Reynolds Laundromat: Maiden Voyage

After last week’s highly disappointing trip to the Marathon Laundry & Tan, I decided to try out the other local laundry.

First, though, do allow me to tell you of the highly annoying experience I had at the Marathon Laundry & Tan last weekend.

So, I arrived around sunset, as usual (since the time change), and saw that my normal front-loaders were in use. I then moved to the next row of washers, which are the normal top-loading kind with the standard-sized tub, costing $1.50 apiece (as opposed to $1.75 for the front-loaders). I knew going into this that the top-loaders don’t rinse as well as the front-loaders, just for the record.

Washer #1 which I attempted to use had standing water inside.

Washer #2 had a very loose lid and some rust flaking into the tub from said lid.

Washer #3, which I ended up using, had a cockroach crawling on top of it. I gave the bug a look of disdain before I squished it with my wallet. The whites and other light, non-bleedy colors went into this washer.

Washer #4 appeared to have no problems, and into this washer I loaded our massive amount of dark clothing. However, when I got home and hung up our don’t-dry-these-under-penalty-of-death shirts, I found that washer #4 had a substandard rinse cycle. Much rubbing and scrubbing was required to remove the massive amounts of soap residue left on the blue and black cotton T-shirts.

Add that to the consistently creepy clientele (not that I have a problem with blacks or hispanics, but some of these people—even the white folk—are real winners), and I had had enough of my local laundry. Time to find a new place to wash my undies.

So, this week: The Reynolds Laundromat.

First Impressions: 6 out of 10

The front windows were plastered with signage, so it was difficult to see in, to know what I was getting myself into. The neon sign was on, though, and I could see the lights on inside, so I knew they were open. I noted the distinct lack of double-swinging doors as I carried my baskets to the entrance—luckily for me, the one-armed man (presumably an attendant, or at least a regular) opened the door for me as I approached.

Cleanliness: 9 out of 10

As I entered the laundromat, the first thing I noticed was the clean yet inviting feel of the place. Not overly sterilized and white, but well-lit and comfortable. The majority of the washers and dryers were front-loading with a brushed-aluminum or stainless-steel appearance, rather than the white or off-white that gets grungy easily. I chose some double-loaders close to the door, to avoid wandering about the place like a damn fool, looking for the cheap washers.

Price: 6 out of 10 (revised from 3 out of 10)

The digital readout on the front-loading double-loaders I chose told me to insert 8 quarters. Yikes? The similar front-loaders at the Marathon were only $1.75, and even LMarie’s was $1.80 or so. Two bucks? But I went ahead and changed out my five and plugged in my four bucks’ worth of quarters.

After my clothes had started washing, I took my Wired Magazine with me on a tour of the facility. The Reynolds Laundromat has front-loading double-loaders, triple-loaders (for $2.75), and mega-loaders (didn’t check the price on those). But way back behind the mega-loaders, next to the rear entrance, is a little row of four top-loading extra-large washers, akin to those at Kirk’s in Bowling Green. Those only cost $1.25 apiece, and I intend to use those for my next visit.

Comfort: 9 out of 10

After making my rounds, I sat down to read my Wired Magazine while waiting for my clothes. The chairs weren’t the usual bowling-alley-variety orange plastic throwbacks—instead, they were upholstered, armless, comfy chairs, quite similar to those found in doctors’ offices. My only complaint was that the rows of chairs were placed facing the main thoroughfare of incoming clientele—that is, my legs were sticking out into the aisle as people were walking in the door with their clothes.

Of course, comfort includes not only physical comfort, but mental comfort, as well. At least one television was on, and was showing a billiards tournament—pleasantly inoffensive entertainment that managed to mask the conversations of the employees and clients. There was also an unusually low Creepy Factor, which was a distinct improvement from the Marathon Laundry & Tan.

Quality: 8 out of 10

Being that the thing that finally pushed me over the edge last week was the lack of rinsing abilities in the washer I had chosen, wash quality was at the top of my list this weekend. When I removed the clothes from the washer, they appeared to have been thoroughly rinsed and spun, with no visible soap residue.

As we do have a working dryer at home, I brought the wet laundry home after the wash was complete. After I loaded up the dryer with the heavy laundry (towels, jeans, etc.), I went upstairs to hang up the OMG-don’t-dry-these-or-they’ll-shrink laundry. During the hanging of the T-shirts on the shower curtain rod, I did find one dark shirt with a little soap residue—it wiped off easily with just my hand, though, as opposed to last week’s god-awful washcloth scrubbing extravaganza.

Overall: 8 out of 10

While the Reynolds Laundromat doesn’t quite measure up to LMarie’s in many respects, it does match the uber-laundry in price [scoff] and quality of wash. In addition, I feel that the general feel of the Reynolds Laundromat is superior to the nearly antiseptic and chilly atmosphere (both figuratively and literally) of LMarie’s.

I miss my overpriced but always functional LMarie’s. Until they expand to Toledo, though, or until Aaron locates the part we need for our washing machine, I will be bringing my dirty laundry to the Reynolds Laundromat.

Update, 4/21/05:

From: Matt Rasor
Date: Apr 21, 2005 10:25 PM
Subject: Your Blog


I’m the owner of Reynolds Laundromat — I ran across your e-journal entry about my store in a recent online search. Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for your pleasant comments about our store. I see that you created the entry around November, 2004, which is shortly after I purchased the laundromat. Your text indicates that you were doing your laundry at the store because your home washer was broken. Hopefully for your convenience that has been remedied, however if you ever need to use our services (we offer dry cleaning as well), I would be pleased to have you as an honored guest at our store.

I appreciate honest customers like yourself. Thank you for visiting Reynolds Laundromat.

Matt Rasor

2 thoughts on Reynolds Laundromat: Maiden Voyage

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  1. the place you want to go for the washing machine part is Ace Appliance, i think. they were the only place in town that had the part to john’s dryer we needed.

    3724 AIRPORT HWY, TOLEDO, OH 43615
    Phone: (419) 382-1558

    if that’s not the place, then try (419) 698-9695 – you’ll have to ask where they are though, doesnt have an address for them 😛