Money from laundry goes to UK housing partner, laundry vendor, services about 11,000 loads per month

By McKenna Horsley

Laundry is an essential part of college life. Most students have paid to use a community laundry room, whether in a dorm or an apartment building.

But UK students living on campus may not know where their estimated $2.75 per load of laundry goes.

In an email to the Kentucky Kernel, Sarah Nikirk, associate director of UK’s Auxiliary Services, said a portion of the profit from the laundry sales goes to the university; its housing business partner, Education Realty Trust; and laundry vendor ASI/Mac-Gray Campus Laundry Solutions.

“UK and EdR both receive 63 percent of the revenue to pay for the water, electric, (custodial) employees to maintain the area, trash removal, plumbing infrastructure and associated facility overhead costs,” Nikirk wrote. “The remainder, 37 percent, goes to the contracted partner ASI to pay for the initial cost of washers, dryers, technology software, ongoing maintenance and repair servicing of the equipment.”

According to Nikirk, UK’s and EdRs’ laundry stations service about 11,000 loads per month. UK’s and EdR’s revenue roughly equals $19,050 a month.

Nikirk also wrote UK is not currently looking to change the laundry cycle prices to make up for lost funds.

The company that provides the washers, ASI/Mac-Gray, provides student laundry and housing services to multiple universities, according to its website.

Park Huff, a chemical engineering junior, had not given much thought to where her money goes when she uses the laundry machines in Champions Court I, but she said she was not satisfied with the laundry services.

“I kind of feel like (the machines) do break down quite a bit, or don’t accept your payment,” said Huff, comparing them to the ones at Central Hall, where she lived last year. “I kind of wish sometimes … they had something to take coins. I feel like the computer component gets messed up a lot.”

Currently, UK’s laundry machines only take debit or credit cards.

Olivia Dailey, an integrated strategic communication freshman who also lives in Champions Court I, also did not know where her monthly laundry budget of $10 goes.

 “I think (UK) could always add more machines,” Dailey said. “There’s only a couple for this entire dorm.”

Mandy Mills owns Chevy Chase Coin Laundry, which is a laundromat near campus.She said college students make up the majority of her customer base. A single load is $2.00, but Chevy Chase Coin Laundry offers other services such as multiple load washers and dryers, Wi-Fi and tanning beds,

Similar to UK’s laundry services, Mills’ Chevy Chase Coin Laundry uses a debit and credit card system. But Mills said what separates her services from UK’s is the level of cleanliness.

“If you walk into my laundromat, that’s one of my main things,” Mills said. “My employees have to sanitize everything.”

Mills participates in the Laundry101 service, which, according to its website, is a “full service pick-up and drop-off laundry and dry cleaning business for people in Lexington, Kentucky.”

The service picks up students’ laundry from different locations to wash at local laundromats. Mills said about 30 to 40 students use the Laundry101 service for her store.

“It’s a friendly environment,” Mills said. “It’s family-based. My employees help students like they’re their mom and dad.”