The Laundry Room in Culver City is a one-stop shop for all your washing needs
By Sara Edwards
It was always Denise Morton’s dream to open her own laundromat.
Growing up, her family would take a big camping trip every year and come back with piles of clothes and blankets that smelled of campfire smoke. Morton recalled going with her mom to a local laundromat in Castro Valley where she grew up. They would spend the day there washing their camping gear and big loads of laundry while having conversations with the woman who owned the laundromat.
Morton said the owner, a full-time teacher who ran the laundromat business on the side, kickstarted her interest in opening a laundromat of her own.
“She kind of stuck with me in my mind all of these years,” Morton said.
After separating from her husband a few years ago, Morton looked at it as her chance to finally open her own laundromat.
“I started to put the wheels in motion and reached out to a couple of people I knew who had laundromat connections and that’s basically how it happened,” Morton said.
Morton opened The Laundry Room on May 11 in Culver City. The 3,200-square-foot space is located on Slauson Avenue and features self-service washers and dryers, large open windows and a laundry service called the “fluff and fold,” a new convenient service Morton said is perfect for the post-pandemic lifestyle.
“Customers will drop off their clothes in the morning, want them washed and folded so they can pick them up that evening,” Morton said. “People are able to pull right up to the door with their laundry and it’s extremely convenient.”
Before The Laundry Room, Morton had purchased an old laundromat in Inglewood, but said that didn’t feel like the right fit for her. While she was going through the escrow process, she learned about a laundromat in Culver City where the owner was ready to pass it on to someone new. Morton said the machines were 20 years old and the place needed some sprucing up.
“The owner took me under her wing and told me I would breathe life back into the place while giving the community what it needs,” Morton said. “Lucky for me, I closed escrow six weeks before the pandemic hit and we had contractors here renovating the outside of the building to give it a beautiful facelift.”
The pandemic brought business to a screeching halt after Morton had renovated the exterior and was working on refurbishing the interior. She became concerned because of how unpredictable the future was, but with the help of her landlord, Morton was able to keep the laundromat and finished renovations in time for her grand opening.
The laundromat’s interior has been completely redone with brand-new washers and dryers of different sizes. Morton added vending machines for snacks, different brands of soap, detergents and fabric softener. She also installed big TVs that will consistently play “good mood television.” The large windows have been painted to appear more welcoming and pull-up parking is available.
“We have a very loyal customer base that walks here and that really does feed to the whole community aspect,” Morton said. “People come here for a positive, uplifting environment and I think we’re doing a pretty good job of that.”
Morton added that COVID has changed the way businesses provide customer service and because businesses are opening back up, she wanted to make sure that her customers knew they were in good hands.
“My goals for The Laundry Room are to be the laundromat of choice,” Morton said. “I rely heavily on word of mouth and our regular customers. My goal would be to keep that strong reputation of being a clean, comfortable and secure business with friendly customer service.”