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Someone once said that only two things in life are certain... death and taxes. Well, I'd like to add one more item to that list: laundry.
Nobody enjoys doing the laundry, but they sure do appreciate the results. So what if you could outsource this highly personal responsibility to someone else? What if you could harness the convenience of mobile technology to streamline the whole process?
Turns out, you can do just that! Though it's still a new trend, there are lots of app-based services designed to help lazy, urban-dwelling twentysomethings skip the laundromat and have their clothes delivered to their doorsteps. Here are some of the best.
Here's how it works: If you live in one of the cities below, you can use the app to schedule a time for a Washio employee to show up at your address. They take your dirty laundry (or dry cleaning) and return later (within 24 hours) with fresh, folded clothes. Orders are also automatically charged upon delivery, just like an Uber ride.
However, some users may be turned off by the price. Washio has a $30 order minimum and a 15 lb. minimum for the Wash & Fold service. There's also a $5.99 delivery charge, so you'd better have a significant load of laundry if you plan to get the most out of this service.
TaskRabbit is a more general service devoted to helping people complete tasks and stay productive.
Rather than hiring laundry "ninjas" a la Washio, TaskRabbit employs community-reviewed "Taskers" to complete your various chores and errands—one of which could be your laundry.
The downside is that pricing (and attention to detail) may vary from Tasker to Tasker. Services may also be limited depending on what time or day of the week it is. You may have to do a bit of research, but if you like the service, you may find yourself hiring Taskers for other jobs, as well.
Another on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning delivery service, Cleanly allows users to schedule a 30-minute pickup window and promises to return their fresh laundry within 24 hours. Unlike Washio, there's no delivery minimum. However, Cleanly does charge a $4.99 delivery fee for all orders under $30.
In addition, the company also offers a monthly service called Cleanly Reserve that waives all delivery and cancellation fees, and more, for just $10 per month.
Outside of the Reserve subscription, there doesn't seem to be any particular feature that separates Cleanly from other app-based laundry services, although it is a bit cheaper. The biggest downside is that it's currently only available in New York City (specifically, Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn). The app is also only available on iOS.
Available in: New York City
Get the app: iOS
DRYV is pretty much a carbon copy of the above laundry services, with a few minor differences. For one, DRYV laundry orders can take up to 48 hours, as opposed to the 24-hour turnaround offered by Washio and Cleanly. The delivery minimum is $20.
The app also allows you to track the progress of your order, including email receipts itemizing orders and prices, along with notifications for when your order is ready.
Another New York–only on-demand laundry and dry cleaning service, FlyCleaners allows you to schedule pickup and drop-off times entirely through your phone. As a nifty perk, you can choose to have your laundry picked up within 20 minutes if you're in a rush.
FlyCleaners' standout feature is its lack of a delivery minimum—although orders under $30 include a $3.99 delivery fee. They also appear to be a bit quicker than their rivals, promising deliveries overnight.
Once again, though, the big downside is the availability—it's only available in New York City.
Rinse offers typical laundry pickup and delivery services, plus a few extra perks. For example, Rinse utilizes a text message customer service system with actual human representatives. They also offer repair services, including fabric tears, re-hems, zippers, and clasps.
The company used to offer more exhaustive cleaning services that included Hand Wash and Leather, but it seems to have done away with those services in favor of Dry Cleaning, Wash & Fold, Hang Dry, and Repairs. The basic Wash & Fold requires a minimum 15 lb. load, and can be rushed for an extra fee of $5.
Unlike most other services on this list, Delivery.com is a more general delivery service specializing in four categories: food, alcohol, groceries, and laundry. Also unlike Washio, Rinse, or DRYV, Delivery.com allows you to choose your own cleaning services.
The service charges businesses directly—including restaurants, markets, and dry cleaners—meaning you only pay the cleaner's fee. (Minimum orders typically range from $20 to $30.) That also means Delivery.com takes no responsibility for damages, and cannot promise turnarounds of less than 24 hours. But because you're allowed to browse through a host of businesses, you can select the right one for your needs.
Currently only available in parts of New York City, Dirty Laundry is pretty similar to the other laundry-specific services on this list. In fact, there doesn't appear to be any standout feature, aside from the apparently "cool and fun people" who arrive at your home to pick up and drop off your laundry.
So if you're looking to make friends with the people who do your laundry, then maybe this service is for you. Even then, though, Dirty Laundry's limited service area will likely disqualify you.
Wash Cycle Laundry
Wash Cycle Laundry doesn't have an app, but its couriers will pick up and deliver your laundry... by bike! WCL offers next-day delivery for laundry and dry-cleaning, as well as other services like linen rental—all transported by fleets of cargo tricycles.
It's a highly eco-friendly business model. WCL has hauled more than 4 million pounds of cargo and saved another million gallons of water using high-efficiency washing machines.
The company also offers commercial laundry and linen rental services. Its clients range from nursing homes and spas to boutique rentals and homeless shelters.
Available in: Philadelphia • Washington, DC
This article was originally published on August 19, 2015. It has been updated with new pricing and availability information.
June 9, 2016