Laundry Service vs Buying a Machine

Should you buy a washing machine or avail of a laundry service? This is another iteration of the buy vs. rent, buy vs. serviced debate.


Let's start with some assumptions. Available to me is a laundry service, It's a bit strict since they only accept regular loads of 8kg multiples; anywhere in between you get charged as if the whole 8kg. Here is a summary of what I can get in my area (Pasig):
  • ₱210 per 8kg Regular Load
  • ₱210 per 4kg Beddings etc. Load
  • Free pick-up/delivery
Photo c/o Pixabay 

If I go the buy route, these are what my expenses would look like:

Number of Loads












Detergent, etc.




Depreciation/ Month*




Total / Month




There are major assumptions here:

  • Water and electricity are over-stated here.
  • Depreciation of CAPEX (please see this post for a more detailed discussion) is basically dividing the cost of buying a washing machine (an assumed ₱35,000 for a machine that can take 8kg loads) by 5 years or 60 months. What we get is a per-month cost for that washing machine that we assume we can use for 5 years. This is Finance way that is often done so that you can compare a one-time buy to a monthly service.


Given these, let's take a look at two scenarios.

The first scenario is my household, where on the average I do 3 loads for 2 people per month. Two of these loads are for regular clothes, and the other is for beddings. Here are the results:

1 Month

5 Years

Laundry Service



Home Washing Machine



Initially, there's about a ₱5k difference in favor of laundry service. But to be honest, given my overstatement of electricity and water, I would say they are pretty on par. The bigger sway towards laundry service is really time, because I get my clothes folded as well, so it really is a time-saver.

The second scenario assumes a 4-person household and 6 loads per month. 

1 Month

5 Years

Laundry Service



Home Washing Machine



Here there is a big ₱25k difference favoring buying your own machine. It basically captures an important thing for buy-decisions: how much value you can squeeze out of it. Serviced options are often pay-only-what-you-use, whereas buy options can be over or under utilized. The estimate is that if you are able to use the washing machine at least 4 times a month, you would be getting your money's worth given the other said assumptions.

Other Considerations

Here are some other considerations, basically harder-to-quantify positives and negatives:

  • Time: Mentioned before, but really quite a big thing. A good way to quantify this is what you would be doing instead of laundry, and if it's income generating like a sideline or what not, you would put in an hourly rate to get the comparison. However, some people, myself included, would consider rest as a more valuable alternative to laundry, and that's harder to quantify. And there are of course people who find doing laundry therapeutic, they kinda win in this situation.
  • Preference on clothes as personal property: some people also just find clothes more personal than others, and would rather handle laundry themselves. This is a personal preference, and when applicable, goes in favor of the buy option.
  • Security: There will always be the risk of damage or loss on the part of the laundry service provider.
  • Repairs and Maintenance: finally, any buy option often always has repairs & maintenance at the expense of the buyer. Washing machines nowadays have quite the maintenance due to microchips, especially in smarter models. This needs to be considered as well, especially if you are running a lot of loads.
I also did not consider coin laundries for now, but these actually might be the cheapest option. I'll tackle that in another post.

Final Words

In summary, I would say that for smaller households, the laundry service is on par with buying, with a bit of time-saving tipping in favor of service. However, if you can get more out of the one-time purchase by doing more loads per month, you will find the buy option more economical.

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