Laundromat vs. Washer & Dryer

Calculate the Savings or Extra Costs Involved

Home owners thinking of buying a washer and dryer should calculate the actual savings or extra costs involved in owning their own laundry machines. While conventional wisdom suggests that it's cheaper in the long run to purchase your own washer and dryer, it largely depends on the cost of going to the laundromat, the types of machines you buy, and whether you can air-dry your clothes.

The calculator below will help you calculate the true costs of each option so you can make the best financial decision.

Owning a Washer and Dryer
Washer Price $
Dryer Price $
Cost of Water and Elec.
Per Washer Load
Cost of Elec.
Per Dryer Load
Number of Loads
Washed Per Week
Number of Loads
Machine-Dried Per Week
Drying Rack Price $
Annual Repair Costs $

Going to the Laundromat
Washer Load Cost $
Dryer Load Cost $
Number of Loads
Washed Per Week
Number of Loads
Machine-Dried Per Week
Weekly Transportation $
Weekly Miscellaneous Costs $

Optional Factor: Annual Inflation Rate = %

Since the cost of detergent and dryer sheets is probably the same for both options, these costs are not factored into the savings calculator. For miscellaneous laundromat costs, you may include the cost of your time. If you air-dry some clothes washed at a laundromat, you can set the value of the drying rack at zero, since this factor will be common to both options. Feel free to enter fractional or decimal values for the number of loads washed/dried per week.

This calculator provides the approximate total cost of having a washer and dryer vs. using the laundromat for periods of 2, 5, 8, and 11 years. A typical washer or dryer will last about 10-12 years with regular maintenance. Cheaper models may have a shorter lifespan.

Since inflation is an inevitable fact of life, this calculator also lets you estimate the comparative costs of both options accounting for inflation. Leave this field as 0 if you do not want to compare the costs with inflation. A safe value is about 2%.

Please note that calculator results are estimates only.

© Had2Know 2010