Fake Quarters for Laundry

Laundry can be an expensive chore, especially if you are using coin-operated machines. Over the years, people have come up with various methods to bypass the coin system, such as using fake quarters for laundry. From the 80s, when coin mechanisms were purely mechanical, to today’s electronic systems, the landscape has changed. But you might still want to find shortcuts or do some DIY, especially if you have an old laundry machine lying around.


In this post, you will get to know the various methods people have suggested for getting free laundry cycles, from using plastic straws to exploiting mobile apps.

Fake Quarters for Laundry

Fake Quarters for Laundry


If you cannot find fake quarters for laundry without paying, you might want to consider other methods that people have suggested. For this post, various platforms, including Reddit and Facebook, have been used to determine methods people use to bypass paying for laundry.

1. Coin Trick

Some washers will add a quarter’s worth to the amount you put in but also return the coin to the change box. This trick mostly works on juice machines.

2. Plastic Straws Method

Some users suggest that it’s possible to use plastic straws instead of fake quarters for laundry. In some older laundry machines with sliding slots, you can use coffee stir sticks (the straw kind) to slide them through the coin slots and get free laundry.

This method is mentioned as more complicated and time-consuming. It involves tipping “all the coin pins” using a coffee stir straw.


3. Reactivate the Machine

Another method involves paying once and then turning the machine back on multiple times. After inserting the metal quarter slot, you let it out very slowly.

You will hear clicks, and after one of the clicks, the machine turns on. If done slowly enough, the drawer can be pushed back in to reactivate the machine. A vice grip or clamp may be needed to hold the coin drawer in place.

4. Forceful Approach

You may be able to use fake coins or tokens instead of fake quarters for laundry by forcefully closing the coin drawer with a hammer. This method is noted to require significant force and could potentially break the machine.

5. Button and Coin Trick

In an old laundry setup, you could hold the button to push out the coins while sticking a coin at the bottom and flicking it inside. Any coin that goes inside would count as a quarter.

6. Purchase a Speed Queen Key

You could buy a “speed queen key” for about $3. Once you have the key, you can use it to operate laundry machines that are compatible with this type of key, therefore getting free washing and possibly quarters as well.

7. Mobile App Exploit

In an old laundromat that uses a mobile app, you could simply start the machine in the app and then quickly switch to airplane mode to get freeloads.

8. Ordering a Key

You could order a special key rather than fake quarters for laundry to get free laundry. First, look up the model of your building’s washer/dryer on eBay and order a key for it. This key would allow you to access the control panel of the laundry machines.

However, this method is not for opening the coin deposit box where money is stored. Instead, the key is for the control panel that starts the laundry cycle. The key cost should be around $8.00, and you will not have to pay for laundry for years, according to the findings.

Other Alternatives to Fake Quarters for Laundry

If you cannot find fake quarters for laundry, consider these alternatives:

1. Switch to Maintenance Mode

One of the users pointed out that some washers have a “maintenance mode”. This is a menu that allows you to change prices and even start the machine without putting money in. You can typically access it by pressing specific buttons on the machine. Just look up the specific buttons for your laundry machine model.

2. Tubular Locks

A comment mentioned that most commercial dryers and washers have tubular locks that can be easily picked with specific tools. Once picked, these tools can act as the key.

3. Standard Key for All Models

Most products manufactured with locks are all keyed the same by model. This means you can buy a standard key that works for various products, including washing machines.

4. Manuals and Switches

Some users explained that you could get a manual online to figure out how to access your machine’s maintenance mode. There is usually a switch inside a panel on the machine that you need to flip to access this mode.

5. Use a Hacksaw Blade

Materials Needed: A hacksaw blade or another long, thin metal object.

You will also need to understand the internal mechanism of the lock, particularly the location of a little paddle. Follow these simple steps:

  • First, insert the hacksaw blade into the seam of the locked laundry machine door, specifically to the right of the lock.
  • Angle the blade at 45 degrees.
  • Push and pull the blade until you feel the “little paddle” inside the lock move forward and click.
  • Once you hear the click, the free wash cycle should be activated.

These methods will take some practice to master if you do not have fake quarters for laundry. Also, make sure to only try this on your old laundromat. Otherwise, you might “lose sleep over this” and justify it by saying that your landlord is annoying.

Remember that these ideas are based on experiences and observations commenters shared, including a renter who noticed their apartment manager had rigged several machines to access maintenance mode, saving them laundry costs.

Can You Use Fake Coins in Laundry Machines?

Nowadays, almost all coin mechanisms in machines are electronic. They use a circuit that is basically a metal detector to check the metal composition of coins. The machine then compares this with known signatures to figure out the coin’s value. After that, the coin either goes into a change hopper to give back change or refunds to customers, or it overflows into a cash box.

Back in the 80s, things were different. Coin mechanisms were purely mechanical. During that time, using fake coins, or “slugs” as they were called, might have worked.

But honestly, it was not a big issue. Making a good-quality slug took more time and effort than it was worth. Most people who wanted to steal would just use force. They would break the machines to get to the cash or stock inside.


Modern coin-operated laundry machines are much more complex than older models. Laundry machines used to be fairly easy to fool. However, any model in the last 10 years or so has come with sophisticated technology to reject fake quarters. Moreover, a large part of the increased costs of laundry machine products are due to the cost of this technology.

Read alsoWays to Get Into a Pepsi Vending Machine

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