Dan Marrazzo stands in the Ewing Wash ’n’ Roll, March 31, 2010. (Staff photo by Myles Ma.)

By Myles Ma

Dan Marrazzo is trying to dispel the popular image of the laundromat as a dark, dank and smelly place to do a weekly chore. He hopes to replace it with an image of a clean, neat and bright place through his Wash n’ Roll laundromats in Ewing and Trenton.

Marrazzo owns six laundromats in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, comprising more than 400 washer and dryer machines. It’s a large business, especially for someone who got his start in a different industry.

Though laundry is his focus now, Marrazzo started out in the construction industry. His building expertise has carried over to his laundromats, all of which his company builds. A well built laundromat is more easily maintained, Marrazzo said.

“There’s no doubt that my background has made this easier,” he said.

Each of Marrazzo’s laundromats is built for the mad rush of otherwise sleepy Sundays. Each machine holds up to 80 pounds of clothing or linens.

The Ewing Wash ’n’ roll has five televisions, three dining tables and a Cruisin’ USA arcade machine to help pass the hour and a half of washing and drying. For those for whom an hour and a half is simply too long to wait around, all Marrazzo’s laundromats, including the Ewing location and the Trenton location on Lalor Street, offer a wash dry and fold service.

For a small premium, Marrazzo said, customers can drop off their clothing, and have it laundered, folded and bagged. The only time spent in the laundromat is used for dropping off and picking up.

Surprisingly, Marrazzo said, the service is seldom used.

“It just hasn’t caught on yet for some reason,” he said.

Marrazzo’s biggest challenge is convincing people to get out of the house to do their laundry. Though many homeowners have their own washer and dryer machines, he argued that for large volumes of clothing, Wash n’ Roll is a more convenient choice.

And using a laundromat could actually save money, he said. Marrazzo said dryers are the second-largest electricity drains in homes after refrigerators.

One of Marrazzo’s favorite things about coming into his laundromats to do occasional maintenance work is meeting people. He compared laundromats to barbershops, and said people seem to have a lower resistance to one another while doing their laundry.

“There’s a lot of interesting personalities that you might not meet otherwise,” he said.

In addition to the regular coin-operated laundry machine business and the wash dry and fold service, Marrazzo’s laundromats also wash uniforms for nearby businesses and linens for rental houses as far way as the shore. Marrazzo said he can serve anyone who has a regular need to do laundry.

Marrazzo was born and raised in Lower Makefield, Pa. He lives in Langhorne Pa., with his wife of 27 years and his 20-year-old son, a student at Temple University.

Marrazzo said he hopes he can give people a reason to get out of their houses to do laundry.

“You would actually save time and money,” he said.

Wash ’n’ Roll is located at 1980 Olden Ave., Ewing and 46 Lalor St., Trenton. Marrazzo also has a laundromat in Morrisville, his original location, Laundry Depot, located at 322 West Trenton Ave. Each laundromat is open 24/7.