French Laundromats

A quick primer on how to use French Laundromats

Box of laundry detergent tide podsBefore you go:  Get about 10 euros in coin, laundry soap (lessive) preferably tabs instead of powder and liquid fabric softener (soupline).   Most laundromats have a machine to sell the soap and fabric softener, but it is quite expensive.

Prices are usually around 2.50-6€ a load depending on the size of the machine, and 1.10€ for 10 minutes of dryer time.  If the prices are not posted, you push the paybox button that corresponds to the washer or dryer, and the price will appear.

Bottle of fabric softener for doing laundryWhat to do:  Choose your washer (don’t stuff it too full), choose your cycle, and then open up the compartment on top to put in your soap: drop one detergent tab each in the two biggest holes and pour a cap of fabric softener in the small hole (usually the holes go left to right: soap for pre-wash, soap for main wash, fabric softener for rinse).

Now pay at the paybox on the wall: put the money in and push the corresponding button (or if that doesn’t work push the button first, then drop in the coins), and away you go.  Cycles take about an hour.  For dryers, the price you see when you push the button is usually for 8-10 minutes.

In the Old Town, there are 2 laundromats:

  • Place Vieille is the quietest but most expensive.  It’s owned by the restaurant next door, so you can usually go to them if you need to break a bill (but not before lunch!)   I’ve also heard that their machines malfunction with 2€ coins, only registering 20 cents, so if you go here, make sure you have a pocket of 1€ coinage.
  • Laverie Bea is the best; not too expensive but impeccably clean and well-maintained. You’ll find this tiny laverie tucked in the far end of rue Pairolière (on the way to Garibaldi).  Bea offers ‘fluff and fold’ service as well: drop off your laundry on Monday or Friday and she’ll run the loads herself and fold for no extra charge, but you need to call first:  06 62 36 70 02.  She’ll even iron for 2€ a piece.

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