we have clothes to wear!

Nantz said...

You know what's silly about the community I live in? We aren't allowed to hang clothes on a clothesline outside because it has been deemed "unsightly"...can you imagine? I remember growing up my mother would hang our sheets and things on the clothesline and the smell it gave them was incredible. I have these wonderful visual memories of white sheets blowing in the wind with blue skies and bright sun. Now the snobs have destroyed it.

Eliza said...

We have a washing machine in the kitchen, but no drier.I have a pull-out washing line in the kitchen, a couple of radiator airers, and a clothes horse inside, plus a long clothes line outside..towels smell wonderful after a day in the breeze :-)

Nantz: They really banned you from using a clothes line outside?? Seems really strange to me given that even new houses here are equipped with one before anyone even moves in

Beverly said...

Here the dry cleaners offer a laundry service, but they are mostly used by travelling salesmen and the such.
I hang my clothes on the line when ever I can. I have a large line that stretches the width of my back yard.
I remember once when my son was about 2 years old, I had hung his "blankie" on the line. He discovered his coveted "blankie" and stood reaching with one hand on his "blankie" and one thumb in his mouth. It was the cutest sight.

JoJo said...

I know plenty of people (mostly men) who drop off their giant duffle bag of laundry at the laundromat and for a price, the owner would wash/dry them.

Ruby said...

"a," I don't know where you live, but our community is very similar, weather-wise. I can usually hang things in our laundry room, which is in our furnace room, and they're dry in about a day. But when our furnace isn't on, about 2-3 months out of the year, our clothes never dry. The frequent rain here makes it virtually impossible to hang them outside. We move them from place to place in the house to find some sun so they will dry. But sometimes we just give up and have to put them in the drier for a little while. Nantz, that's AWFUL that your community won't let you hang things outside! What are they, the laundry Nazis?

Nantz said...

I'm not lying, there is an actual ordinance that says hanging clothes on a clothesline is an offense. I've never heard of anyone getting a ticket and I would really doubt someone would alert the police if they saw someone's clothes hanging out. But, you never know here...grass can't be higher than 4 inches and that fine is $300 a day.

SnarkAngel said...

Here in Chicago, most people have laundry facilities in a designated "laundry room" (usually coin-operated) in their apartment building. If not, people go to neighborhood laundromats. Many laundromats have a drop-off service where the attendant will do it for you at a certain price per pound. Most people, however, do their own laundry. Some condos and apartments even have an in-unit washer and dryer. Sometimes it is the single machine that both washes and dries clothes. No one in the city hangs their wash out any more. It would be a great option. But people here would see their laundry stolen in an instant ... or it would get just plain filthy from hanging out. Many decades ago, people had clothes lines on pulleys that would run between buildings. Those are long gone. I, for one, would happily volunteer to be Vincent's personal laundry caretaker if I lived in NYC. LOL

potzina said...

In France, it's the same thing that in England. It's not funny but we wash our clothes ourselves. I hate to clean up the house! I'd like have a housekeeper!

bobbybegood1 said...

I used to hire a guy who owed a laudromat. He would come to my home, pick up my dirty laundry, clean, dry, fold them and then delivery them back to my home all for $25 U.S. dollars. Real cheap, but I wonder if that was because he was very fond of me, and wanted to take me out on dates. Coming to my home was his chance to flirt with me. He used to charge by the pound. I guess I was a lucky girl. My fiance at that time would go nuts when this guy would come over. He wouldn't do Sam's laundy, just mine. A real crazy time in my life. Ha. Cheers Val!!

mauigirl said...

What a crazy topic! I live in a house, which has a laundry room with washer and dryer. I do my own laundry, with the exception of things needing Dry Cleaning, like silk stuff, sweaters etc. Also, I bring all my husbands shirts to the Cleaners, but not for Dry Cleaning, but laundering because they press them wonderfully and he looks quite nice/professional when dressed. He needs to look like that for his job. On the weekends, he can dress as if his wife did his laundry. :D

val said...

Oh, SnarkAngel, washer/dryers are the WORST! The only time I flirted with the machinde-drying thing I had one and it was so awful I only used the drying facility about twice.

A, an airer is a contraption to hang your clothes on to dry, or "air". It's basically a frame with bars to hang the clothes on. Simple really.

Again, two nations divided by a common language!

Nantz said...

How interesting that people from all over different parts of the world could have this dialogue about something so mundane as laundry? That's awesome. I lived in two different apartments in my lifetime and had laundry facilities in the basement of one...that was scary going down there by myself...and the other had one two doors down from mine. I bought this contraption that is an "airing" device that is electric where there are trays to put wet laundry on and the fan blows them dry. It's still in the box, LOL.

val said...

I remember those, Nantz. I only have ordinary freestanding airers that I put in the spare room, or on a fine day in the garden if the washing line is full.Which, having the bird feeders hanging from it, it often is!

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