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How Will the Closure of Wash Mill Laundromat Impact Davis?

A commentary on the closure of one Davis's two local laundromats.

When Davis residents show up to do their laundry at Wash Mill laundromat, they will likely be greeted by a note informing them of the business's impending closure.

In a story published by The Sacramento Bee, it has been reported that the 40-year-old business is indeed closing and soon -- like this coming Sunday "soon". As the story reports, the business is closing to make way for a new Goodwill and Goodwill Express location.

On the business's front door a note reads, "To all of my friends that have used my Laundromat for 40 years, I would like to thank you. The landlord has given me 30 days."

The note alludes to an issue some commenters on the Bee story have speculated on, but does not specifically address it.

One Sac Bee commenter asks the somewhat crass but fair question: 

"So pray tell, what should the city of Davis and their elected minions do, if they "see a need for a laundromat"? Force the landlord to leave the existing one there? Open a city-run laundromat? Subsidize someone to open or run one?"

Indeed, even the story's author Darrell Smith can't help but acknowledge the glaring irony of the situation:

They will have a place to donate and buy clothes, but one fewer place to wash them.

Regardless of the irony, the decision has been made and it leaves residents considering the long-term impact leaving Laundry Lounge the only coin-operated laundromat in town.

The problem may extend beyond the seemingly obvious challenge this might present college students, noted in The Bee's story by Wash Mill's owner herself, Sharon Miller.

"The older homes don't have washers and dryers, and there are apartment (buildings) with only one washer and dryer... There are a lot of people who work swing shifts," Miller said. "People come in from West Sacramento. They say, 'You're the only place that's open 24 hours.'"

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Do you rely on a coin-operated laundromat? How many does Davis need?

barbara ruhmann January 05, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Interesting...As someone who has used their service off and on (due to washer failures at home) for around 30 years, I can attest to the fact that they are often full. Whole families from the nearby apartments come in on the weekends, and there's a lot of after dinner users as well. I guess I'd best pray my washer doesn't break down!
Pat January 05, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Soup City on Lake Boulevard closed within the past year as well.
Karen Kane January 06, 2013 at 03:52 AM
It would suck.
Madelyn January 06, 2013 at 08:25 AM
It makes me sad. In an economy where people are down and out, the businesses that make life possible are being forced out. Not only by the lack of people who cannot afford them (i.e., restaurants) but by landlords who also need to make more money. The loss of this laundromat is a big deal to many people who live in east Davis, a lot of whom don't have a car to drive to west Davis to do their laundry. What are they to do? Why can't Goodwill move into R&R's empty spaces? It's much more set up for that kind of business. In fact, it's an ideal spot. Much less expense and remodeling I would think. This is one case where the "city" SHOULD step up and get involved.
Doug January 07, 2013 at 07:10 AM
Frankly, hundreds of apartment households and homes with no washer/dryer will be left washing their clothes in wash tubs and bath tubs. There are not enough hours in the day for washers at apartment buildings to accommodate all of the wash that needs to get done. Students and low wage workers only have narrow cracks of time available to them to do their laundry. The Wash Mill is vital to the East 8th St. area.

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