If you need to do your laundry in Mineral Wells, you’re in for a major surprise. The only laundromat in the area, with an apparently deliberately misspelled sign, The Laumdronat, located on Highway 180 West in Mineral Wells, Texas, is also host to a Washing Machine Museum.
At first when I saw the sign which read, “Washing Machine Museum, No Admission,” I thought perhaps it was a joke. This and the Laumdronat misspelling, like upside down “Laundry” signs everywhere, it was intended to attract attention.
However, since I was actually staying in a motel in Mineral Wells, I had an opportunity to find out for myself whether the Washing Machine Museum was for real. To avoid boredom, I brought the whole family along, armed with toys and a portable DVD player.
The first thing I discovered was the the current washing machines cost between $1.75 and $3.25 per machine, depending upon the size. The last time I used a laundromat, the machines were only $.50, so this was a bit of a shock. However, I bit the bullet, because I needed clean clothes more than I needed ready cash. We used the large “Speed Queen” digital washers for our larger loads, and used the smaller ones for small loads, and avoided the old machines. These washers lived up to their name, washing our clothes in little more than 30 minutes. The dryers were $.50, but that amount was only for 15 minutes, and we had to run the machines several times to get the clothes dry. The dryers were huge, and held far more clothes than the washers.
It turned out that I didn’t need any of my do-it-yourself entertainment. The Laumdronat is heavily armed with vending machines, arcade machines, toy machines, and of course, the Washing Machine Museum. The boys engrossed themselves in playing with the motorcycle and car race games, fishing for toys, and playing with the other kids who were present in the laundromat.
Perched above the arcade machines and the active washers are a whole row of antiquated models. But the exhibits don’t stop there. There are objects like old washtubs, washboards and ironing boards suspended from the ceiling. There’s even a large tricycle hanging from the ceiling. All the walls are covered with old license plates and signs, and a glass case filled with old laundry accessories.
You can also have your laundry done for you at this fully staffed facility. For example, you should not place oil or grease soiled clothing in the coin-operated machines, but rather have the staff wash them for you for $.99 a pound (10 pound minimum.)
There was never a dull moment at the Laumdronat. If you’re in Mineral Wells, I recommend that you drop by, whether you’ve got laundry to do or not. And be sure to bring your camera. This is one photo opp you won’t want to miss.