Gen Z says ‘genius’ laundromat dates help them save money — and fall more in love

Aniessa and Emilio Navarro like talkin’ dirty.  

Dirty shirts, dirty socks and dirty undies.

Rather than a bouquet of roses or the flickering flame of a candle, a sack of unclean clothes is oft the centerpiece of the newlyweds’ romantic rendezvous. 

Amid the ongoing inflation crisis, frugal Gen Z couples like Aniessa and Emilio Navarro are going on cost-friendly laundromat dates in order to save money and forge deeper romantic connections. Stefano Giovannini
Aniessa and Emilio tell The Post that their laundromat dates strengthen their romantic connection. Stefano Giovannini

“We love going on laundromat dates,” Aniessa, 26, a lifestyle influencer from Nolita, told The Post.

For around $50 a visit, she and Emilio, 26, a personal trainer, enjoy an intimate tete-a-tete at Laundry to Go on Mott Street as their gear goes for a rinse. 

“It’s where we catch up with one another, laugh, talk, people-watch,” she said. “And we spoil ourselves with sweet treats while the machines are running.”

The pair is in the rising number of twenty-somethings forgoing luxe liaisons at hotspots like Cosme and Carbone for some cozy quality time around a community washer and dryer. 

The swishes, sloshes and rumbles of the appliances have served as the background sounds of meet-cutes and meetups in Y2K romcoms like “Big Daddy,” “Friends” and “40 Days and 40 Nights.”

Young couples throughout the US are saving money and building strong romances by going on laundromat dates. Stefano Giovannini
The Navarros says working together to do their laundry affords the some much needed quality time each week. Stefano Giovannini
“Our date nights don’t have to be these big expensive dinners. Spending time together is more important than spending a ton of money.” Stefano Giovannini

Now, Gen Z lovebirds, some who simply can’t swing dinners at bougie bistros or cocktails at chichi clubs owing to inflation, are, too, flocking to laundromats for inexpensive evenings out. 

The price of knocking out a load of laundry typically ranges between $3 to $12 per machine, whereas intimate nights on the town cost sweethearts across the US $2,500 a year

So, beneath TikTok’s #RomanticizeYourLife stamp, cost-conscious couples are glamorizing the wash-and-fold chore, making googly eyes at one another from first spins to final tumbles. 

Sweethearts like Aniessa and Emilio are choosing laundry over luxury for their date nights. Stefano Giovannini

Erin Carpenter, a laundromat owner who’s designing a date-friendly washateria in Williamsburg, tells The Post that the industry is abandoning its rusty, dusty image to curate cutesy, welcoming spaces for fun-seeking clients. 

“Laundry is a must for most people,” said Carpenter, 31, from Charleston, South Carolina. “But creating an environment that invites people to hangout, relax, eat, drink and enjoy each other’s company really elevates the experience.”

Carpenter is designing a new laundromat for NYC owners which is expected to open for business this coming fall. Erin Carpenter
Carpenter and husband Jon hope to create a vibrant space in which the couples and singles of Williamsburg can mix and mingle while doing their laundry. Erin Carpenter
Carpenter tells The Post that captains of the laundry industry are moving away from the old, sterile feel of laundromats and adopting more warm and welcoming designs. Erin Carpenter

For the forthcoming suds hub, Laundry Loft, set to open in October 2024, Carpenter and husband Jon plan to wow guests with comfy booths made perfect for snuggling, as well as self-service stations for coffee and light refreshments. 

Music, live performances and neighborhood meet and greets will also be on tap for frequenting Brooklynites. 

The wash-o-mat will mimic the inviting vibes of venues such as La La Laundry in Alphabet City, where local jokesters host comedy shows, and Greenpoint’s Sunshine Laundromat, which offers patrons cold drinks in its speakeasy lounge

(Left) Comedians Eitan Levine and Drexton Clemons performed for laundromat clients at La La Laundry in the East Village. Stefano Giovannini
Patrons of Brooklyn’s Sunshine Laundromat are welcomed to enjoy the facility’s hidden bar while their clothes are being washed. M. Sofronski

“Going out on a date can be really expensive nowadays,” said Carpenter.

“People are craving new experiences that makes everyday life with your partner exciting and romantic.”

And although soaking the stains out of sweats isn’t inherently sexy, Manhattan love coach Amy Nobile Messing tells The Post that tackling the task together often deepens the bond between a twosome.  

Erin and Jon design laundromats that create comfortable atmospheres for the pleasure of couples, community members and kids. @jorditiffany

“Laundromat dates are a genius idea,” said the savant, whose matchmaking tips can cost NYC singles upwards of $10,000. “It’s a stress-test.”

“Everyone is on their best behavior on a traditional date at a restaurant or the movies,” she continued. 

“But doing something like laundry gives each partner a glimpse of how the other handles stress — like if the machine breaks down,” Messing added. “You get to see their problem-solving and teamwork skills, and their ability to show patience and compassion.”

“Helping your partner navigate distressing duties is also just a sweet demonstration of love and care.”

Combs tells The Post that her love with husband Ty is rooted in the seemingly uneventful moments of everyday life. @notmonicanicole/TikTok

Monica Combs, 26, says some of the sweetest moments spent with hubby Ty, 26, have been while waiting for their darks, whites and lights to complete a cycle. 

“There is a lot of beauty and fun in going to the laundromat,” Combs, a fashion content creator from Nashville, Tenn., told The Post. She and Ty pass the time smooching, holding hands and steaming shows. 

“Doing laundry isn’t the most exciting thing in the world,” conceded the brunette, “but I’d rather do laundry with him than go on a trip to Italy with anyone else.”

“When you’re in it for the long haul with someone, it really boils down to, ‘Do I actually enjoy just existing with this person?.’”

Emilio and Aniessa agree. 

“Our relationship is truly a partnership,” Emilio told The Post, “and working with one another on the laundry, while also laughing and catching up is really special to us.”

“Our date nights don’t have to be these big expensive dinners” added Aniessa. “Spending time together is more important than spending a ton of money.”

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