Laundromat, Laundrette or Laundry Mat, Which is it?

background laundromat

We find it funny that there are so many different terms for a laundromat. Some people refer to us as a laundromat, others a coin laundry or laundrette, there are even some who swear the correct term is laundry mat. We were curious, so we did some research to find out once and for all, is the correct term for a self service laundry.

Where it All Began

The first self-service laundromat originated in Fort Worth, Texas in the 1930s and were originally called, wait for it…‘Washaterias’. The business model proved to be very successful and soon spread accross the US and into Europe.

Laundromat vs Laundrette

The term laundromat was coined by George Edward Pendary. Pendry was an American author and public relations executive for Westinghouse. The term was created and trademarked to refer to a Westinghouse washing machine. Its not documented exactly how Pendry came up with the term, but many believe its an amligumation of laundry and automat. Automats were self-service resturants where customers would use vending machines to serve themselves. Today the word has evolved to refer to a self-service coin operated laundry and is the most commonly used term in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Laundrette (spelt Launderette in the UK) is the term that originated in the UK, when the first store was opened on May 9 1949. Despite this, the term laundrette is sparingly used outside of the UK. 

What about Laundry Mat?

Laundry mat or laundrymat is a common missspelling/misspronouniaction of the laundromat. Many people use this term, so much so that search engines and voice reconition usually will automatically update your search query to ‘Laundromat’ if your search ‘Laundry Mat’.

Other Terms for a Self Service Laundry

As is the case with many other words there are many local and caloquial term for laundromat. Some people refer to them as a coin laundry or a wash and dry. In fact, in Texas and the southern states there are still some older people that refer to them as washeterias.

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The Wash Up

We don’t mind if you say Laundromat Laundrette or Laundry Mat. If you’re looking for a self-service laundry in Northcote, visit us today.

Our Northcote Laundromat is located at

267 St Georges Rd, Northcote