Desert Companion

Services: The laundromat comes clean

It’s a family holiday get-together, and you’re expecting a full house. The brioche is rising, the tea is brewing and you’re ready to freshen Grandma’s vintage tablecloth with a light wash. Then: Crash! Bang! Thud! The washer is dead. What are you going to do with only hours before everyone arrives?

The laundromat? That dreary den of flickering fluorescent lights and sketchy characters mumbling to themselves? Not anymore. The age-old institution of the laundromat has gotten a surprising makeover — actually, make that a full-on spin cycle. Today’s laundromats offer high-def TVs, computer stations, free Wi-Fi, even billiards — not to mention high-tech washers that promise to brighten your whites and baby your delicates.

Those are just a few of the perks at the Laundry Lounge (4343 N. Rancho Road, 656-0427, “People that used to go the competition come here because of the environment we offer,” says co-owner Jodi Vecchio. “I know how it is to have to drag your laundry out of the house and have to go somewhere else, so I want my customers to feel like they’re at home.” Customer Johna Thacker doesn’t hesitate to come here when her appliances are on the fritz. “It’s clean. You feel safe here — because a lot of them are kinda scary,” she says.

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How about feeling pampered? Try one of the two massage chairs at Magic Wash (1120 S. Decatur Blvd., 259-3007, Owner Young Lee sums up the appeal of the recliner rubdown: “People, they get tired doing laundry.” Magic Wash also courts repeat customers with free coffee, flat screen TVs, granite countertops, fairytale wall murals and well-stocked vending machines. While Lee is feature-focused, he hasn’t forgotten his core mission. He complements his on-site fluff-n-fold and alterations services with brand-new washers and a two-cycle wash program: an eight-minute pre-wash followed by a main wash using a fresh water cycle (no extra charge). Finally, Wash-n-Fun Laundromat (4425 Stewart Ave., 570-5724, takes its name seriously. Amusement games line one wall to keep the kids entertained, and adults can drop some coin into the slot machines by the front desk — or take care of business with fax and copying services. Heavy-duty machines easily dispatch Fifi’s fur and other cleaning conundrums. It’s just another way to come clean in Sin City.

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