Coin-operated washing machines can be found in a variety of places, from apartment complexes to your local laundromat. They operate similarly to regular washing machines except that they require coins to work. There is typically a change machine on the premises, and you can also purchase items such as detergent and fabric softener from vending machines as well.
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Place your detergent in the washing machine. If you brought your own detergent, follow the directions to determine how much to use per load. If you've purchased detergent from the vending machine at the laundromat, generally one box is used for one load.
Set the washing machine's controls, which are usually found on the front of the machine. You can usually choose from a regular or delicate cycle and warm, cold and hot water temperatures. As a general rule, choose cold water for colors and hot water for whites and bedding.
Insert coins in the coin mechanism slot. Some machines require that you push the quarters in using a sliding tray. Different washing machines have different costs to operate. A regular washing machine may cost $1.50 to operate, while a larger, industrial-sized one for bedding might require $3.00 or more. Use the change machine on the premises if you do not have enough change.
Add your laundry to the drum while the drum fills with water. This will allow for better distribution of the detergent. Close the washer's lid or door, and wait for the machine to complete the cycle, which can take up to an hour depending on the size of the load of laundry.
Do not leave your clothing unattended in a laundromat.