Laundry app looks to clean up as it expands in area

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Users of the Cleanly mobile app request a one-hour window for laundry pickup. (photo courtesy of Cleanly.com)

D.C. residents may find relief from the arduous and never-ending laundry routine now that the Cleanly app is expanding its presence in the area.

Cleanly, co-founded by current CEO Tom Harari, is a laundry and dry-cleaning app that offers door-to-door, same-day pickup and delivery. The company started in New York City in 2014, and launched in D.C. last October.

Though most users are currently in the District’s downtown areas, Cleanly is also expanding into Georgetown and other nearby neighborhoods.

App users request a one-hour window for pickup, and through an extensive logistical operation, a driver picks up that order along with several others along a fixed route. The driver then brings the order to Cleanly’s fulfillment center in Northeast D.C., where clothing items are sorted and itemized. From there, partner wholesale cleaners receive their assigned orders, clean the items in their own facilities and return them to the fulfillment center, where drivers pick them up and return them to customers along their route.

In both New York and D.C. the average customer is between 24 and 35 years old; however, Harari noted key differences in service requests between the two cities.

“Eighty-five percent of apartments in New York don’t have washer-dryers in them, so most of our business skews to laundry services,” he said. “Since D.C. is more of a suit-and-tie … and professional-wear type of town, we see more demand for dry-cleaning services.”

As the company works to expand in D.C., it is evaluating density and traffic problems to ensure that drivers can reach the customer’s locations for pickup and delivery within the one-hour window.

Cleanly also envisions offering a broader range of services in the future. “We want to be the vendor of choice for everything in your closet, from laundry, dry-cleaning, shoe repair, alterations,” said Harari. “It is an old-fashioned industry kind of stuck in the past. We are excited to introduce this whole new layer of convenience and technology to keep up to pace with millennial [customers] and their expectations from companies they spend money on.”