If you aren’t lucky enough to have an in-home washer and dryer — or even an in-building laundry room for apartment dwellers — laundry day can be a real pain. It’s not even an enjoyable chore under the best of circumstances, but having to haul a heavy bag to a Laundromat is arduous and time-consuming. Even if you can drink there, it’s just not an efficient use of your time. It’s no wonder, then, that all sorts of services have cropped up with people who will do your laundry for you. In many cases, these services will pick up and drop off your laundry for you, saving you from having to lug around a heavy basket. It may not be the cheapest option, but it will save you time, provided you don’t mind a stranger going through your undergarments.
How it works: Right now, Cleanly only has an iOS app, but you can place an order on their website. Schedule your pick-up and delivery for between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and either be home to greet them or leave your laundry bag outside your door. The company prefers not to leave your clean clothes sitting on the stoop, though. Cleanly has separate bags for your regular laundry and dry-clean items.
Pricing: $1.50 per pound for wash and fold, dry cleaning prices vary by item; there’s a $20 minimum
Turn around time: 24 hours for wash and fold, 36 for dry cleaning
Available in: New York
How it works: Open the iOS or Android app, and schedule your pick-up and drop-off times. If you need laundry ASAP, there’s an option for having someone come by in 30 minutes or less. You’ll need to separate your wash-and-fold items, including sheets and towels, from your dry cleaning. The Washio “ninjas” can leave the cleaned items on your doorstep if you want, so you don’t have to wait around for the delivery.
Pricing: $1.39 to $1.70 per pound for wash and fold, depending on your city, with a $15-pound minimum for wash and fold and a $20 minimum for dry cleaning (price of items varies); delivery is $4 but free for orders over $35
Turn around time: 24 hours
Available in: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C.
How it works: Much like Cleanly and Washio, use the FlyCleaners app to schedule when you’d like to have your laundry picked up and dropped off, from 6 a.m. to midnight. If you’re in a rush, you can request to have someone come by in about 20 minutes. The service also has separate bags for designating between laundry and dry cleaning, and you can use the special instructions box to enter up to four garments you want to hang dry.
Pricing: $1.25 per pound for wash and fold, dry cleaning prices vary by item; there’s no minimum but orders under $15 have a $4 delivery fee
Turn around time: Overnight, so if they pick up your wash-and-fold order by 11 p.m., you’ll have them back by 7 a.m.; dry cleaning takes two or three days
Available in: New York
How it works: Unlike the services above, Delivery.com lets you choose who’s going to do your cleaning. The service charges the businesses, instead of you, so you only pay the cleaner’s fee to clean and deliver your clothes. You can look at the companies’ Yelp and user reviews to get a sense of their reputation, but Delivery.com takes no responsibility if the cleaner shrinks your favorite shirt. The minimums for one zip code we checked ranged from $20 to $45, with some delivery times stretching as long as 48 hours. What’s nice, though, is that it’s all in one place, letting you decide how much you want to pay and how long you want to wait.
Pricing: Depends on which cleaner you choose
Turn around time: Depends on which cleaner you choose
Available in: Over 40 cities, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, and Boston
How it works: TaskRabbit is more of a general service, meant to connect those in need of help with those looking for work, for everything from moving to cleaning to event planning. Each “Tasker” has been vetted via in-person interviews and background checks, according to the company. Until dedicated laundry services move into more cities, TaskRabbit may provide a (somewhat lacking) option. Just to give you an idea, we tried to find someone to do our laundry in Portland on Thursday. There was only one person available, who was charging $28 an hour. If we could’ve held out until Sunday, however, we found someone willing to do it for $20 an hour.
Pricing: Depends on whom you hire, plus a 20-percent service fee
Turn around time: Depends on who’s available
Available in: 19 cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Miami, Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle