Laundromat and Dry Cleaners

> Back to In the Community

Part 1Listen and Read: Listen to the recording, answer the questions, and then read along with the audio recording.

Because my apartment doesn’t have a washer and dryer, I go once a week to a laundromat down the street. Throughout the week, I throw my dirty clothes in a clothes hamper in my room, and then haul that down to the laundromat. Because the place has coin-operated machines, I have to make sure I have plenty of change. I separate the whites from the darks and wash them in separate machines—unless I want pink dress shirts. This happened when I accidently washed my dress shirts with my sister’s pink shirts. Not a good idea at all. I add the right amount of laundry detergent and bleach as needed, with a little fabric softener. After the wash is finished, I put the clothes in a dryer. While the washer and dryer are going, I usually read a book or magazine to pass the time. When the clothes are done drying, I fold them—usually—and then take the finished laundry home. Finally, I put my clothes away in my dresser or closet. Washing and drying clothes isn’t the most exciting chore, but it has to be done.

Part 2: Discussion

Who is in charge of doing the laundry in your family? Is it considered a man’s or a woman’s responsibility?

Part 3: Online Investigation

How has the chore of doing the laundry changed over the past 100 years in your country? How much have automatic washers and dryers freed up people’s time to do other chores? Search the Internet to answer these questions and summarize your findings in writing or in a discussion group.

Part 4: More Online Listening Practice by Randall (from