Oxford launches first cycling launderette 10 May 2018

The Oxford Mail reported recently on its latest bike-based business is aiming to clean clothes while cleaning up the city streets. 

OxWash, founded by Oxford University PhD student Kyle Grant, is the city’s first cycling launderette service. 

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OxWash founder, Kyle Grant (Credit: Oxford Mail)

The 27-year-old, who previously spent a year working for NASA in the United States, is also working with companies developing new more environmentally-friendly detergents. He is hoping his greenwash ethos will prove a unique selling point in the city. 

He said: “We are trying to help Oxford become traffic and emission-free in our own way – it’s one of our core business aims. “Our logistics are completely carbon-emission free and we’re trying to use new detergents that are eco-friendly to show you don’t need to use solvents on drycleaning.” 

On setting up the business Grant explained to the Oxford Mail: “I was really frustrated with the laundry and drycleaning offering at a college level. “When I spoke to friends at other colleges I got the same story that facilities weren’t fit for purpose, the machines were poor and it was relatively expensive. “There are really good launderette services around the county but there was a problem with getting access to potential customers in the university colleges. “I started thinking about the bike delivery model that companies like Deliveroo are using and thought – wouldn’t it be great if you could do that for laundry?” 

The system works through the OxWash website where customers initially register and are sent a welcome pack with a general wash bag and suit bag, complete with personalised QR code. Once you’ve got laundry ready to be washed, you log onto the OxWash website and select your washing service. You choose your location and pick-up time. 

The company sends the dirty laundry (in an electric van) to a specialist launderette just outside Newbury then gets it back to the customer 48 hours later. 

OxWash only started operating in November, but is now washing about 250 loads a week. Grant admits that the home-service launderette service has been tried and failed several times before, but is hoping that Oxford might be uniquely suited to the model. He explained: “Oxford is a great location because the population is so dense, which for our business is a great thing.” 

At the moment, OxWash is still only serving a limited number of Oxford colleges, but Grant said he was hoping to expand to non-university home services within months. He and his fellow executives are already developing a mobile phone app which will make a home delivery service easier.

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