Self service laundry, or some might call it self service laundromat, the locals in Malaysia refers to it as “dobi layan diri“. It is an upcoming trend within the country with more and more people visiting the local self service laundry outlets to have their laundry cleaned. It is quite apparent that people are shifting their preference towards this line of service for a number of reasons.
Self service laundry is a laundry service that normally operates in a retail outlet within residential areas. These retail businesses normally operate with token coins as their currency and industrial standard machines as their key operation vehicles.
Space, time and convenience have become an ever more important resource in the urban areas like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The issue of space arises for people who lives in council flats, condominiums and apartments where space is limited. More often than not, apartment residents has only the balcony to dry their weekly laundry, whereas the higher end areas don’t allow residents to hang or dry their clothing thus restricting them to resort to indoors.
With the urban population gradually becoming more ambitious and educated, the labour force increases in size which makes time an important resource to the employed. The trend seen in Malaysia is largely contributed by the fact that the working class prefer to have their laundry cleaned and dried within the span of 1 hour, skipping the process of hanging, clipping, hooking and etc. Generally, the standard home laundry machine takes 45 minutes of washing and it will take approximately 4 hours sunlight for proper drying.
Cost of living is an issue for the fresh graduates and the undergraduates. Besides the working class in Malaysia, university and college students alike are seen to have the preference diverted towards self service laundry. Self service laundry providers employ industrial standard washers and tumble dryers that are significantly more cost effective compared to standard home laundry machines thus providing a more cost effective alternative to the lower income group with high quality laundry cleaning services.
Although the coin operated laundry services have been around for a in western countries like the US and UK, it is still a novelty relatively new to the Malaysian population. Within a span of 3 years, Malaysian has seen a huge number of self service laundry services emerging focused particularly within the Klang Valley region with an estimated figure of 400 outlet currently operating within the region.