August 5, 2019 Staff Report
Preventing water waste and promoting energy conservation is the focus of a new state-of-the-art laundromat that opened in Jackson Heights last month.
Aquarelo Laundromat, located at 82-01 Northern Blvd, is the brainchild of Queens native David Velasquez and his brother Samuel. Their vision was to open an eco-friendly laundromat in the neighborhood to help everyday customers make more environmentally-conscious decisions in their life.
“I noticed that there is so much water and energy waste that old-school laundromats are contributing to, and now-a-days people are looking for ways to help the planet by making changes in their everyday decisions,” Velasquez said. “That’s why my brother and I decided to open Aquarelo, where our machines and products aren’t just better for the environment, but they can also get clothes just as clean while preserving fabric quality and saving our customers valuable time.”
According to Velasquez, the 28 washers found throughout the laudromat operate at more than twice the speed of standard machines, which cuts a typical washing cycle from 35-40 minutes down to 22 minutes. He says by reducing their personal washing times by almost 40 percent, customers can help reduce energy consumption and water waste simply by bringing their loads in.
This time-saving feature is also found in Aquarelo’s 26 dryers.
“A typical wash here takes 22 minutes, and drying only takes about 20 minutes,” Velasquez said. “When was the last time it took less than 45 minutes to do those things?”
He said that fabrics will also see less wear and tear from commercial use because of the less time they spend in each machine, which helps to add longevity to his customers’ clothes.
In addition to saving time and the environment, Aquarelo wants to help customers make more eco-friendly decisions in regards to the laundry products they purchase such as soaps and fabric softeners. To assist with this, the laundromat offers an independent line of 100 percent organic-ingredient detergents, as well as hypoallergenic soaps and softeners that are free of dyes and skin irritants.
For drying cycles, his staff discourages the sale of single-use dryer sheets because he says sheets typically use harsh chemicals to soften fabrics that ultimately damage clothes and are toxic to the environment. Instead, Aquarello offers balls of organic, New Zealand-sourced steel wool as an alternative. The tennis-sized balls are designed to be thrown into dryers during spin cycles in order to bounce against clothes and provide fabric-softening effects without damaging clothes or the environment.
Velasquez said that while his goal with Aquarelo is to provide laundry service that environmentally-conscious customers could appreciate, he also wanted all laundry-goers to benefit from a modernized experience in other ways as well.
For example, Aquarelo offers a digital-age upgrade to drop off and pick up services, where customers can receive a pre-programmed text when their laundry is ready to be picked up.
“People may not always feel comfortable with phone calls or may not be available to receive calls during certain times, so this texting software helps bridge that gap,” he said.
Velasquez said he also plans on rolling out a delivery service with this texting software, which will communicate the best time for laundry to be delivered from his laundromat to his customers’ doorsteps.
Aquarelo is open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Readers can Like and follow updates through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/aquarelonyc