A laundromat is a business with washing machines and dryers that anyone can use to do laundry. Machines are usually operated by customers and require payment in coins.
The word laundromat first appeared in the 1940s and is mainly used in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. In Britain and some other countries, the word laundrette is used instead. Before laundromat became the common name for a business where people could bring laundry to wash, these places were called washaterias or washeterias. The term was originally a trademark and was a brand of washing machine produced by Westinghouse in 1940.