Eco-friendly laundromat in Portland, Oregon

by | Oct 2, 2014 | Chemical Sensitivity News, Featured, General Health News, NEWS | 13 comments

Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland, OregonFinally, a laundromat with an awareness of the needs of environmentally sensitive customers! Spin Laundry Lounge, an
eco-friendly laundromat, bar and cafe located in Portland, Oregon, is redefining the public laundromat experience. Owner Morgan Gary’s mission after graduating with an MBA in Sustainable Business was to give the laundromat a 21st century update: the fastest, state-of-the-art, most energy-efficient machines in the world plus eco-friendly laundry products in a retro-mod cafe/lounge, serving local food and drinks. Her vision has resulted in a washing experience like no other, and one that offers customers with chemical sensitivities an opportunity to experience the same convenience that regular customers have enjoyed in traditional public laundromats for years.

Morgan shared with me that customers with environmental intolerances (and members of Planet Thrive!) have been able to use her hypoallergenic washers and dryers. Spin Laundry Lounge has three “Pronto” machines (these wash and dry in the same machine) that have never been touched by chemical detergents or fragrances. Customers who use these machines are provided with free Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soap and Oxygen Brightener (a non-chlorine bleach alternative). These machines are located in their soap shop. In addition to not having been used with chemicals or fragrances ever before, they also have a free 60 second sanitizing rinse cycle that cleans the drum of the machine and the soap compartments before each use. Morgan reports that customers who are unable to use washers and dryers at other public laundromats because of sensitivities have been able to use the washers at Spin.

Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland, OregonThe amenities provided to all customers include:

– Fully attended, always bright and clean
– FREE sanitizing rinse guarantees the cleanest machines in Portland
– FREE Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda with every wash!
– 24-hour surveillance
– Earth-friendly signature Wash & Fold service
– Pay with credit/debit card or coin
– Change machine
– Text message alerts when your laundry is finished
– Free WiFi
– Eco-friendly soaps, chlorine-free bleaches, and stain removers sold by the load
– Over 40 feet of folding tables to accommodate large items
– Open late: last load at midnight
– Food and drink available everyday 8am to midnight
– Beer and wine!
– Classic arcade games and pinball provided by Ground Kontrol

Spin’s Pronto machines are Oregon’s first and only completely hypoallergenic machines – the best choice if you’re sensitive to the harsh chemicals commonly found in commercial laundry products. The revolutionary Pronto – a washer/dryer combo that doesn’t require a load transfer – spins your laundry from dirty-to-done in just an hour. Just throw your laundry in, and you’ll get a text when it’s time to pick it up.*

* Pronto price includes a free dose of Nellie’s All Natural soap and All Natural Oxygen Brightener (non-chlorine bleach). No other soaps are allowed in these three machines to ensure they are always free of any harsh chemicals or toxins.

There are two ways to pay for your laundry cycles: credit/debit card readers at every Spin washer and dryer, or old school coin operated machines. They even have a change machine.

Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland, OregonTheir text service allows you to grab a bite in the cafe while you wait, or run to the grocery store – Spin machines send a text when your laundry’s got just ten minutes left, and then again when it’s done. Planning ahead? Text “status” to Spin’s number (818.877.9100) to check if there’s a washer available before you ever leave the house.

Spin also offers a signature Wash & Fold service if you don’t have the time, or don’t want to wash your clothing yourself. Just drop it off, and they’ll do the rest: separate lights and darks, then wash in cold water with Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda (and Oxygen Brightener for lights) and dry on medium. All items will be ready and waiting within 48 hours – clean, dry, folded (or on hangers).

Spin sells only environmentally friendly soaps, bleaches and stain removers – free of harsh chemicals and fragrances commonly found in commercial laundry products. Choose from their line of Nellie’s All Natural, Charlie’s Soap, or The Laundress. Planet Thrive does not have personal knowledge or experience with these laundry detergents so we cannot say whether they are appropriate for those with environmental sensitivities, and as with all detergents, you should test to make sure you tolerate their cleaners before using them on a full load.

Their cafe offers a full range of bites, from mixed nuts or a banana, to panini sandwiches, salads and Indian spiced popcorn.

Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland, OregonAs far as sustainability goes, Spin incorporates both social and environmental sustainability into every facet of their business.

Key sustainability highlights:

– The most energy-efficient laundry equipment on the market.
– Only environmentally-friendly laundry products: free of harsh chemicals and fragrances, and sold in bulk.
– Eco laundry accessories like dryer balls vs. the toxic (dryer-sheet) alternative.
– Clothing discards / donation service.*
– Energy-efficient kitchen appliances.
– Local, organic, vegan and gluten free food and drink.
– Compostable “to-go” containers, cups, cutlery, and paper products.
– Minimal waste / recycling model.
– Environmental-friendly cleaners – absolutely no toxic chemicals or irritants.
– Low flow sinks and toilets.

*Spin will clean and fold your discarded clothing, then deliver them to area shelters for donation.

Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland, OregonPlanet Thrive celebrates the arrival of conscious cleaning and congratulates Portland for being a community that can sustain such a conscious business model. We hope to see and support other similar laundromats around the country as awareness of the toxicity of traditional laundry detergents and dryer sheets increases. Thank you Morgan Gary and Spin Laundry Lounge for leading the way!

Please note: Planet Thrive has not been to the Spin Laundry Lounge so we cannot say whether the environment is appropriate for those with environmental sensitivities. Although Spin has created an eco-friendly space and promotes the use of chemical free detergents, there may be customers who have washed with chemical detergents before and are putting those clothes into the chemical free machines. As always, one must test for themselves to see if they tolerate a space or the clothing that is washed in shared machines like this. Certainly, the odds are more in our favor that we will tolerate this business over traditional laundromats.

photos: © Nate Watters


  • Earthwalker

    Earthwalker is the username that PT founder Julie Genser created for her online interactions so many years ago when first creating Planet Thrive.

    Julie's (Earthwalker's) life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.


  1. earthwalker

    Would love to hear from any of our members who have used Spin Laundry Lounge – please share what your experience was like!

  2. E

    So customers are still allowed to use chemical laundry detergent in the washing machines or are they required to use Nellie’s? I’m a little confused by the description.

  3. earthwalker

    Customers are not allowed to use any other soaps in the three Pronto machines. They can use whatever they want in the other machines, but Spin only sells the three eco-friendly brands mentioned in the article.

  4. Mokihana

    This is a good first alternative. I see variations that could evolve from the PRONTO washers and dryers. The business model IS evolutionary, I like that! Portland is just down the coast from us, and perhaps, a visit could affirm the good new news and the POTENTIAL!

    Thanks for the article Julie.

  5. Angela

    For more Eco Laundry tips – Rockin’ Green have wonderful products that I highly recommend for any and all dirty situations in your home, from cloth diapers to stinky pet bed and toy wash, they have it. They have room sprays that are awesome, some for stinky workout gear and some for general freshness throughout your house. I use their dishwasher detergent and their laundry detergents exclusively, they are perfect and very little amount is required to do the job. I also appreciate that each product comes in a pliable plastic bag that can be recycled, this takes up less space and makes me feel like less of a jerk than buying yet ANOTHER huge plastic container of your typical laundry or dishwasher detergents.

  6. scarlet

    Portland just keeps getting cooler and cooler! Thanks for sharing – this is REALLY awesome and makes me want to move there even more than I already do.

  7. Kath

    I look forward to the day when this type of Laundromat will be available in all metropolitan areas.

  8. Erin

    Still not a place I could go. If customers are allowed to use any soap they want, the place could still be full of synthetic laundry fumes. Why won’t someone start a fragrance-free laundry facility??? If you allow that crap inside your facility, it is no longer eco-friendly or eco conscious, no matter all the other efforts. Breathing in fumes is the worst part of a conventional laundry facility. Someone needs to address this with enforcement.

  9. Mokihana

    I so agree with Erin, even as I applaud the effort of this Portland Spin. The synthetic laundry fumes and dryer sheets is still adding to the Fragrance Factor. There are huge windows of opportunity!

  10. Marya

    If customers want to use whatever they want there’s plenty of regular toxic laundromats they can go do their wash at. Why not make this 100% nontoxic and required that Nellie’s soap be used in ALL of your machines? I could never understand why ‘healthy alternative’ places feel the need to please customers who have no desire for healthy alternatives and can go elsewhere. Please consider making this 100% nontoxic in all your machines; it’s a great idea and I’m happy to have found you. Thanks.

  11. Mary

    This is a fantastic idea. Do you get a lot of traffic to the fragrance free machines or only sporadic?

  12. earthwalker

    To all who have commented, I am guessing they keep it open to everyone because of financial issues. They might not be able to survive as a business if they limit the customer base so severely. That said, they don’t know who they are prohibiting from using their facility by having it open to everyone… there just might be a large enough market to have the business thrive with just non-toxic detergents allowed. That said, this place is certainly a step in the right direction and is leading the way for future businesses to go in this direction as well, also educating customers that there are options in the products they use!

  13. earthwalker

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you for commenting on this article. If you have a question for the business being featured, please contact them through their website directly. They might not be following the comments here, as the article was published 2 years ago. Best, Julie

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