How to Open a Laundromat: A Guide for Entrepreneurs

Starting a laundromat can be the perfect entrepreneurial venture for many people.

However, how do you open one?

This guide will walk you through everything that is involved in opening your own laundromat business.

This post talks about how to start a laundromat and how much money it costs to get started with this kind of business.

It also discusses how you should go about marketing your laundromat so that it becomes popular among local residents!

What Is a Laundromat? 

Before we get into all of the specifics, let’s cover the basics first.

A laundromat is a place where you can take your dirty clothes and have them washed, dried, or both.

This is how it works: you get to pick the kind of service that you want (wash only, dry only, wash-and-dry), then put in coins for how much time or water usage that you want.

This type of laundromat is more commonly known as coin-operated laundromat.

It is a great place to do your laundry for those who are short on time or don’t have the space, money, or energy to do so at home!

As you can see, laundromats provide an essential service that many people need and use.

They are also relatively inexpensive compared to more high-end washing and drying services.

Laundromats are a service that is in almost every town, so how do you open one?

How Do Laundromats Make Money? 

How Do Laundromats Make Money?

Laundromats are a service that people need and use frequently, so it is very likely to be profitable in any area populated by enough customers.

But how do they work? How much does it cost to open one? First of all, how do laundromats make money?

The way that laundromat businesses work is they offer a service to people in exchange for coins.

You can use any type of coin from the US dollar down to the penny– you just have to attach an accurate price tag and put them inside your machines.

It’s crucial that you have a good grasp on how much each coin is worth, and how many of them are needed for the type of service that you offer.

For example: if your laundromats only take quarters, then those would need to be in plentiful supply when people come up to do their laundry!

Your laundromat could take just pennies, but you would need to have a lot of them for customers who like that kind of coin.

Are Laundromats Profitable? 

It’s logical to doubt whether laundromats are a profitable business to run.

But stay with me as I take you through the cost of installing one, and how much it could potentially earn.

The biggest expense is going to be a building that has an appropriate amount of space for your laundromat.

For example: if you want to install a wash-and-dry coin operated laundromat, you will need a place that’s large enough for two coin operated washing machines and dryers.

You also need to equip your laundromats with the right equipment: these usually come in either front-load or top-load types, which have their own advantages over one another.

There are other costs as well– water, dryer sheets, and so on. All of these have to be factored in.

So the answer to the question on how much profit does a laundromat make will depend on too many factors.

But laundromats are known to make a very good profit, especially if they are in a crowded area.

Cost to Open a Laundromat

I’ve touched a bit on the costs of opening a laundromat in a few paragraphs above, but let’s get into details.

The cost is going to vary depending on how much you want your laundromat to do.

You could go as low as a few thousand dollars and get just the basics, but if you’re looking for something more elaborate– like dry-cleaning machines or TV screens playing Netflix– then it’s going to be closer to $100,000.

There are also a lot of hidden costs to opening a laundromat that you might not be thinking about, like taking out a business insurance. For more information around that, read this useful business insurance resource.

Also, how much do you think it would cost just for one month’s worth of water?

You can’t run your washers and dryers without this essential ingredient– but how much is it?

How about how much it would cost to buy a set of machines?

This is an investment that you need to be totally sure you can afford before going through with.

How To Start a Laundromat? 

The first thing to consider when opening a laundromat is how much money you have saved up and how much more you need in order to start one.

There are a few different ways to open a laundromat.

The first is the most common, and that’s when you buy an already existing place with at least two washers and dryers in it– this can either be offline or online.

But how much does it cost to buy these places?

If you’re looking for a high-end laundromat, it’s going to be $100,000+.

Then how about the other option?

This is when you just buy the equipment; washers and dryers. You then have to find your own place– either offline or online.

This will start off much cheaper than opening a laundromat with the existing building.

So is opening a laundromat worth your time and energy? Yes! Especially if you do it right.

The first few months of operation will be slow (businesses usually are, unless you’re lucky), but once the word gets out– which it will!– then things can go very well for your laundromat.

Here are some things you should think about if you are opening a laundromat from scratch.

Setting Up a Business

First, make sure you register your business.

The best thing to do is consult a lawyer who specializes in this field. A lot of people make a mistake on relying fully on information found online.

There’s a reason lawyers and accountants exist. They know everything you need to know, and can give you specific, custom advice that can help you out when setting up laundromat business.


Choosing a location is the next thing.

This is one of the most important things to consider when opening a laundromat.

Prominent locations in places that are crowded with people are obvious choice.

It’s best to get as many people walking by or driving past as possible in order for them to notice your laundromat.

You can also put up signs that are visible from the road advertising your business.

You can also advertise online. With the power of social media, and targeted advertising, you can focus only on customers that are in your area.

Business Plan

You need a business plan which will include how much money you intend on investing in the laundromat, how much you’re going to charge, how much it’s going to cost for each load of laundry (or dry clean), how many washers and how many dryers your laundromat will have, how often employees are on shift, what the hours of operation are.

Here’s a great guide on how to write a business plan.

This document should detail every aspect so there is no confusion when opening a laundromat.

It should also contain how much money you need to make based on the goals that are set in order for it to be profitable, how many customers you can expect and what your estimated expenses will be.

In addition, this plan should contain how many washers and dryers will be in the building.

If there’s not enough space – then you can buy more equipment and have a second location in the future.


If you want to have a laundromat that is open 24 hours, then you’ll need more than one person on staff.

This will depend on how many machines and washers are in your place at any given time– how often do you go through them?

You don’t want to be short-staffed and have a line of customers waiting to wash their clothes– that’ll be bad for business.

The best way to handle this is by hiring employees and setting up shifts so there’s always someone on staff, 24 hours a day.

And how much should you pay them?

This will depend on where your laundromat is located, how much rent you pay, how many machines and washers there are.

It’s best to be generous– it’ll make your employees more willing to work hard for you.  

Opening a Laundromat Franchise

Opening a Laundromat Franchise

This is when you buy a laundromat franchise (usually from the laundromat company).

The benefits of this are that they handle everything for you.

You don’t have to worry about hiring employees, renting a place or setting up advertisements.

They’ll do all of it! All you need to do is show up and work your laundromat.

However, you want to find out if laundromats are too abundant or not enough before you do anything– it’s always better to make sure you’re making a sound decision than regretting your laundromat franchise later on.

How Much Is a Laundromat Franchise?

This will depend on what the laundromat business offers– laundromat franchise prices are different for each laundromat company.

So, it’s best to contact a laundromat company and find out what they offer before you consider buying their business.

If you buy the laundromats from them– then it’ll be cheaper than if you bought just one laundromat on your own.

How To Open a Laundromat With No Money? 

If you don’t have the money to start your business, then it’s best to ask family or friends for loans.

This will depend on how large a loan is and what is a potential interest rate. But this is an option that should be explored before anything else.

If you don’t have money to start or buy a business, make sure you read our guide on how to buy a business with no money.

Given that opening a laundromat is not the most expensive business out there, family/friend option might be very doable.

Also, if you don’t have the money, then opening a laundromat franchise makes even more sense.

It’ll be expensive too, since the upfront cost is high. But the process will start out smoother and quicker than starting from scratch with no money for your business– including not having any employees!  

Also, if you’re good at finding the right places, negotiating with landlords and weeding out competition before starting your business, then this option will make sense for you.  

This won’t come cheap either– so don’t go into this option without doing your research. To earn more money, you could look into finding under the table jobs.

In Conclusion

A laundromat is a very profitable business to start if you are an entrepreneur.

It’s easy to maintain– all you need to do is make sure the equipment gets cleaned on a daily basis and your premises stay tidy.

And of course, it will take some time for people in your area to find out about your laundromat and start using it.

But if you can stomach the work, then this will be a very profitable business for years to come!