This startup made college laundry costs even higher

Now that college is around the corner, and parents are moving back home, a lot of us are spending more time in the laundry room and less in the kitchen—or so we assume. It…

This startup made college laundry costs even higher

Now that college is around the corner, and parents are moving back home, a lot of us are spending more time in the laundry room and less in the kitchen—or so we assume. It turns out many of us are washing our clothes using machines that are not as up to the task as we think. From poorly made machines and crucial mislabeling, to window-size isochronous loads and a lack of internal capacity, every little detail can cause a machine to fail in one of the most frustrating ways.

Nasty Debbies have arrived on washing machines on college campuses.

This makes everything more complicated, especially when you factor in the hysteria surrounding a buy nothing store like LaundryMint. This place is quite literally the first stop for the fashionable and weary college student: They’ll replace their dirty clothes, disinfect everything, and unload a very good-looking machine, all for free.

What started as an impulse purchase has become an obsession for college students; in the beginning, they scooped up the only machines LaundryMint had; most of their services are now granted on demand, and customers have drawn up aggressive lists on how many days they’ll spend in the laundry.

A broken filter allows student brooms to drastically increase the speed of an air-dry load with disastrous results.

In fact, when we spoke to LaundryMint representatives, they mentioned an increasing number of clients that were spending hours looking for the best values and solutions for laundry. Within this group, those on the list who were not students were seeking clean and hygienic machines, too.

A problem has cropped up that’s caused college students to continually call LaundryMint to come in and put in new filters. The machines originally came with a unique locking mechanism to prevent a back door from opening in the middle of the wash and shut off for an automatically dry load of clothes.

Problem is, some students’ machines have turned out to have little filter coils that simply don’t work properly. These are fused with dirt by the drying process, so that while clothes sit in that state and dry, additional lint is just adding to the problem. What’s more, students who carry brooms may accidentally increase the drying speeds in their high-efficiency machines.

“Usually, the student will have a problem with the seal or the filter, but a lot of times their calls are just as the pressure on the machine,” Greg Kellies, LaundryMint’s general manager, told us. “People don’t notice the noise level when they wash it, but on spin cycles, they’ll notice when a filter isn’t working as it should.”

According to Kellies, almost all LaundryMint machines have one or more of these issues, and they are all addressed after they purchase the machine. LaundryMint uses LaundryMint’s patent-pending self-changing lip for the filter and self-cleaning cycle. These machines’ filters do stay intact, even when they’re placed directly on the lid of the machine. It’s the principle that’s been patented and certified by government agencies.

Eyesore machine is sold direct from LaundryMint

Those with “hole-in-the-floor” machines may want to steer clear. Marc, who we spoke to at the state university, purchased one of the broken LaundryMint machines from the open market because of the price, and immediately found out what it really cost for him to fix it.

“They had it cleaned, but even at that price, it cost like $700,” he says. “I could have spent a hundred dollars on something more convenient.”

Usually the state university we spoke to tried to replace the machines their students ordered, but they generally chose the most expensive ones because of the length of the warranty. These machines are sold almost exclusively from LaundryMint, and as a result, students are taking their luck with these defective machines into their own hands.

“They’d get a machine from LaundryMint or another company, and it would work and then go bad,” Marc says. “So a couple kids would rent the machines, and sometimes they’d get them repaired through the university because they couldn’t pay for it on their own.”

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