Q: Are there any public laundry facilities in Iceland?
We will be bringing our three sons to Iceland for two weeks this summer and at some point in the two weeks I’m sure we will need to wash some of our clothes.
When my wife and I were there last summer we didn't see any public laundry facilities nor did we see this service provided at any of the hotels we stayed at.
John Kingma, Grimsby, Ontario, Canada
A: Almost every household has its own washing machine or, in some older apartment complexes, each apartment has access to a shared washing machine in the basement. This means that, unfortunately, there aren’t any self-service laundromats in Iceland.
However, you should be able to have your clothes washed at your hotel or if you’re staying at a hostel, you may well have access to a machine. The website hostel.is provides a listing of services available at each of the hostels in Iceland and a quick overview showed that almost all of these hostels had laundry facilities, at least the ones in Reykjavík and Akureyri.
There are some laundry services listed in the phonebook, although most are drycleaners who also offer laundry services. However, these services are normally outrageously expensive.
For example, there is a company in Reykjavík called Fönn that offers full-service laundering. Unless you come with a very large amount of clothing (we’re talking about several garbage bags of clothes) then you are charged by the garment.
Socks cost ISK 172 (USD 1.34, EUR 0.96) per pair, undies cost ISK 230 (USD 1.79, EUR 1.28) per pair, shirts cost ISK 554 (USD 4.32, EUR 3.08) per garment, and so forth.
So you can see how your bill would add up quite quickly. Clothes dropped off before noon can be picked up the same day. Otherwise there is a one-day turnaround.
If you want to check your options, here is a listing of drycleaners, including contact information, in Iceland from the online telephone book.
On the website tjalda.is, which lists all camp sites in Iceland, you can see that some of them included a symbol for a washing machine, such as the camp site in Akureyri and the camp site in Laugardalur in Reykjavík.
Otherwise you might just have to seek out a hot spring to do your laundry as Icelanders used to do back in the days.