Laundromats have been around for a while and continue to be an excellent choice for people to clean their clothes.
However, there is an underrated aspect of these locations that don’t get mentioned as often as it should. This article is going to look towards this aspect to illustrate why laundromats continue to run well around the world and hold great value in the eyes of many.
The topic is going to revolve around analyzing the social aspect of laundromats and why they are seen as a great hub for social activity.
1) Highlights Wealth and Status of Person
In the 50s and 60s when laundromats started becoming popular, the emphasis was on differentiating between those who could afford it and those who couldn’t. It was seen as a status symbol to illustrate those who were well-off and those who hadn’t reached that status yet.
Most people knew they needed to go out and wash their dirty laundry, so it was hard to get past this without getting a gist of someone’s social status.
If they were busy using other means to clean their clothes, it meant they were not as socially well-off as the others who were attending these laundromats on a regular basis. It was the one way to make sure everyone had a ranking system in place even if it was not said out loud.
This has continued to this day where people look at it as a symbol of status even if people are now adding a new rank into the mix with home-based laundry machines.
2) Emphasizes Good Cleaning Habits
With the social aspect of laundromats, it’s all about good cleaning habits, and that is the first thing people talk about when it comes to socialization.
Individuals who are coming to the laundromat are not only getting a higher social status for their actions; they are illustrating good cleaning habits. Therefore, when they walk around, they are demonstrating the importance of smelling good and looking clean at all times.
This moves into the rest of their lives as good, clean clothes are a sign of wealth and general civilized behavior.
Those who are not clean are looked down upon, and this includes their clothes. Therefore, those who are going to the laundromat are getting past this issue and do join in with the rest of society with clean clothes.
3) Hierarchy Within The Laundromat
A laundromat is a place where there is a hierarchy present even if it is not explicit in nature.
What does the hierarchy entail and why is it present? It has a lot to do with those who have been around for a while and know what it takes to do well at the laundromat. For example, they are the ones who are going to have the most carts and are going to have a particular machine they go to.
They will have a set date every week that is known to be their’s, and that is something they don’t change. Over time, people learn to adapt to these social nuances and understand where they are in the hierarchy. Those who are new adjust to this as well and make sure not to step on any toes along the way.
4) Protection of Machines For Friendly Neighbors/Acquaintances
Imagine going to a laundromat and looking around for the first time.
You are going to see strangers going about their cleaning, and that is normal. However, you are also going to see people who are protecting machines for others. These are individuals who are participating in the social nature of this public venue and what it brings to the table.
They are the ones who are illustrating the importance of joining in on the socialization that takes place in laundromats. Those who are not doing this will be the ones who are not going to see their washing machine protected and might even have someone take their items out.
People know it is important to build good connections in the laundromat as it is the one way to protect your clothes even when you are not looking. Those who are in the room will be on the lookout for you, and the same applies to their machines on your end.
5) Assistance With Cleaning
With the social aspect of laundromats, you are going to recognize the support that takes place along the way.
Whether it has to do with folding clothes or simply getting them out of a dryer, you are going to be able to socialize and build great relationships. This is why the laundromat has a social angle to it. This is a place where people are wiling to assist those who are friendly and tend to be on good terms with them.
If you help them with their clothes at various times, they are going to do the same for you because it is an act of goodwill.
This is something that has been drilled into the heads of those who go to laundromats and is one of the most important social aspects that come with these rooms. Those who take advantage of this can receive a lot of assistance along the way making it easier to clean their clothes.
6) Supplies and Organizational Status Within Laundromat
Those who have the most supplies are the ones who are seen as being the cleanest in laundromats.
The average person is going to walk in with their dirty laundry and a bit of change. They might have a few general washing supplies but nothing more than that. They are going to rely on the machine to do the work for them, and that is okay. However, there are others who are going to go the extra mile when it comes to their dirty laundry.
They are going to have additional supplies and are going to make sure those are brand new.
These are the people who tend to gain a higher status in laundromats for their organization. It is something that is seen as valuable in the grand scheme of things.
7) Carts Act As Social Currency
Those who have the most carts are seen as being the most powerful in a laundromat.
What is the reason for this? Carts are seen as currency because they illustrate the ability to move and organize clothes at a greater level. Those who have these carts have additional means to take care of their cleaning, and that is seen as a major plus point.
Being able to produce these carts and use them all the time is a sign of great wealth and is a positive when it comes to socialization in a laundromat. Those who use this in their favor are the ones who end up enjoying what they are doing inside a laundromat.
8) Establish Clothes As Public Markers
Yes, clothes are something that everyone is going to be wearing on a day-to-day basis, and that is what people look into when it comes to social status.
Since clothes are given such importance, people begin to realize the value of having good clothes year-round. They want to keep them clean, and those who can do this well are the ones who are going to be appreciated. For this to happen, it all starts inside a laundromat.
People know they want to clean their clothes nicely as these are social markers for them. It is a way to illustrate who they are and what they stand for in society. Those who don’t do this are seen as the ones who are not adapting and are the ones who are shunned.
9) Increased Vigilance of Others And “Dirty” Clothes
With laundromats, you also get to see people who are vigilant when it comes to other people and their clothes.
Why is that the case?
It has to do with how the laundromat is set up. Imagine going to a laundromat and seeing someone with heaps of soiled clothing in their basket. It can be a horrible smell, and you are not going to be the ones who will want to share a machine with them.
Instead, you are going to look elsewhere, and that is when the socialization aspect begins. It shows the importance of staying clean even when you are bringing in the dirty laundry as it is a sign of goodwill. Those who don’t do this are not adapting and are the ones who are going to be pushed aside implicitly.
This is seen more and more over time especially in places where there are a lot of washing machines to work with.
10) Waiting Time
What about the waiting time when listing the social aspect of laundromats?
This is a social idea that has been made over time, and it is something people adhere to.
Those who end up taking too long are the ones who are going to be looked down upon. Those who are timely with their work and make sure everything is streamlined are the ones who are going to be appreciated. This is seen all around the world and is the first thing people notice as they are waiting inside a laundromat.
They respect those who move quickly as it shows they are aware of their surroundings and don’t make it all about themselves.
11) Brings People Together From All Walks of Life
In the end, people from all walks of life can come together to clean their clothes, and that is a part of socializing.
Whether a person is an accountant, doctor, or someone else, they are going to need to wash their clothes. This is why the laundromat is a place to gather and help people meet indirectly.
12) Helps Streamline What “Clean” Means
What does “clean” mean to the average person?
For most people, it means clean clothes and that is why laundromats have become a powerful tool for socialization. Those who can understand what clean means know it begins with clothes that are neat, tidy, and don’t hold an odor.
These are a social aspect of laundromats one should keep in mind when it comes to visiting a place such as this. Laundromats are not about cleaning clothes even if that is the premise they serve. Instead, there is a lot more at play and those who take the time to soak this in are the one who will enjoy it the most.
Laundromats have been able to generate significant intrigue over the years and understanding what they do for day-to-day socializing is important. It helps illustrate why these locations are a part of the social fabric.