A laundromat is an establishment with coin-operated washing machines and dryers for public use, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary. Additional terms for laundromat include "self-service laundry," "coin laundry" or "coin wash," Wikipedia states.
Some laundering facilities are staffed with attendants who provide change, sell washing powder and watch unattended machines for potential theft of clothing, according to Wikipedia. Other facilities provide a fluff-and-fold service. In the United Kingdom, facilities where individuals wash and dry clothes are known as lauderettes, or sometimes laundrettes. These facilities are known as laundromats or washaterias in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Bendix Home Appliances in London featured the first self-service, coin-operated washers for public use in the United Kingdom in May, 1949, reports The Hammill Post. In April 1934, the first washateria in the United States opened in Fort Worth, Texas, featuring four electric washers that charged customers by the hour.