Brite Laundry: Making customers feel at home

With living room furniture, several televisions and a chandelier, Brite Laundry Center hopes to change customer’s ideas of laundromats.

No longer does cleaning your clothes mean going to a dark and dingy facility with a pocket full of quarters, said Judy Machmer, operating partner.

“That was the goal, to make people feel at home,” Machmer said.

Machmer started the business, 830 Washington Blvd, 10 years ago because she felt the area needed to feel safer while going to the laundromat.

“It was just something that was needed in the area and we wanted to go high end,” she said.

The facility offers 50 stainless steel washers and dryers, a variety of services and an attendant during regular operating hours.

One thing that sets the business apart from most laundromats is the fact that instead of feeding the machines quarter after quarter, customers use a prepaid debit card, called an easy card, to use the machines. Customers put money on the card as they please, and then simply swipe it before using a washer or dryer.

“We were breaking away from the laundromat (idea of) bringing your quarters,” Machmer said.

She added that customers appreciate this service, especially ones that are on a fixed income. Customers feel secure, knowing that they do not have to worry about bringing quarters and cash with them. She added that for college students, the service allows parents to put money on their student’s card.

“They don’t have to go to the bank and get quarters. And college kids, they don’t carry cash,” Machmer said.

Machmer also said that this facility, along with her other in Lock Haven, are the only ones to use easy cards in central Pennsylvania.

With the gas industry making its presence felt in the area, Machmer said she receives a lot of business from workers. So much that she believes they’ve perfected a mixture to clean the drillers’ clothes from the job site.

“We can get their dirty overalls clean,” she said.

And while customers are waiting for their laundry to finish, they can sit in a living room setting or watch one of the three televisions in the facility. Machmer said making the laundromat feel like home was a goal when opening the business.

Machmer hopes that the future holds more commercial contracts for her business. Brite Laundry already holds contracts with Pennsylvania College of Technology, Little League and gas companies, according to Machmer.