Why Do Washing Machines Only Take Quarters

 In Laundry Machines

Ever wonder why your laundry machine is coin-operated? It is 2020 and you can pay for almost anything through an app, except your laundry. Luckily, many colleges have adopted card-pay or even app-pay for their machines. But if you are a recent college graduate or one of the millions of millennials that live in an apartment, your nearest laundry machine is likely coin-operated. An average Sunday probably goes like this:

  • Haul your load of laundry down the street to the nearest laundromat (hopefully, it’s not raining)
  • Find the nearest ATM (that hopefully doesn’t have a large withdrawal fee)
  • Exchange money for quarters

The average adult in their 20s only interacts with quarters when they do their laundry, or when the need to flip a coin. If it wasn’t for coin-operated laundry machines, quarters would be just as useless to you as all other change. Honestly, on college campuses that still have coin-operated machines, you can find an endless stream of lifehacks to get quarters and confessions from students who put off doing laundry until they could go home because they didn’t want to find quarters. (Protip to college students who are still waiting for better laundry machines: if the bank is closed, you can put a $1 or $5 in a vending machine and press the change button to get quarters).

A Brief History of Coin-Operated Washers & Dryers

An example of antiquated coin-operated laundry machinesA few decades ago, coin-operated laundry machines were much more practical. The number of consumers that paid for things in cash was higher than it is today. Accordingly, there was a lot more change readily available. Quarters were actually valuable to an average person beyond doing laundry. You might actually have paid for something at your convenience store with quarters and bills instead of paying for it with a Credit/Debit or app-pay. But why did everything else evolve except the laundry room? There are two reasons your local laundromat still has a coin-only machine. Replacing machines is an investment and most laundromats do not have enough competition to force that investment. Even if there are a few laundromats in a fair distance from an apartment, if none of them have newer machines, there is not enough competition to replace machines with newer, better models. However, there is one industry that has consistently seen improvements in laundry systems: unlike laundromats, colleges continue to show advancement in laundry machines because a college’s reputation influenced directly by student life.

App-Operated Washers & Dryers For College Campuses & Laundromats

App InterfaceThe most high-tech commercial laundry machines are often found on college campuses. That is because 100% of the people using those machines are millennials that need new technology and because it is the goal of every university to have a happy student body. Plus, it millennials college students will spend more and do their laundry more often if they aren’t forced to pay in quarters. And it makes sense, paying with quarters requires many extra steps for college students. That is why app-operated machines and machines that offer laundry cards are becoming common. Not only are these newer machines offering new payment methods, but they also allow users to track their laundry throughout the day. As more and more college students leave school and get apartments, the multi-housing industry is also beginning to adopt these newer, better, machines.

Get New Machines From Automatic Laundry

If you want to improve your college dorm, multi-housing laundry room, or laundromat with machines that aren’t coin-only, contact Automatic Laundry. Or if you live in a building that has outdated machines, tell your property manager to request a free quote for our machines.

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