Wash & fold in NYC that won't destroy synthetics and elastic?
March 11, 2013 12:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a Wash & Fold and (very ideally) pickup/delivery service in Manhattan (UES). However, I'm concerned about one thing in particular: handling of delicates, specifically synthetics and elastics.

I have read the previous questions addressing laundry services in NYC, but none of them seem to address my key point of anxiety (and general sadness when doing laundry, tbh): synthetics & elastics.

Some background:
My SO lives in "active clothes", a.k.a. synthetics. When we dry these synthetics or any of our many other Things With Elastic at high heat (specific examples: all bras, lululemonesque clothing, ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer, Nike 100% Polyester Running Shirt, Nike 100% Polyester Basketball Shorts), these things:
  1. STINK LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN BURNED (cuz they probably have)
  2. Elastic degrades like whoa (crinkle crinkle little star)
I guess I could run these on the low setting of one dryer, but I'm still leery of the results, so normally I just take them out and hang dry them ALL OVER our apartment. I'd like to stop doing that.

How do wash & fold places normally deal with delicate items, like things containing elastic and synthetics that should not be dried at high heat? Will I risk ruining and stinking my SO's $20 boxers (and my own ladies briefs in the same style, and our gym wear)? Can I just separate these somehow for them and instruct them to dry them at low heat (is that safe)? Am I forever doomed to doing my own laundry?

Specific suggestions for places that do this well are super extra awesome, and/or how specifically you handle this (let's assume that you don't have access to your own W/D in unit though cuz that's a key wrinkle (har sorry) here).

Thanks in advance!
posted by xiaolongbao to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
xiaolongbao: I guess I could run these on the low setting of one dryer, but I'm still leery of the results, so normally I just take them out and hang dry them ALL OVER our apartment.

My dryer has a "No Heat/Tumble Only" cycle. For high-tech synthetics, it should not take too long for them to dry even with no heat at all.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:19 PM on March 11, 2013

I send my tech running clothes to a wash and fold and have never had a problem. (Silverstar on the UWS). I don’t know what they do, but they come back looking and smelling great.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:21 PM on March 11, 2013

I used http://hamperville.com/ for about a year until I moved to Chicago. I own a lot of yoga clothes and nice underwear and none of it was ruined. I never even mentioned it to them, it just came back fine every time.
posted by melissam at 12:22 PM on March 11, 2013

+1 on Air Dry (or "no heat") in the dryer. I dry all kinds of things that aren't supposed to go through the dryer that way, and I've never had an issue. It's much faster and more convenient than hanging things all over the house.
posted by primethyme at 12:32 PM on March 11, 2013

I also do handwash some delicate vintages dresses and to dry them I bought a drying rack that I put in the shower and put a box fan in front of that. Does the trick.
posted by melissam at 12:38 PM on March 11, 2013

I've been using Bliss on the UES for almost a year, my synthetics haven't had an issue, though I'm not sure I have as many synthetics as you do.

However, it's a family run business, and they respond very well to feedback. I would imagine if you portioned out a section of your laundry and asked them to "tumble dry" only, they'd be receptive.

Pickup and delivery available; I use it once a week.
posted by teabag at 1:04 PM on March 11, 2013

I use Lai Lai (E. 83rd St.) and Wash 84 (1st Ave. btw 83/84th Sts.) and have had no trouble with delicates or gym clothes. Wash picks up and delivers, I'm not sure about Lai Lai.
posted by TravellingCari at 1:15 PM on March 11, 2013

I'm not in your neighborhood, but I've asked my local laundry to not dry certain items. Haven't had any issues - they usually drape them over a cart so when I pick them up they have air-dried somewhat.

I tried my dry cleaner's new laundry service once - gave them some items that I didn't want dried. They didn't dry them but they folded up the wet clothing and put them into the laundry bag along with the dry clothes.

So if you try this just be specific with the provider about what you need.
posted by bunderful at 2:36 PM on March 11, 2013

Thanks, everyone!

FWIW, I don't have any control over the dryers in the building laundry room other than "Low/Medium/High". And I don't want to 'babysit' the clothes because it's in another tower of my building, and dryer cycles run a full 45 min (unlike a lot of laundries I've been to where you can do various minute increments). Hence the saddening hand-drying efforts up to this point.

It sounds like there are a lot of good options that will let me be freeeeeee of doing laundry and not kill the synthetics.
posted by xiaolongbao at 2:42 PM on March 12, 2013

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