Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Doing Laundry is Fun

Back in the day, washing clothes was a community-building experience. Folks would go down to the creek, hang out and connect, all while getting massively strong forearms. While this idealized version of the olden-times laundromat might not correspond with the reality (have you ever hand-washed a big load of laundry? In a freezing creek? Not fun.), doing laundry can be a great opportunity to connect with others who find themselves in the same soiled-clothing predicament.


A laundromat in Ghent, Belgium called Wasbar seizes this opportunity, turning the otherwise tedious and time-consuming task of cleaning your clothes into an attractive, fun, social and gastronomically satisfying experience. Rather than the decor consisting of delaminated formica, linoleum and florescent lighting, Wasbar is filled with soft lighting, wood, tile and attractive furniture. Rather than a couple vending machines filled with Pepsi and Funyuns, Wasbar has a beer and espresso bar and buffets serving delicious food. Rather than watching muted episodes of Judge Judy on an overhead TV, Washbar has knitting classes, concerts and a bunch of other programming to keep you entertained while you wait for your laundry (you might not want your cycle to end before the class ends or the encore set).


Wasbar is sponsored by Electrolux appliances, Ecover cleaning products and a few other companies. It’s tough to tell whether it’s more than a promotional popup shop, but we like the concept. It plays into the “city as living room” idea we talk about here. It turns an otherwise dull, isolating tasks into an opportunity to connect with your community–all while maintaining your lithe forearms.


  • We’ve got a similar laundromat in San Francisco called Brainwash … it’s been around since 1989. There’s a cafe and live entertainment.

    • DavidFriedlander

      thanks mike! great to see something stateside and established–i.e. not a popup shop.

  • Meg

    There’s one in New Orleans called Buddha Belly. I’m really surprised there aren’t more businesses like this.

    • JAK

      I love seeing this! I’m hoping to open my own concept of this idea on the east coast. My fiance and I were always stopping for a beer at the next door bar on the down time. We thought it would be better to bring the beer to us instead! I love the idea of having classes too. What a great way to spend 30 minutes waiting for a dryer instead of staring at your phone.

  • djrr55

    It’s been a long time since I’ve lugged laundry anywhere besides down the stairs in my own house — but it is apparent to me that lugging laundry anywhere is easier when there is less of it to do. As in having fewer clothes to begin.

  • Mani/pedi services would also be perfect for combining two Saturday errands into one stop.

  • Oli

    I live in Ghent, and I’m quite sure these guys are not in the “popup” game.
    I think they are even planning on opening different spots around the country.
    And it is indeed a nice way to do your washing, combined with meeting friends or just having a coffee in nice surroundings. 🙂