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Provence Laundries Overview

French Laudromats,Laundries & Dry Cleaners Overview
The majority of laundry services in Provence are clean ,well maintained and efficient. Service may be a little slower but generally a two day turnaround is the norm. Standards are usually very good,but like everything,there are good and bad places. If you do have any specialised dry cleaning items, ask in a designer store where they recommend clients send their garments.

With the exception of Laundromats,most Laundry Services are open *Monday-Friday and do close for lunch,sometime between 12.00-14.00.Openings on Saturday mornings are normally until 13.00.
*Traditionally shops are not open on a Monday,so always check

Laverie Libre Service                                         Anyone can use this service
Laverie Automatique:                                         Self-service laundromat
Lave-linges:                                                       Machines
à laver:                                                              Washer
Machine à laver:                                                Washing Machine
Séche-linge/séchoirs:                                          Driers
Lessive:                                                             Laundry Detergent/Washing Powder
Assouplissant/ Assouplisseur:                             Fabric Softener
Super-essorage/essoreuse;                                Extractor/Super fast spinner that removes excess moisture
Nettoyage à sec/ Teintureries:                            Dry Cleaners
Blanchisserie:                                                    Laundry Service

Self Service laundromats, particularly outside the larger towns, rarely have instructions written in English. An attendant may be in place but you will have to manage with sign language if your French skills are lacking! Laundromats are open seven days a week, from approximately 7.00/8.00 until 20.00/21.00. Be aware that they close on time with out exception so if you have washing in the drier or tub you will be unceremoniously shown the door with your unfinished laundry in your arms.

You will not find many attended laundromats throughout Provence. There are some in Avignon, but usually you will not find laundry attendants in the smaller towns. A good way of being able to know if there is an attendant is if the laundromat offers an ironing service. Obviously where there are more tourists you will find the chances of the laundromat being attended much higher than for example, Sisteron, which has only one laundromat. If you do find an attendant on duty, they will finish your washing for you so you can pick it up later for a small fee. The cost is around 1-2 Euro,for the added wash dry & fold service.

How do I pay for it?
Central Control Point: There will be a number on the machine you use and you put the payment into the same numbered central control point. You should see a screen, you will enter the number of the machine and pay according to your chosen service.
Paying directly into the machine: In the traditional manner

There are 2 different payment methods;
Using a token/jeton. There will be a converter box in the Laundromat
Paying in cash. Most machines accept E 5.00, 10.00, and 20.00 notes. The dryers and detergents take E 0.10, 0.20, 0.50, 1.00 and 2.00 coins.

How do I use it?
Most laundromat machines are similar;
*To open, push the yellow button.
*Do not over fill ( If you do, be sure the attendant does not see!)
*Choose the temperature
*Add detergent etc (most places only use powdered detergents)

Once your wash has finished put it into an extractor (super fast spinner) . This will save you time and money. The majority of dryers do have a temperature control and work efficiently,while others will leave you wondering whether you will be out in time for dinner. Laundries make their profit from the dryers . If you find yourself stuck with the non drying dryer, quickly edit your wash by drying only what you absolutely need. Hang the rest up around your hotel room, and remember to never go there again.

The cost for most detergents (normally powdered) and softeners will be E1.00

Laundromats offering a dry-cleaning service will either be a drop off point or there will be a machine that will do all your items in bulk,as if you were doing a regular wash. The attendant may be able to iron your items for you or you will have to do it yourself.

Laundry Service AKA Blanchisserie
The Blanchisserie is a drop off and pick up service for all your laundry items. Items will be washed , dried, folded or ironed for you. Prices are generally by the kilo .Normally they do offer a prompt turn around time,2-3 days. Most Blanchisseries are family run businesses that have been around for years and normally service is excellent. Some do offer dry cleaning services but these will not be specialised. Generally it will be a drop off point only.

Laundry & Dry Cleaners AKA Pressing*
When you see the Pressing sign, you have found a drop off- pick up laundry & dry cleaning service. Your laundry and dry cleaning will normally be returned to you in a timely manner but in smaller towns the word tomorrow may not be in their vocabulary! Services and standards differ across Provence but as a general rule I wouldn't leave my Gucci shirt at a dry cleaners located next to a supermarket. Remember there are no guarantees when you leave your goods and you do need to be clear about your requirements. If your worried about clothes shrinking in an industrial drier, be either very specific with the staff and put it in writing for example, warm ( chaleureux/euse) or not hot (pas chaud), dryer (sèche) etc or take them back wet and dry them on coathangers (plastic,so there is no staining from wood) in your room.
*Some Pressing stores are dry cleaning only

Dry Cleaners AKA Nettoyage à sec/ Teintureries:
If you have a particularly favourite clothing item, stick to a dry cleaners. If you have a high end item that needs cleaning, pop into a designer store and politely ask the sales assistant if they can recommend a good dry cleaner. You are more likely to find English speaking staff in luxury stores and they are surprisingly helpful. Be sure to start the request with a humble “ I am sorry, I don't speak French but I need your help please”. The French love to feel like they are saving your day so don't be shy to appeal to their inner hero.
Once you find your dry cleaner, confirm the price and beware of extra charges. For example “appret” is purported to help maintain the original look and feel of the garment. This is not needed and should be avoided. Remember to specify if you want your items on a hanger or simply folded.

Attribution:  View of the Domaine Saint Joseph   Paul Cezanne   Late 1880's   Catharine Wolfe Collection