If you live in New York City, there’s no shortage of startups who want to take your money to do your laundry. From Cleanly to Washio, these companies will allow you to schedule pickup and delivery of washing and dry cleaning, right to your door. And while some of them are working nearly around the clock (from 6:00 a.m. to midnight for FlyCleaners), you’ll still have to worry about your clothes sitting in front of your door if you’re not there when they arrive.
Yet another NYC-based startup, Clean Cube, wants to give apartment dwellers peace of mind when it comes to their unmentionables by setting up lockers inside the lobbies of doorman-less buildings. Users drop off their bag of laundry into one of the cubes using an access code, and someone from the company comes by once a day to pick up dirty clothes and drop off clean ones. The lockers are connected to the Internet, so users get alerts when their laundry is back in the building, and once again they use their passcode to access the locked box. You can also have packages shipped to Clean Cube, and they’ll deliver it to the lockers in your apartment for $3. The company plans to expand to grocery delivery in the near future, too.
Like its other laundry-delivery counterparts, Clean Cube is more expensive than doing the cleaning yourself, with wash and fold service costing $1.15 per pound, with a 10-pound minimum. Dry cleaning cost depends on the item, with $6 for jeans (if you’re dry cleaning many of your other clothes, you can probably afford that), $30 for a comforter, $15 for a tux, and $30 for a formal gown.
On a recent episode of Shark Tank, all the sharks found the idea tough to swallow because of the Cube’s large physical footprint. The argument was that the sweet spot between buildings with doormen and buildings too small for the cubes was too small. Of course, if Clean Cube expanded outside New York, it would probably find far fewer doormen handling dry cleaning deliveries.