Five types of people you’ll find at laundrettes

I love going to the laundrette.

You can get your clothes washed and dried and if you are ‘rajin’ (hardworking), fold them all in little over two hours or so – for RM30-35 (depending on your load and which laundrette you frequent).

Staying in an apartment where space is a premium, the weekly trip to the multitude of laundrettes in Subang Jaya has been a ritual even though I do own a washing machine.

I find it a big time-saver – especially when you have to wash curtains, bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and the ilk.

While not one to wash dirty linen in public, there are those who simply do not respect other patrons.

So, here are five types of people you might find at a laundrette.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are a bunch of people who don’t value other people’s time.

These dobidiots (dobi idiots) are the ones who leave their clothes unattended either in the washing machine or dryer – sometimes for hours.

There were times the home minister and I finished washing, drying and folding our laundry, yet in some machines there were clothes left behind by other customers!

I have witnessed customers taking other people’s laundry out of washing machines and dryers and dumping them on the table or in baskets provided by the laundrette! Good for them.

The worst part is the guilty parties show no remorse for keeping other patrons waiting. And when you tell them, they shrug or give you killer stares as if it is your fault for not being patient!


Not quite as bad as the above, but these people only want to use selected machines. They seem to know which dryer is the ‘hottest’ and prevent others from using them by ‘booking’ them.

What is so annoying is that they only put in small batches of clothes at a time, thus preventing others from using the dryers.


Many laundrettes offer free Wi-Fi (some have stopped this practice because of the Movement Control Order) and many people stop by these outlets to use the Internet!

Unsurprisingly, a large number of those who use the Wi-Fi are the migrant workers but, locals do so too – especially young people who play games.

That gives the false impression the outlets are crowded when, in fact, the machines are not being used.

Some park their cars outside the laundrettes to use the Wi-Fi – depriving customers of parking nearby.


OK, this happened before Covid-19 hit, but some parents let their children run wild – other patrons be damned!

Most of us have met such families and not just at laundrettes but supermarkets and fast food joints as well, among others.

Their little terrors run amok, and the parents couldn’t care less.

The one good thing about Covid-19 (yes, I’m selfish) is that there are fewer rambunctious children – although of late, I’ve seen more kids around.

Previously, some of these outlets had massage chairs for their customers. But those who used these machines (sometimes choosing to just sit without paying for service) were were not there to do their laundry.


These stubborn and ignorant dobidiots are the worst kind – and are everywhere.

They are the ones who refuse to register their details and sit where they are not supposed to.

When laundrettes were allowed to open in May, patrons were prohibited from folding clothes as the government wanted people to spend as little time as possible in the place.

Laundrettes wrapped their chairs and tables in plastic. Yet some would tear the plastic covers to sit. I once saw a guy sitting on a table. He moved when he saw me staring at him.

Despite my rant, I will continue going to the laundrette as it is an essential.

My only hope is dobitiots out there will take heed of my rant.

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