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The old fluff and fold: Cleanliness is next to godliness, and sometimes a bar 

No chore is so agonizing for the average college renter as doing laundry at a laundromat. It’s a huge time-suck; a multi-hour project that requires attention at irregular intervals too short to read a full magazine article yet too long to wait unengaged. With persistence and skill, such a heinous chore can be put off for periods of a month or more, as many students learn upon leaving their parents’ nest. Laundry avoidance is a college staple like ramen and mooching off mom’s Netflix account, but it’s not forever. 

There comes a time when the laundry can’t be stacked any higher. Sure, a person could start another pile, wear underwear inside-out, scrub chonies in a sink, go commando, buy a new wardrobe, or borrow from a roommate, but sooner or later, the deed must be done. The key to a bearable laundromat experience is to pick the right one. Since SLO has no fancy laundromat/bar/arcade, here’s a guide to the best places to fluff and fold in town. 

Parker Street Coin Laundry
2020 Parker Street

Cost to wash:
$2.50 a load.
Cost to dry:
$.25 for 7 minutes (free on weekdays during the day)
WIFI?
Yes
Hours:
7 a.m.–11 p.m.

This is a pretty standard laundry joint. It’s clean, the washers and dryers work reliably, and the man who runs it is always friendly. It’s totally solid, and feels like the kind of place you could drop off your duds without the fear that something might be stolen. Also, you can use an ATM or credit card to get coins for the machines—no extra charge. As a bonus, there’s a weird laundry-themed mural. The only real problem with this place is that it’s an island in a sea of anti-pedestrianism. The bar next door closed, so once you get there, there’s no place to explore while the laundry’s being washed. Don’t forget to bring some homework or reading material.  

click to enlarge PILE-UP! :  Doing laundry is a drag. Get it done, and do it well by following this guide. - PHOTO BY CAMILLIA LANHAM
  • PHOTO BY CAMILLIA LANHAM
  • PILE-UP! : Doing laundry is a drag. Get it done, and do it well by following this guide.

Broad Street Laundromat
2161 Broad Street

Cost to wash:
$2 a load.
Cost to dry:
$.25 for 5 minutes
WIFI?
Yes
Hours:
7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Feeling adventurous? Students who venture from the warm bosom of the university neighborhood to wash their wares at the Broad Street Laundromat will be rewarded with an interesting and uncharacteristic slice of San Luis Obispo. If SLO has any grit at all, it can be found on the block and a half of Broad Street that includes this fluff and fold, Manuel’s liquor store, and the best (only?) dive bar in town, the Gaslight Lounge. Take a break from the spin cycle to meet locals and enjoy a cheap drink and game of pool at the bar or stay at the laundromat and play pinball. The laundromat has two pinball games, as well as two old-school joystick video games. The smell of pizza wafts in from Fatte’s Pizza next door, but don’t try to buy a piece. Fatte’s doesn’t sell pizza by the slice, they don’t even sell pizza by the pizza—there’s a two-for-one deal happening there all day every day. Go big or go home, right? 

Launderosa
552 California Blvd.
Cost to wash:
$2.50 a load. 
Cost to dry: $.25 for 5 minutes 
WIFI? Yes
Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Not feeling adventurous? This is a true college laundromat. There’s even a drop-off service for students at $1.30 per pound (this costs $150 up front, but it’s pretty sweet if you can afford it). Otherwise the place is nothing special. Across the street, however, there are tons of student friendly businesses, just waitin’ for a bored student to wander over. Need a new bong? Browse the glassware at Cloud 9. Or get a boba tea. Or a taco at Tacos de Acapulco. There’s a sandwich shop, vitamin store, and a Tiki Hut that sells teriyaki bowls. Ease the pain of laundry-doin’ by hanging out in a college friendly strip mall. 

Launderosa
1338 Madonna Road
Cost to wash:
$2.50 a load.
Cost to dry:
$.25 for 5 minutes
WIFI?
Yes
Hours:
7 a.m.–10 p.m.

There are actually two of these Launderosas in town, and in both cases, the things to discover outside are more interesting than what’s on the inside. There’s a Mrs. Pac-Man game, but at press time it was broken. This place is not in the standard college neighborhood, but has some college standards within walking distance: sushi at Sushiya, coffee at the Nautical Bean (aka the “Naughty Bean”), and sweet, sweet deals at Grocery Outlet. If you like getting good prices on products you didn’t know existed, try shopping at Grocery Outlet (aka the “Gross Out”) Ever wanted to try organic, coffee-flavored yogurt? Yes? Well, it’s half off at Gross Out. High fiber gummy snacks? You’re in luck, they’re on sale! Gross Out has staples like bread, eggs, milk, and tons of products that didn’t make primetime. Money-stretched students need to know about this place.  

Kylie Mendonca is a staff writer for New Times. Reach her at kmendonca@newtimesslo.com.

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