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Mark Atwood
water extractors in laundromats
My local laundromat in Boston had a "water extractor".

It was basically a big centrifuge about a meter wide. You put your clothes in, fed it a couple of dollars, and it would spin up, and a few minutes later, your clothes were thinly smeared on the walls of the chamber, with most of the water removed from them. Then it only took a short amount of time in the tumble dryer to finish the job.

The exactor cost about the same as the same amount of "work" as the dryer, but took a lot less time.

I've never seen one since. When I ask attendents at most laundries, they've never heard of them. At one laundry in Seattle, they said they used to have one, but the city banned them.

Anyone know the story? I'm sitting here in a laundromat right now, and would gladly pay a premium to be done already...
8 comments or Leave a comment
krow From: krow Date: February 1st, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Modern front loaders do this function already, so unless you were using a top loader it would not make a lot of sense to have a device like this.

I grew up overhauling laundry equipment as a side gig, but I have never heard of this.
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: February 1st, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
This thing spun up a lot faster than a modern front loader, and wrung out a lot more water. I wasn't exaggerating about how the laundry ends up a smear on the walls. A double heavy load of jeans would be pressed less than 1/2 thin.
paraventur From: paraventur Date: February 2nd, 2008 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I used these years ago, so they had them in Ohio.

(I was going to say something rude about Hillbillies, but it have to be about capital hill hillbillies, and somehow they don't translate well.


did you know that Capital Hill and the University district had a war? The hill billies on capital hill lobbed grenades across the ship canal. The students in the U district pulled the pins and lobbed them back.

If Gore invented the Internet, why do so many Internet addresses start off with Dubya, Dubya, Dubya?
(Deleted comment)
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: February 1st, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've used such devices (my godfather was a beekeeper), and they aren't nearly so heavy duty.
mightyflorist From: mightyflorist Date: February 1st, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've seen one as recently as 2005, in a laundromat on fremont. They didn't charge anything for it either.

No idea if it's still there, as I don't live in fremont and have a washer and dryer now.
ladyallyn From: ladyallyn Date: February 1st, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
The high end front loaders -- Tronn, LG, even top end Kenmores can do this. I'd ask at someplace like Albert Lee Appliance if there's a commercial variant. From experience; second down from top end LG will spin a king down comforter to a smoosh on the walls and *completely* dry in one dryer cycle (with tennis balls). Make sure it has no holes, though, lest you create a multi-cubic-meter down storm. Remember using them in Texas, too, ~20 years ago... next door to the original Whole Foods - which was still a neighborhood co-op.

Edited at 2008-02-01 11:54 pm (UTC)
deepdvd From: deepdvd Date: February 2nd, 2008 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
One of the laundromats here in Logan has one of these. It is incredible. Your brothers have probably even used it. It's simply a must for jeans and thicker material.
It is just as you described. It is bolted to the floor because it spins so fast (much much faster than any front loader). The top automatically pops open when it finally slows to a crawl.
I was always surprised that other people didn't use it more often when I went there because it only cost A QUARTER. It cut my drying time in half.

Now that I have a washer/dryer at home, I don't go the laundromat anymore especially since my wife does it ;), but if I had to do it myself, I would rather do it all at once at that laundromat.
mauser From: mauser Date: February 2nd, 2008 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I used to belong to a health club that had one about the size of a bucket in the locker room for drying out your swimsuit.
8 comments or Leave a comment