A new, convenient laundry and dry cleaning option has been introduced at the Navy Exchange (NEX) at NAS Patuxent River — the Tide Cleaners lockers.
Looking like exiles from a high school hallway, the row of 16 vendor-operated lockers can be found at the entrance to the NEX food court and are available for customers to use during normal NEX operating hours.
“The mission of the Navy Exchange Service Command is to provide quality goods and services at a savings to all our Sailors and military families,” explained Kathyln Daughrity, general manager of the Pax River NEX. “Following COVID-19 and the changes to laundry and dry cleaning, NEXCOM searched far and wide for new innovative concepts to bring back important quality of life services like Tide Cleaners to our Navy community.”
Customers will need to download the app — available at Apple and Android stores by searching “Tide Cleaners” — to set up an account before depositing clothing and/or household items inside the lockers for cleaning, and then submitting their order through the app. The vendor will then pick up the items from the lockers and send the customer a message noting the time/date of their return.
“The general turnaround time is two or three days, but it could be longer over weekends and holidays,” Daughrity noted. “Each locker is approximately 15-inches wide; however, one customer is permitted to utilize multiple lockers for a variety of items that may exceed one locker’s size. There’s also a bar inside for items needing to be hung.”
Services provided include dry cleaning, pressing-only, and laundering, as well and wash and fold. There’s even a choice of wash preferences for each item, including the type of Tide detergent and starch use.
“Currently, Pax River is only one of two Navy bases where NEXCOM has installed these cleaning concepts,” Daughrity said. “The vendor sets the cost per item and the price may vary based on location, so when a customer is in the app, they need to make sure they are selecting the location for ‘NEX Patuxent River’ to determine accurate pricing.”
A few examples of Pax River’s pricing are $7.99 to dry clean a blazer and $6.59 for dress pants. Laundering a pair of jeans is $5.99, overcoat/jacket $22.29, and a duvet $33.99. To press a polo shirt costs $4.49 and a blouse $4.99. Washing and folding items is $2 per pound.
During normal NEX operating hours, there are fully trained and capable NEX associates available to assist customers with any issues or questions about the Tide Cleaners lockers, or to walk them through the process.