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self-service laundryor some might call it self-service laundry, locals in Malaysia refer to it as “dobi layan diri“. It’s an upcoming trend in the country with more and more people visiting local laundromats to get their clothes done. It’s quite evident that people are shifting their preference towards this line of service for a number of reasons.

Self-service laundry is a laundry service that typically operates out of a retail store within residential areas. These retail businesses typically operate with token coins as currency and standard industrial machines as key operating vehicles.

Space, time and comfort have become an increasingly important resource in urban areas like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The problem of space arises for people who live in council flats, condominiums and apartments where space is limited. Most of the time, apartment residents only have the balcony to dry their weekly clothes, while higher level areas do not allow residents to hang or dry their clothes, restricting them to resorting to indoors.

With the urban population gradually becoming more ambitious and educated, the workforce is increasing in size, making time an important resource for employees. The trend seen in Malaysia is largely due to the fact that the working class prefers clothes to be washed and dried within 1 hour, skipping the process of hanging, cutting, pinning, etc. Typically, the standard household washing machine requires 45 minutes of washing and approximately 4 hours of sunlight for proper drying.

The cost of living is an issue for recent graduates and college students. Apart from the working class in Malaysia, college and university students alike are observed to have a deviant preference towards self-service laundry. Self-service laundry providers employ industry standard washers and dryers that are significantly more cost effective compared to standard home washers, providing a more cost effective alternative for the lower income group with high quality laundry cleaning services.

Although coin-operated laundry services have been around for a long time in Western countries like the US and UK, it is still a relatively new development for the Malaysian population. Within a span of 3 years, Malaysia has seen a large number of self-service laundry services emerge with a particular focus on the Klang Valley region with an estimated 400 outlets currently operating within the region.

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