Is The Washing Machine Cheaper Than Laundry? – The Comparison

Is The Washing Machine Cheaper Than Laundry

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

Yes, using a washing machine is generally cheaper than going to a laundromat. On average, a load of laundry at a laundromat costs $2 to $6, while a load at home costs around $0.25 to $1.50 in electricity and water expenses. Over time, a washing machine proves more cost-effective.

Is The Washing Machine Cheaper Than Laundry? – The Comparison

When it comes to laundering clothes, one can either opt for professional laundry services or invest in a personal washing machine. The choice often boils down to weighing the cost implications. Below is a comprehensive comparison that explores whether a washing machine is cheaper than laundry.

1. Initial Cost:

The first and most obvious cost is the initial investment. Buying a new washing machine might require an upfront cost of about $300 to $1500 depending on the model, capacity and brand. On the other hand, professional laundry service charges can range from $1 to $3 per pound on average.

Verdict: A professional laundry service comes out as the cheaper option in the short term, but this does not account for the long term where the washing machine may pay off its cost.

2. Maintenance Cost:

The maintenance cost for washing machines can be significant. Annual repair or replacement parts may cost about $100 to $200 depending on the specific issue. It might even get costlier if a professional plumber gets involved. Conversely, with laundry services, users do not bear any maintenance cost.

Verdict: The laundry service is cost-effective in terms of maintenance.

3. Utility Bills:

Electricity and water bills are crucial cost factors for washing machine owners. Modern washing machines may use 10 to 40 gallons of water per load – this could see water bills surge. Moreover, the washer uses up energy, which will be reflected in the electricity bill. With professional laundry services, these costs are non-existent.

Verdict: Laundry services win in reducing utility bills.

4. Clothing Wear and Tear:

Professional laundries typically handle a large volume of clothes, and as a result, more vigorous washing processes might be used, possibly leading to faster wear and tear of clothing items. On the flip side, with personal washing machines, one can control the washing intensity, prolonging the lifespan of their clothes.

Verdict: A washing machine comes out on top when it comes to preserving clothes.

5. Time and Convenience:

Though not easily quantifiable, the time and convenience factors are worthy of consideration. Having a washing machine at home allows for flexibility. Laundry can be done at any time without the need for commute. As for professional laundry service, picking up and dropping off clothes can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

Verdict: The washing machine wins in terms of time and convenience.

Final Verdict:

When viewed from a purely financial perspective, it seems that professional laundry services may be cheaper, especially in the short term. However, the washing machine’s advantages in terms of convenience, time-saving, and clothing care make it an attractive long-term investment. Bearing this in mind, the individual’s lifestyle, laundry load, and budget will ultimately determine the best option.

What Are The Costs Associated With Using A Washing Machine And Going For Laundry Services?

To find out the costs associated with doing laundry at home using a washing machine, you start by identifying the price of the detergent to use. A standard tide pod with 72 pods goes for $17.99, which translates to $0.25 for one pod. Depending on the model and make of the washing machine used, the estimated electricity energy used is about 2.8kWh per hot/cold cycle at a rate of $0.3 per load. 

The cost of water per load translates to about $0.67, bringing the total to about $1.03 with all other factors held constant. Such factors include the life of the washing machine, which in most washers it is about 1500 cycles meaning that per cycle, it would cost about $0.24. It means that the cost of doing your laundry translates to $66.04 per year and $264.16 if you do four loads per week. These costs do not even factor in other additional expenses of dryer sheets, fabric softeners, ironing costs, and add-in scents. Therefore, it is more expensive than you could think.

The costs involved in visiting the laundry services include transport and laundry services, which translate to about $3.12. it may appear higher than doing home laundry but considering it is all-inclusive of the ironing, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and add-in scents, the price is relatively low. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid washing machines if you live in an apartment or a rented home unless it is a long-term lease. The reason is, they can be troublesome when installing and removing, which could outdo any benefits you may have gained.

Comparison Between A Washing Machine And The Laundry Services?

A washing machine can do everything done by laundry services in the comfort of your home. However, it has some associated costs that may make one prefer to go for laundry services instead of owning one. Below is a comparison between a washing machine and the laundry;


 A washing machine is expensive and is not affordable to many households. It also comes with operational and maintenance costs such as electricity and water bills. Such associated costs make it even more unaffordable and undesirable in many homes. On the other hand, using laundry services is one method you can use to save a little cash. It is more affordable than using your washing machine and doing the laundry yourself.

 Looking at quotes given by laundry services, there is a substantial difference between doing your laundry using your washing machine and going for laundry services. For large companies such as hotels, it is advisable to outsource services instead of doing it in-house.


A washing machine, like any other machine, is prone to breakdown and other wear and tear. In case of a mechanical breakdown, you will have a lot of costs to incur. Some washing machines, such as automatic ones, have very costly spare parts that are not readily available. Therefore, their repair and maintenance are associated with very high costs. 

A washing machine breakdown in a household puts a halt to clothes cleaning as they will have to wait until it is fixed or else you hand wash the clothes. For laundry services, they have several washing machines, and in case of a mechanical breakdown of one, the others will be functioning; hence you will still have your laundry done. Laundry services are also convenient in that they tend to arrange schedules that suit your needs.


Doing laundry is not for everyone. Using a washing machine does not just involve loading the clothes, the detergent, and water, and left to clean and dry. A lot of professionalism is significant when laundry is engaged. Some clothes require special attention and should be carefully handled. For this reason, laundry services become the best option since they have professionals handling your clothes. You may lack the expertise required to handle laundry, resulting in messed-up and damaged garments that might have been expensive.


Sometimes the quickest way to get things done is by doing them yourself. In this case, using a washing machine and doing the laundry yourself is more rapid than going for laundry services. There are many hustles involved with getting to the laundry services, such as booking, taking the clothes to and fro, and waiting. 

When doing it yourself using your washing machine, you can wash them at any time and at your own pace. Also, when using a washing machine, you can multitask in whichever way. After loading the clothes, you can walk away to do something else and return when the cycles are over.


Time is a significant factor in present-day life. Some people do not even get time to sleep, leave alone for laundry. In such a case, laundry services are better compared to doing the laundry yourself. Some laundry services have schedules that suit your needs, such as when to drop the laundry for cleaning and when to pick them up. For busy people who have little time in their daily lives, laundry services are the way to go.

How Can You Save Money When Using A Washing Machine?

You can follow these tips to reduce costs associated with washing machines;

Consider hang-drying wet laundry as much as you can. Whether at the laundromat or at home, drying can be very expensive and quickly raise your electricity bills. On the other hand, investing in a small drying rack outside your home is not much compared to how high your electricity bill can go if you decide to use a dryer for the laundry. 

Secondly, put away clean clothes immediately. Clothes that are unhung and are just hanging around in piles easily attract dirt. They could get trodden on. Sometimes they can be easily mistaken for unwashed ones and get mixed up. Doing so prevents you from cleaning clothes that have not been worn hence incurring extra expenses on water and electricity bills. You also save time and energy that could have been used on already clean clothes.

You also need to always ask yourself, “Does a specific cloth really need to be washed? Sometimes one wear does not mean that an item is dirty and is a must-clean. You should check whether the thing looks and smells clean before deciding on whether to wash it or not. If it’s okay, you can place it back in the closet and proceed with the rest. 

Also, you can decide to own fewer clothes since too many of them may clog the system. Owning a few clothes makes washing, drying, hanging, and folding them a lot easier. It also helps reduce the clutter that makes clothes collect dust and dirt.

The other thing you can do to cut costs related to the washing machine is by waiting until you can wash a full load. You should avoid doing too many half loads since, despite the size of the load, the amount of water and electric energy used is still the same. The bill used is similar to that of a full load, only that it will be for fewer clothes. 

Measure correctly the amount of detergent used in each load. Using too much detergent may bring you extra costs of using too much water and energy to rinse the clothes. Also, the clothes may not be appropriately rinsed, making them end up with stains due to inadequate rinsing. Some washing machines come with instructions on the type and the number of detergents to be used for every load. Considering the amount of detergent is very important, especially when you want to cut on costs such as water use.

Lastly, avoid using all softeners, dryer sheets, and the add-in scents that people advise you to use. Using them all at once is a waste as they all tend to serve almost the same purpose. In the case of stained clothing, do not rush out to buy expensive stain removers. There are better options that may be less expensive or even not cost any money. The bottom line is, consider surviving on the detergent only. If you want some fragrance, go for scented detergents as they are available in the market.


Using a washing machine to do the laundry yourself may appear cheaper, but it is costly in the long run due to maintenance and operation costs. There are also associated costs such as detergents, dryer sheets, and add-in scents, making this option more expensive than laundry services. A lot of labor is also involved, such as ironing and folding clothes after cleaning when you opt for the washing machine and do the laundry yourself.