ROSEVILLE, Calif. — When Paradise Laundry Inc. chose to open a third store in this Northern California city of roughly 122,000 people, it decided that it would be topless—minus top loaders, that is.
For more than 20 years, the coin laundry known as the “Laundry Basket” had been primarily a top-loader store (17 of 23 washers were of the top-load variety). But when Paradise Laundry owner Deborah Dower decided to buy and renovate the southern Roseville site, she elected to go entirely with Dexter front-load washers, 14 of them.
“An older top-loading washer can use up to 42 gallons of water to wash one load, which is more than twice as much water of a high-efficiency (HE) front-load washer,” says Dower, whose business was honored recently by the Sacramento Board of Supervisors for its sustainability and water conservation. In making the switch, Paradise Laundry was able to boost the store’s wash capacity by 150% while using 40% less water.
When Paradise Laundry remodeled its first Roseville location, it reduced the number of top loaders there from 22 to 12, intending to further reduce the number to just six. “We thought people would stop using the older-style machines when they realized how much better the HE washers worked, then we would replace the tops with high-efficiency front loads. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Much to our surprise, there are times each week when all 12 of the top-load washers are busy.”
Many California cities have been hit with double-digit water and sewer rate increases due to the need to replace aging underground pipes, according to Dower.
“Recognizing water and sewer rates are going to continue to increase, we decided at this new location we would not even offer top-load washers,” she explains. “Instead, we would put in double-capacity front-load washers and price them the same as a top load. My worst fear is for someone to come in, take a look, see we don’t have any top-load machines, then turn around and walk out. We are hopeful the equivalent pricing will give them incentive to try the high-efficiency washers.”
Paradise Laundry will host a grand-opening celebration at its Cirby Way store on Sept. 19.