OxWash: Oxford’s first bicycle laundry service

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An Oxford University PhD student has launched Oxford’s first bicycle laundry service.

Synthetic biology student Kyle Grant, born in South Africa and later raised on the Isle of White, who founded OxWash, initially started the service at the end of last year as he was left disappointed and frustrated by the quality of the existing laundry services provided by Oxford Colleges.

Grant told the Oxford Times: “When I spoke to friends at other colleges I got the same story that facilites weren’t fit for purpose, the machines were poor and it was relatively expensive”.

“I started thinking about the bike delivery model that companies like Deliveroo are using and though – wouldn’t it be great if you could do that for laundry?”

The service allows students, and now all Oxford residents, a sustainable solution to other laundrettes as their clothes are collected and delivered by bike, and all products used to clean clothes do not contain solvents and are consequently environmentally friendly.

When launching the company, Grant said: “We are trying to help Oxford become traffic and emission-free in our own way – it’s one of our core business aims”.

The launch came only a month after Oxford City Council revealed its plans to create the first ever zero-emissions zone by banning both diesel and petrol cars in the city centre.

The move also sees a growing trend in the reliance on bikes in Oxford in a year that has already seen the implementation and growth of three separate dockless bike companies, namely Ofo, Mobike and Pony Bikes.

Today, seven months after its launch, OxWash has grown in size rapidly and is now washing an estimated 250 loads a week.

The dense population of central Oxford suits the business’s use of bicycles and has led to a very high demand on the company, which has in turn had to hire the services of Pedal and Post, another Oxford bike delivery service, to make sure its services run smoothly.  

OxWash offers a range of laundry services from mixed colours (£9.95) to dress shirts (£13.95 for five) and bedding (£8.95 for a single bedset).

The service also caters for sports teams and businesses and clothes are returned within 48 hours.