Washio offers laundry and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery for customers in half a dozen major US cities. The Santa Monica-based startup uses “ninjas” (independent couriers) and a network of laundering and dry cleaning facilities to take care of wash day. Washio is available in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington DC. As of December 2015, the company has a Better Business Bureau rating of B+.
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Washio’s pickup and drop-off windows are 30 minutes long, so customers don’t have to wait long for service. Cleaned items can be returned within 24 hours of pickup. Most service is schedule-ahead, although the company operates Washio Now on-demand pickup within a half hour in some markets. Washio also lets users set up recurring laundry service every 1 to 4 weeks.
Unlike some service-economy companies, Washio lets customers order via computer as well through its app, making its service accessible to customers who aren’t comfortable doing business on small screens. As a perk, Washio drivers bring a cookie for each customer at pick-up.
Washio’s 15-pound minimum for wash-and-fold service represents more laundry than you might think—about a dozen towels or 30 men’s t-shirts or 10-12 pairs of jeans, according to Washio’s estimator—which means people who don’t generate much laundry might have to rustle up a few extra things to make the order minimum. Hand-wash and line dry items can’t be cleaned by Washio.
Washio’s terms of service state that the company evaluates lost-item claims on a case-by-case basis for items that are reported missing within 7 days of the delivery date and have been missing for more than 20 days. The maximum reimbursement for lost wash-and-fold items is 5 times the cost of the original load; for lost or damaged dry clean items the maximum reimbursement is 10 times the item’s cleaning charge.
In all service areas, Washio requires a $30 minimum (equivalent to about 15 pounds of wash-and-fold items) and a $6 delivery fee for orders under $150. Missed pickups are charged a $10 no-show fee.
Prices for dry cleaning and laundry vary slightly by market. For example, wash-and-fold laundry is $1.85 per pound in Los Angeles, $1.99 per pound in Washington. Washio’s prices for comforters are in the $19-$28 range, depending upon size. Itemized prices are also posted for other bedding, table linens, and cushion covers. Washio’s estimator tool helps you figure out about how much your order will cost before you place it.
People who can’t or don’t want to do laundry at home or at a laundromat; caregivers who are pressed for time; adult children who want to help parents with household chores but lack the time or live too far away to do it themselves.