By Sara Gilman | SDUN Reporter
The Laundry Room in University Heights has re-opened its doors with new owners and a fresh upgrade, complete with comfortable amenities and energy-efficient machines that dispense purified water. This full-service, fluff and fold operation with on-the-spot-ironing is located at 1955 El Cajon Blvd.
“Laundromats are here to stay,” said Chuck Post, manager and laundry consultant. “There are a lot of unique features about this store, and we teach the customers how to effectively use them.”
Self-service laundry facilities have come a long way since their inception, yet only a limited amount of owners adapt to environmental changes and make the necessary improvements. The new owners of The Laundry Room, Paige and Mark McEwen, said they were on board for a full renovation from the very beginning.
The eight-month project saw the couple take the shell of the old location and completely restore the space with new floors, exposed beams, high ceilings and multi-colored wood panels.
“We wanted the design aspects to be stylish and urban,” said Paige McEwen. “We added splashes of color to create a place that people wanted to be in.”
Clayton Parker, a local artist, was recently hired to paint a San Diego-themed mural on the entire back wall, emphasizing the surrounding neighborhoods. “We appreciate and like the neighborhood, and want to add something nice to the community,” Mark McEwen said. Parker will start the mural, which will take approximately two weeks to complete, in early September.
In addition to the atmosphere, the owners also provide free, wireless internet service, multiple flat-screen televisions, abundant seating and arcade games while customers wait for their clothes to clean. During operating hours, an attendant is available to help customers, selling laundry supplies and facilitating the spot-ironing services.
“Most Laundromats have a sterile feel,” Mark McEwen said. “Our goal was to make it feel as comfortable as you would be at home.”
An important upgrade made to The Laundry Room occurred in the machines themselves. All the washers and dryers were replaced with energy efficient, heavy-duty front-load washers and massive 45-pound dryers.
Additionally, a unique feature installed – the only one of its kind in the area – is a sanitizer apparatus that kills bacteria, purifies the water and disinfects the washers. The machine, called the San-0-tyzer by Hamilton Engineering, creates ozone-saturated bubbles via a generator and purifies the water before it is distributed to all the washing machines. By destroying bacteria and eliminating dirt particles, drying time for clothes is reduced.
“Customers have been telling us that they notice their clothes actually smell better and [do so] for a longer amount of time,” Post said.
To further connect with the community, The Laundry Room will be donating all their dryer proceeds on Sept. 29to the 23rd annual AIDS Walk & Run, held in Balboa Park.
The Laundry Room is fully attended seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information call 619-795-9588.