It’s Friday again, and I am supposed to take a break from Europe-blogging because there are less readers on weekends. But this post is… is not about sightseeing or food. In fact I think it is kind of boring. I only want to write this is a reference, and maybe be of some help to people who might… who might need the information that I will be sharing. So let’s do it today anyway…
Today I am going to tell you about using the laundromat in Barcelona!
[7 MARCH 2016, MONDAY]
I left it till the day I was leaving (today) to do my laundry because I wanted to maximize the load to wash and hence maximize the value for money I spend for doing laundry.
I was initially extremely frustrated when I was researching this city prior to coming, because my Google searches on coin laundry Barcelona, laundromat Barcelona, laundry shop Barcelona did not yield satisfactory results. I was going to be here for a week, and I was worried that I could not get some dirty clothes washed while I was here. That would royally suck, because I’m not used to wearing the same t-shirt more than 1 day, and I do not exactly have very many t-shirts to pack.
Turns out I have been searching the wrong terms. Laundry is called Lavanderia in Spanish, and Bugaderia in Catalan. So if you search for Lavanderia Barcelona or Bugaderia Barcelona, you will get infinitely better results.
Actually, you don’t even need to bother. Barcelona is very much like the rest of Europe (Western Europe at least). There are laundromats (self-service laundry) littered all over the city that you will surely come across at least a few if you pay close attention when doing your sightseeing. So, washing your dirty clothes can be done rather cheaply.
I went to the one closest to my hotel. The laundromat is called LavaXpres (Lavanderia Express?). I think this is a laundromat chain as I came across quite a few of them during my walks around Barcelona. Of course there are laundromats of other names, but they work more or less the same.
These laundromats typically opens from 8 AM – 10 AM daily, and they are entirely self-service. Some of them probably accepts only coins, but the one I went to accepts either coins or bank notes.
It is actually very easy to use the machines here, I would say almost idiot-proof. There’s only buttons to set temperature (which you can ignore if you want default setting) and the Start button on either the washers or the dryers. Then there’s 1 centralized cash point (payment machine) where you pay and select the machine number to operate.
There is no such thing as 100% idiot-proof because, well, idiots will be idiots so they will invariably fuck up regardless of how easy you make it for them.
I’ll tell you how to make things work here…
- Load your clothes into an empty washer and take note of the machine’s number.
- Go to the cash point, select language, then select [Wash or buy products].
- Buy detergent and softener first, they cost 1€ each for a one-load packet, and will be dispensed through the hole below. This step is optional and can be skipped if you have your own detergent.
- Select [Wash], press the correct machine number, and pay the indicated amount by cash.
- Take your detergent and softener back to your washer machine, pour the contents into the right compartments (or just pour them all onto your clothes inside the machine, like me), and close the lid.
- Set your preferred temperature (optional), then press the Start button.
- Washing takes 40 minutes to complete. The poster indicating 30 minutes is a lie. A 9kg load costs 4€ to wash (as of March 2016).
This is the recommended step-by-step to do it. Of course, you can always go to the cash point to pay first, then buy your detergent, then load your clothes into the machine last. That would be the most efficient way in terms of number of steps you have to walk back and forth. But I read in forums that sometimes when there are many people in the laundromat, there might be assholes who will peek over the cash point to see which machine you are paying for, then load their clothes into your washer and run away while you are still in the process of buying detergent. If you load your clothes first then it becomes inconvenient for those assholes to steal your machine.
Same steps as Washing, but minus the detergent stuff and select Dry instead of Wash. Drying takes 45 minutes to complete. A 14kg load costs 4€ to dry (as of March 2016). Don’t ask me why the washing and drying capacity is different, I don’t know, it is what it is…
You could of course sit here and wait for the washing and drying to be done. It’s 40 minutes and then 45 minutes.
Not me. I loaded the clothes for washing, then went off to explore the La Boqueria market (next blog post) for a bit, came back to switch my load to drying, saw that I was still the only user and decided that I could afford to be late a bit to come back to collect my dried clothes later, so I went off to have my baguette and churros breakfast at Granja M. Viader…
I made it back about an hour later to collect my clean and dry clothes. Nothing was missing, so it was all good. Total cost for me was 9€ (4€ wash + 4€ dry + 1€ detergent). I never understood the purpose of softeners so I did not get it. Last time when I was in the US, I used softener for a few times and did not find any additional softness in my clothes.
Also, I just realized that today is actually a Thursday and not Friday! But I’m too lazy to edit the beginning of this post…
Meaning I have to go to work tomorrow! And I have to think of something else to write for tomorrow!
Fuck! Why did I think today is Friday??!!