Maria Carias: laundry representative at Love Laundry
Cleaning the duds of Midtown Sacramento
Front-loading washing machines tumble clothing, sheets and other textiles in a perpetually cresting wave of water and fabric. This is the laundromat, and the domain of Maria Carias. For the past two years, Carias has been a laundromat attendant at Love Laundry’s Midtown location. She has quickly picked up the trade and is deeply involved in the world of cleaning and all it entails, and outside of the soapy store, she’s considering going into social work. SN&R chatted with the 19-year-old Carias about her clothes-line of work, its perks and her extra-laundromatic interests.
How much laundry have you done since you’ve been here?
A lot. Well, in a shift, we’ve got to do 100 or more [pounds], so I do more than 100. If somebody’s new, they start off with 60 pounds … but once they get settled in they do 100.
Is it a fun job?
I like it. I socialize with people, so I like to socialize. … I meet new people, I meet awesome customers. We’ve got this one customer, he brings us hot chocolate every Sunday. He’s very nice.
So you get hot chocolate every Sunday?
Every Sunday, if I work on a Sunday. And there’s this other one who always brings us candy or something—they’re super nice.
Anything memorable ever happen in here?
You never know what you’re going to get. They have six locations of this [laundromat], but every location, it’s different, you’ll get a different crowd. Right here it’s more diverse, so you get all types of people and personalities. In other places—once you go, you’ll see it, but every location has its thing going on.
What do you do for fun?
I usually hang out with my friends. After work, sometimes I have to babysit, help out my sister babysit, so I’m with my niece and nephew a lot. And I just like to walk around downtown a lot. And right now I’m trying to get back into dance, because I really like to dance.
Neat-o! What kind of dance do you do?
Hip-hop. I like to do some hip-hop dance, and when I was in high school I used to teach belly dance.
How’d you get into dance the first time?
I guess I just liked it ever sense I was younger, always wanted to start classes, but growing up my parents couldn’t really put me into classes so I just taught myself. I don’t know if you know folklórico, it’s this traditional Mexican dance.
Is this someone’s laundry you’re folding?
Yes, this is actually for a business; this lady, she drops it off a lot. I think it’s for a chiropractic place. So yeah, we get a lot of businesses dropping off with us sometimes, or people dropping off for somebody they work for. Or I know sometimes, when there’s big events at Golden 1, the people backstage—we do the caterers, or some of the crew will come drop off their clothes or tablecloths so they can get ready.
Do musicians do that, too?
I feel like smaller ones—because, you know, the bigger ones are more hidden. Definitely the smaller ones, I know some local DJs that come to do their laundry here.
Do you ever take anyone’s fashion sense that you see?
Yeah, I can just see from some people, they’re probably dressed up really nicely. Or, it’s so funny, you kind of get to know the customer by their laundry, and you’ll see something and be like, “This is new!”
Anything else laundry-related or otherwise in your life that’s cool?
Well, I’m very good at doing laundry, so I’m awesome. I’ve become a professional, I’ve trained people.
Are you the best?
Well, me and my little sister argue, because she actually works here too. She says she’s the best, but I don’t think so. She got it from me.