Laundromats aren’t the most fun of places to hang out. So a Portland student came up with the idea of a far more social space to wash your dirty clothes.
Laundromats are kind of the worst. Not only do you have to lug your dirty clothes to a public place, you have to wait around in said public place for hours on end, watching the never-ending spinning of washers and dryers, probably thinking of all the fun things you could be doing instead. And, usually, a laundromat is the last place you want to spend an afternoon.
When Morgan Gary was in college, her apartment complex only offered one (unreliable and inefficient) washer and dryer to its 12 occupants. She knew then that she had to change the laundry game.
While studying to get her MBA in Sustainable Business, Gary made the laundromat her thesis project. “I wanted to change what a laundromat could be and make it somewhere you would want to spend your time and felt comfortable,” Gary explains. “After completing my degree, I knew I had to make Spin a reality, so I went to work finding the right machines and building to make it happen.” On March 10, 2014, that thesis became a reality.
The eco-minded laundromat revolutionary opened Spin Laundry Lounge that March in Portland’s Mississippi neighborhood. Her first purchase was high-efficiency Electrolux machines, including washers that use up to 30 percent less water than their traditional counterparts and save on energy, too. She equipped the sustainable machines with wireless communication capabilities, giving patrons the ability to text their washer or dryer and check its status.
While the machines are hard at work getting your clothes nice and clean, you can sip a microbrew or glass of wine. If it’s a little too early in the day for that, you can grab a cup of Fog Valley’s Permanent Press Blend coffee, roasted just for Spin. If the Blazers or Timbers are playing, you better believe the game will be on one of the lounge’s TVs, and if you have to get some work done, there’s free wifi. Hungry? The café offers a variety of food options, too.
Since first opening its doors more than four years ago, Gary’s vision has become so much more than a laundromat. “Spin has become a staple both for locals in the neighborhood and surrounding areas, as well as a fun and interesting destination for travelers and out of town guests,” she says. “It is very rewarding to see how much the interest and popularity has grown over the years, and how it has benefited our customers and community. With the opening of our second location earlier this year, I’m excited for more people to enjoy their laundry experience.”
Mississippi location: 750 N Fremont St, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 477 5382
Broadway location: 2326 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 265 8139