Friday, March 02, 2012

Markets in Everything: Oil Field Laundromats

Bismarck Tribune -- "Oil field clothes can tear up a washing machine. Several Bismarck laundry businesses have had to close their doors to workers but others are building their businesses around the boom.

A sign on the door of King Koin Laundrette Car and Dog Wash at 2125 E. Thayer Ave. reads “Because of odor & residue problems, we no longer allow oil field clothes in this establishment.” Owner Mike Walsh hung it there about two years ago when damage to his washing machines and dryers became too much. A similar sign hangs at Interstate Laundry and Carwash at 1438 Interstate Loop.

Soap and Suds Laundry Mat at 122 W. Bowen Ave. has opened its doors to the rig workers though. Owner Louis Baltrusch thinks he is the only self-service laundromat to allow oil field clothes in Bismarck. “Why shouldn't I work with them?” Baltrusch said.

It just takes a lot of soap to make it work. “Before guys would come in and use the top loaders and leave a mess behind,” he said. Baltrusch now has three washing machines at the front of the laundromat that he asks rig workers to use. He sees at least 30 to 40 workers each week."


At 3/02/2012 6:55 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

WOW! what a PR opportunity for TIDE!

At 3/03/2012 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can fight a boom or ride along with it. The guys willing to work with the oilmen are smart businessman...

At 3/04/2012 3:21 PM, Blogger Michael E. Marotta said...

I wish I were younger ... Bigger machines, a whole lot of them... Tide? Heck, sell TSP (trisodium phosphate). Have your own workers there to take the laundry for an extra fee and add a pre-soak to get them cleaner. Get all the used clothes you can and open up next door to yourself. (As it is, my newest tweed jacket was $7 last year at the Ann Arbor Teachers Union Recycle Shop.) What about their boots? Recondition, clean, and polish... Seems like a lot of opportunity all in all...

I am dismayed, though, at the overwhelmingly negative responses of the laundromats whose first reaction was to turn customers away. You expect that from clerks, not business owners.


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